Vermicomposting: Container Size Guide For Beginners
Starting a worm farm for vermicomposting is an attractive idea because there are many advantages and the process is very simple, the only difficulty is in deciding how big your composting bin should be.
The amount of space that you have available will give you an idea of how big your composting bin should be. The space can be indoors but has to be well ventilated. If the space is outdoors it will have to be in a position where it will be protected against frost. Because the bin will be wider and longer than it is high it can sit on an old table or bench top or be stored on the floor. Since you will be feeding the bin regularly and will need to keep an eye on it's condition, the space you choose also has to be easily accessible.
Once you have located the position for worm farming you need to calculate the size of the bin. Ideally you will have a square foot of space in the bin for each pound of food scraps the household produces each week. You can work this out by weighing your daily food scraps for a week. You will have the total of food scraps after seven days by adding together the daily totals. If the scraps total 4lbs in weight you will need a bin with a surface area of 4 sqare feet. The square root of 4 is 2. A bin 2feet square will provide 4 square feet of surface area. If the scraps total 9lbs per week then you will need a bin 3 feet square. It is better to have a bin that is slightly too big than one that is too small. It is always possible to find more stuff to compost and the idea is not to have to throw food waste away. The bin only needs to be about 12inches deep.
Multiple Worm Farms
If you find that you need a large area for the food scraps your household produces you can use more than one bin. This will make moving them around easier and reduce the amount of space required if they can be stacked upon each other.
Quantity of Worms Required
If you want to start your bin with the optimum number of worms you should calculate that you need half a pound of red wrigglers for each cubic foot of worm space. If your bin is 2feet square and the worm bed is 9inches deep your calculation would be 2 x 2 x .75 (9inches) = 3cu ft. Three half pounds of worms is one and a half pounds.
Once you have your worm farming working well you might find there is more to go into your composting bin than just food. If you start to find more things to add to the compost make sure that you calculate the new area required for the added weight.