Composting: How to set up your own worm farm

By Gemma Gatticchi
Wednesday, Sep 6, 2023 GuidesLifestyle

Worm farms are great. They create fertiliser, they help minimise food waste and they’re fun. Worm tea makes a very nutritious and non-toxic liquid feed for your plants. Here’s a quick guide on how to set up your own.

Getting started

Find the best spot for your wormery: Preferably, it should be outside in a shady space because the mixture can become smelly since it is essentially a compost heap with worms inside.

Choosing the right container: It’s important to select a container with a removable lid as well as a liquid outlet because the leachate – the ‘worm juice’ – will need to be drained out. You will also need to keep this container raised and then add a bucket under the drain to catch the liquid that you can use as fertiliser.

While you can buy a ready-made worm farm there are loads of other ways to create your own, like the many people creating worm farms out of old bathtubs.

Add a layer of straw or wet newspaper to the bottom of your container. It should be about three-quarters full. Then add about 3 cups of soil to the container.

Moving in: Now it’s ready for you to add your worms. You can buy worms online from websites such as EcoWormFarms and Worms and Sons.

Once you’re done, drill holes in the plastic lid and keep the container closed. These holes allow some necessary air to circulate.

Happy worms

To feed your worms, cut food scraps into small pieces and sprinkle the food over the moist bedding you created. You can add eggshells, fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds and even tea bags to your compost mix. Do not add meat, dairy or coated paper.

To keep the moisture in, add a layer of dry newspaper to the top of the worm mixture. This will also help keep any unwanted insects out.


You need to feed the worms at least three times their weight every week. To figure out how much food you need to throw in your bin, weigh all the worms together using a scale before you add them to the bin.