Worm Composting With Plastic Buckets

How to Build Your Own Worm Compost Bucket

On this page, you can find information on how to build your own worm compost bucket, as well as additional information on the importance of worms in growing spaces. Worm composting can be a convenient way for gardeners to turn food scraps from previous meals into a nutrient rich soil amendment for their gardens. Compost bucket designs are also a great way for gardeners to collect a natural fertilizer for their plants. Our worm compost packet is inspired by The Spruce’s “How to Make a Worm-Composting Bin from Plastic Buckets” by Colleen Vanderlinden.

Click the image to access the PDF packet outlining step-by-step instructions on how to build your own worm bin and follow along with the video!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get worms?

Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm & Spiral Gardens are local commercial stores we recommend for worms. Red Wiggler worms are often used for fishing so you could find them at local bait shops as well. A lot of local community gardens have worm bins and may have extra worms to spare.

Is there a limit of how many worms I can use?

No, their population will naturally balance out. If there is not enough food or space, the worm population will go down to what that space can accommodate.

What is the lifespan for the worms in the worm bin?

Worms are always in a process of dying and reproducing. There is usually not a need to to replace them unless something happened to them in the worm bin or the bin is not a conducive environment for them.

Worms are already in my garden- is that a problem?

It’s a sign of healthy soil to see worms in your garden.

If I don't put the food in the same bucket as the worms, will they still find it?

Yes! Worms will migrate to food. However, if you want to help them out, it would be nice to put the food where they are. It will also help you out to have the worms where you want them, as to avoid rotting food smells.

What do worms like to eat?

Fruit & vegetable scraps are their favorite!

Are coffee grounds okay for food scraps?


How much food should I give my worms?

According to Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm (linked below) worms will typically eat half their weight. So, 1 Ib of worms will eat 1/2 Ib of food.

What is the wet paper & cardboard for?

It’s a nice place for the worms to mate. They eventually will eat it and it provides a nice warm layer for them as well.

How do you seperate the worms from the compost?

As you stop adding food to the lower bucket, there will be less food for the worms to eat, so they will migrate to the other layer to find food. It’s also not terrible if some of the worms are still in the worm castings that you spread in your garden- it can help you judge how healthy your worm bin is. If the worms are reproducing well, you can afford to lose a few but if not, then you might need to be more conservative.

Do you recommend a spigot for this bucket design?

Spigots are used to let out the liquid material. This bucket design accounts for that as the bottom bucket that does not have holes will collect the liquid.

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