When you are first starting out with worm composting it can be difficult to know all the different worm composting supplies that you need. In this article, I will share all the worm composting supplies and tools that I use to make worm composting easy and efficient. Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase an item after going through my link, I make a small commission for referring you, at no extra cost to you. If you choose to do that, thanks!
How to Start a Worm Bin Book
“How to Start a Worm Bin” contains everything you need to get started Worm Composting (vermicomposting) in one quick, convenient, easy-to-read book. Full disclosure… I wrote this book! Check out the reviews on Amazon to see what people thing of it.
As I have noted, almost any container can be used as a worm composting bin. However, not all worms bins are created equal. Some work much better than others. If you are just starting out and you want to build your own bin, I suggest you follow these instructions to build a ‘storage tub’ style worm bin. I always keep one or two of this style worm bin active at home.
If you are going to purchase a worm bin and you want something that is very efficient and easy to use, I recommend the Can-O-Worms. This is the main worm bin that I use at home and at work. I love it. It is the best one on the market.
A spray bottle is a great tool for keeping your worm bin at the correct moisture content. Remember, worms’ skin must be moist in order for them to breathe. Make sure your worm bin bedding doesn’t get too dry by giving it a few squirts from a spray bottle every week or so (or whenever the worm bin bedding feels dry). The diffusion of the spray will insure that you are evenly adding moisture instead of dumping it in one spot (like you would if you poured it from a glass or bucket).
Here is the spray bottle that I use.
This hand tool is ideal for pawing around in your worm bin without causing too much damage or getting your hands too dirty.
Here is the one that I use.
Here is the hand trowel that I use.
As I have noted on my website, you can use almost any carbon source as worm bin bedding. My favorite (and what I find the worms like the best) is a mixture of coconut coir and newsprint torn into strips.
Be sure to keep a stack of newsprint on hand to start a new bin or add bedding if yours gets low. Only use the newsprint part of the newspaper. Worms don’t like the glossy ads. You will find that if you tear the newsprint with the grain of the paper, you can quickly and easily rip newsprint one section at a time into nice 1 inch strips.
Coconut coir is a great thing to mix with your newsprint worm bedding. Coconut coir is what most worms are shipped in when you purchase them online. Coconut coir does a great job of retaining the moisture that your worms need. I like to mix in about 1/3 coconut coir with 2/3 newsprint.
Here is the coconut coir that I use.
Food Scrap Container
Unless you plan to feed your worms daily, you will need a place to put the food scraps in between feedings. A bucket or bag on the counter starts to stink pretty quickly. I have two solutions for you.
- A small shoebox-sized plastic bin that you keep in the freezer. This is a cheap and easy fix and the cold will keep your food scraps from starting to rot before you add them to your worm bin.
- A food scrap pail with charcoal filter for your counter. If you don’t want to sacrifice the freezer space to do the frozen storage tub, try one of these attractive (relatively) and accessible counter storage buckets. They come with charcoal filters that keeps your kitchen smelling nice. Here is the one I have used and like:
Window screen is wonderfully useful for separating your worms from your precious worm compost. Simply spread a handful of worm compost (full of worms) on a piece of window screen and place the screen on top of your open worm bin. Then move the whole operation into the sun (or turn on a light) and wait. The worms, who naturally move away from light, will burrow down through the worm compost and the window screen to get away from the light. They will self-sort back into the worm bin and you can lift off your window screen full of filtered worm compost. A roll of window screen can be purchased from any hardware store or online here.
An extra tray from the Worm Factory system is another helpful harvesting tool. It is a square tray with a hard plastic screened bottom. You can use it to harvest in the same way that you would the window screen. They sell just one tray so you don’t have to buy a whole new bin.
Worms like the same temperatures that we do (60 to 80 degrees F). Usually it is fine to guess at the temperature of your worm bin but if you are trying to keep a worm bin alive outside in the winter, a thermometer is essential for making sure your worms don’t freeze!
Here is the compost thermometer that I like.
A Red Light Bulb
Red light doesn’t bother worms as much as bright white light. Get yourself a red light bulb and you will be able to observe your worms acting more natural, instead of always running away when you flip on the light.
Now that you know what worm composting supplies you need, you are all set to be a successful worm farmer. Good luck and happy worm farming!
Worm Bin Heater
A seed starting heating mat like this one that I use makes a great worm bin heater. Just lay the mat on top, plug it in and your worms will stay nice and toasty in cold weather.
If you have a worm composting question, I am happy to answer it here.
Want a step by step guide book to get started worm composting? Try my book