What is the best worm composter for YOU?
The various different types of worm composters out there can make someone who is just starting out feel overwhelmed. We will break down the main types of worm composters below and each of their pros and cons.
A DIY bin is a simple and affordable option for those who want to start vermicomposting without spending a lot of money. These bins can be made out of plastic containers or even wooden boxes, and require some basic assembly. However, it's important to ensure proper ventilation and drainage to prevent odor and over-moisture.
Continuous Flow-Through (CFT): This system is a popular choice for those who want to make vermicomposting a more automated process and have a large amount of waste to process. There are two types of continuous flow-through systems: bag type and bin type. Bag type composters are made of breathable fabric and allow for air flow, while bin type composters are made of plastic or other durable materials. Bag type should only be used in a sheltered area that is inaccessible to wild animals as they can damage the fabric of the worm bag. Bin type CFT's can be placed outdoor during mild seasons, but will need to be brought indoor during extreme temperatures for most of Canada. Both types allow for easy harvesting and can handle a high volume of waste.
The cost for ready-made CFT's is on the high side and is usually recommended for veteran vermicomposters looking to up their game.
Worm Hotel, Urban Worm Bag (bag type)
Hungry Bin, VermiBin (bin type)
Tray System: A tray system is a stackable composting system with separate trays that can be added or removed as needed. This system is ideal for those with limited space. Larger and more durable tray systems can be used outdoors during mild weathers. Tray systems also provide easy access to the compost and can be easily harvested without disturbing the worms.
The cost for tray systems vary depending on size of system and the esthetics of the system. A low cost tray system like the Worm Condo is a good place for beginners to start.
Worm Factory 360, Worm Condo
In-Ground or Outdoor Composter: This option is best for those with a large amount of waste to compost or those who prefer a more natural method of composting. In-ground or outdoor composters can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, concrete, or metal. These composters can handle a large volume of waste and don't require regular maintenance, but can take longer to produce finished compost. Harvesting the finished product can be more difficult and you may attract pests if you feed kitchen scraps to an open outdoor composter.
The cost for in-ground or outdoor worm composters varies depending on the materials required to construct. It is not recommended for most beginners.
Worm Wedge, Worm Trench
You can add worms to your existing compost pile to speed up the process; however, if your compost pile is a hot compost the worms will perish. With this method, not all finished compost will be worm castings.
When choosing a worm composter, consider factors such as space, volume of waste, maintenance requirements, and budget. With the right composter, you'll be on your way to producing nutrient-rich compost for your garden or indoor plants!