Start your wormcomposter

The first few weeks of your vermicomposter are crucial for its proper functioning.

We usually start with a minimum of 250 g of worms (which corresponds to at least 500 worms).

With fewer worms but it will take more time for their numbers to be sufficient.

By taking worms in a vermicomposter, a portion of the ecosystem is also removed, including eggs, which will increase the worm population more rapidly.

Preparation of the litter

Litter is the environment in which the life of the ecosystem develops. This is also what is called the contents of the upper bin (with fresh waste, mixture of parpier / cardboard …).

The litter must be moist but well oxygenated and aerated (no compact mass): the litter must have the texture of a wet sponge and do not dribble when pressed.

The litter must be at least 5 cm thick over the entire surface of the tray.

Litter can be made of a mixture of pieces of: brown cartons, egg cartons, paper towels rolls or toilet paper, coffee filters with coffee grounds, tea leaves used (with sachets), fibers coconut, compost or vermicompost, untreated potting soil, egg shell powder, …

Wet, mix and squeeze everything!

Setting up: When putting worms

To prevent worms from getting into the juice collector (their first reflex will be to visit their new home), you can place a sheet of cardboard in the bottom of the tray. It will let the juice pass and will be decomposed in a few weeks.

To prevent the litter from drying out, place a damp mattress on top. This mattress should always be placed above the waste.
This “mattress” can be a vegetable fiber mattress, a mop, an old T-shirt, sheets of newspaper, …

You can put a little bit of “soft” waste (1 or 2 leaves of salad) when you introduce the worms.

After 1 week, you can start incorporating finely cut waste in small quantities.
Too much waste in relation to the amount of worms would be detrimental to them. This waste would not be broken down properly and it would ferment which would make the worms fly away and give off a foul odor.

You will be able to increase the quantity of waste as the worms reproduce well. In the first weeks, wait until the first incorporated waste begins to be eaten before adding it.

Increase very gradually the rhythm and doses.

You will reach the cruising speed of your vermicomposter in a few months. During this period, the waste must be gradually added to allow the population of worms to adapt to your peel production.

Wait at least 3 to 4 months before your vermicomposter can accept all of your garbage.

During this start-up phase, be very patient and be very progressive in adding fresh waste.

begini worm composting

The worms eat on average half of their weight each day but they do not eat freshly added waste that must be pre-decomposed by the bacteria and microorganisms contained in the environment (brought with the worms).

At startup, it will be necessary to allow time for all these microorganisms to reproduce before adding waste in small quantities.


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  1. Ngunezi

    I am in South Africa and looking for African Night Crawlers.

    Many Thanks

    • David

      There are no worm donors in your country yet.
      Maybe if you search the forums you will find someone who can share some with you. Don’t hesitate to invite him/her to register on Plus 2 Vers to enrich the network. You are not the only one looking for worms, and there are many who can donate them. And that’s why Plus 2 Vers exists.
      See you soon!

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