New Worm Bin Setup - Is Homemade Compost a Good Addition?

by Ben

The Worm Bin

The Worm Bin

Well, I just ordered my worms they’re supposed to ship out in 8 days! (yes I’m counting).

I built the 2x4 flow through bin Pauly describes, except I ripped my 2x4s in half because I like to save my wood and also figured it would make the system a little lighter for my wife.

Also no one seems to carry 1/8" hardware cloth, I finally gave up and just used 1/4" has anyone had trouble with using H-cloth that size?

Anyway, I filled the bottom tray (I only have two trays right now) with shredded paper as well as some fruit/veggie scraps from the kitchen, I plan on letting it sit for about a week before the worms arrive.

I also added some of my homemade compost (about 2 cups, screened to 1/4") just to give them some dirt-type material to move around in.

My question is if the compost is a good or bad addition?

The compost came from a crate of about one cubic foot that I have in the back yard. It started with leaves/grass from the yard as well as my vegetable scraps from the kitchen, lately I've been getting coffee bean chaff and brewery grains from some local shops, as well as some llama manure from a guy out in the country.

Two weeks ago I had the pile at about 150 degrees F; it has cooled off significantly since then. I'm hoping that the heat killed anything that would hurt the worms but I don't want to take any chances.

Should I go with the compost or toss it back in the bin and just use shredded paper and food scraps?

Thanks for your help! Also I attached a couple pictures to show the bin, it’s small right now (about 1.5’ x 2’ per tray) I plan to expand as my worm population grows.


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Mar 11, 2012
Is Homemade Compost a Good Addition?
by: Pauly

Great question Ben!

Is Homemade Compost a Good Addition? This is a question best answered by you Ben.

The fact that you said "Homemade" makes me feel 100% better about saying, "Go ahead and use it".

Also, you mentioned 150 degrees F. Another feely good thing :-)

As long as you have your own 150 degree compost that you personally know what is in there and that it indeed got that hot makes me feel all warm and toasty.

I'm only saying this because a lot of composts can contain weed seeds (among others) and harmful pathogens if not allowed to reach proper temps. But not only that. It also can contain bugs or bug eggs that can hatch and either be competition or lethal to your worms.

All that being said, If you feel you have a good compost that is free of all of these then use it. Because it does in fact contain beneficial microbes useful to jump start your vermicompost exponentially.

You can also use a pinch (about a teaspoon) of garden dirt spread throughout the worm bin. This is chancy too but not quite like compost heaps that can be a magnet for all critters.

Make sure to use your compost right after it is cool enough. If you, or others reading this have another worm bin, just bring some castings over to the new bin. It can't get better than that.

Thanks for posting and sharing the photos of your homemade flow through worm bin. Looks Awesome!


Apr 02, 2012
Follow up
by: Ben

Paul, just wanted you to know that the worms are doing excellent! It has been a couple weeks now and they seem very comfortable in their new home. When I first opend them up they seemed a little freaked out and slow moving (due to being shipped which seems perfectly understandable).

After a couple days in their new bin they started to seem much more lively again. They love the compost, and have been doing well with our kitchen scraps also. I have only had one escapee (who actually fell out of the bottom by accident I think) so 1 out of 1,000 is pretty good I think. They have also gotten noticably fatter which I am taking as a good sign.

Just wanted to say once again what a great job your doing, I am so glad I bought my worms from you, and made my decision based on quality rather than price. These worms are very healthy and hard workers. Keep up the good work!


P.S. I'll post some more pictures soon, I'm really excited to show everyone how good my worms look!

Apr 03, 2012
New Worm Bin Setup - Is Homemade Compost a Good Addition?
by: Pauly


Thank you for your kind words. It is wonderful to hear from people like you who have found this site helpful.

I get letters all the time from individuals who enjoy reading such things as what you're doing now.

You may never know how many people YOU are helping too.

Keep us posted on your progress,

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