Newbie worm composter here, trying a large homemade bin (shown here) but dreaming of something MUCH better. That’s because this single-compartment system is waaay too inexact, too messy, too intimate! My friend uses one and LOVES dumping the entire contents out on newspaper and carefully picking through all the uneaten food, the worm crap, worm cocoons and whole worms in order to "harvest" usable bits of worm crap for her garden.
But see, I do NOT want to do that. I want a stacked system that roughly divides the crap from the worms and the food they’re still working on. I know the sorting process isn’t perfect and you still have to remove some live works from the poop when harvesting a finished trayful, but that I can deal with.
So experienced worm composters, please weigh in on the indoor system you use, or others you’ve tried.
SMALL, HOMEMADE AND CHEAP (photo above right)
Three small Rubbermaid containers can be stacked to create a compost system for just $20, plus the cost of the worms. You simply drill holes, add worms and bedding, and the whole unit fits easily under the kitchen sink. This may be just the right size for a one- or two-person household. Here are the instructions.
Can-o-Worms for $105-130 (photo right)
One composter warned me that the tall legs makes this unit wobbly, but our Amy uses Can-o-Worms and wrote: "The
layered compost bins are great and well worth the money — I have had mine for
at least 12 years. Tell people that it should take about a year to fully utilize
all the layers. Once that happens, they might find themselves rotating the
trays every three months or perhaps more than that."
Worm Chalet for $160 (photo below right)
I’m told the Chalet has very deep trays that hold a lot of material, which means that harvesting can be done less frequently. The trays also have removable screens on the bottom, which makes cleaning easy.
Tips for all bins:
- If you don’t add fruit at all, you won’t have fruit flies.
- They really don’t like being cold, as my wigglers taught me by trying to escape.
I’ve been researching that very question for my next newspaper column and will post the short version of the answer right here next week.