How Many Worms Should My Vermicompost Start With? How Many Worms Should My Vermicompost Start With?

In making vermicompost the workers are the worms, but do you know how many you need? These guidelines will help you calculate the number of worms you will need to start your vermicompost project.

The Generally Accepted Rule of Thumb

Most vermiculture proponents recommend that you start your composting bin off with 500 worms per cubic foot of space within the farm. You can figure that 500 red wrigglers is about half a pound in weight.

You calculate how many cubic feet your bin holds by multiplying the length by the breadth by the depth of the worm bedding. Multiply the number of cubic feet by half a pound and that is how many worms are needed.

Here are some examples

  • If the length of your bin is 2 feet and the breadth is 1 foot and the depth is 9 inches, you have 1.5 cubic feet, which will require 3/4 lb. worms  
  • If the length of your bin is 2 feet and the breadth is 1.5 feet and the depth is 9 inches, you have 2.25 cubic feet, which will require 1 1/4 lbs. worms.
  • If the length of your bin is 3 feet and the breadth is 1 foot and the depth is 9 inches, you have 2.25 cubic feet, which will require 1 1/4 lbs. worms.
  • If the length of your bin is 3 feet and the breadth is 1.5 feet and the depth is 9 inches, you have 3.38 cubic feet, which will require 1 3/4 lbs. worms.
  • If the length of your bin is 3 feet and the breadth is 2 feet and the depth is 9 inches, you have 4.5 cubic feet, which will require 2 1/4 lbs. worms
  • If the length of your bin is 3 feet and the breadth is 2.5 feet  and the depth is 9 inches, you have 5.6 cubic feet, which will require 2 3/4 lbs. worms.

The quantities of worms in the examples above are calculated to the nearest quarter pound. Remember that these are the starting figures – the worms will reproduce prolifically.

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