How to Make a Worm Bin Out of Litter Buckets
Combine recycling with composting: make a worm bin out of your empty kitty litter buckets. Several brands offer economy-sized buckets, which can be a wonderful home for red worms.
In addition to the materials required to construct your worm bin, you will need bedding materials as well as some live worms. Newspaper, a little garden soil, coconut fibers or some peat moss all combine to make your worms happy from the start.
Step 1 – Cut Tray
Cut one of the buckets with the razor knife, carefully, 2 inches from the bottom. The result will be like a small tray. This tray will be inserted into the full-size bucket after further preparation.
Step 2 - Pierce Tray
Using the awl or ice pick, pierce as many holes in the cut tray as possible. This will allow liquid to run out of the composting area of the worm bin, which you can collect as worm casting tea.
Step 3 - Cut Lid and Glue in Screen
Using the razor knife, cut a large square hole in the bucket lid. Cover with the screen, trim with the razor knife to extend an inch beyond the hole, and glue in place with the cement. Be careful not to allow excess cement to spill into the bucket as the worms may not care for the chemicals in their worm bin.
Step 4 - Install Spigot
Check package directions first, and follow them specifically. Cut a hole very low in the side of the litter bucket, just above the bottom. The spigot will push through the bucket, and attach inside with a grommet and screw assembly. The spigot may extend below the bottom of the bucket, which is fine.
Step 5 - Assemble
Push the perforated tray into the bucket, sliding down to rest above the spigot assembly. Place your bedding materials, worms and a small amount of fruit and veggie scraps upon the tray, and securely close the bucket with the screened lid. Place the worm bin on a box or stool to raise it above floor level, and set it someplace out of temperature extremes.
Step 6 - Feed and Enjoy
Feed weekly. Worms like the dark, so you can place a layer of newspaper or brown paper bag on top of their food and bedding, and they will happily burrow below it. They ignore seeds and dislike strong acidic foods like onions, garlic, citrus fruits and tomatoes in excess. A little is OK, along with other food and paper scraps. Dairy, meat and fish don’t belong in your worm bin. Coffee grounds are fine in moderation, and occasional egg shells are a bonus, as worms require calcium to reproduce.
After a month or two, draw some casting tea from the spigot, and add to water for your houseplants. Six to nine months later, harvest castings from the tray and use in your garden.