Building a Worm Farm in a Bathtub
Building a cheap but effective worm farm in a bathtub is a great idea if you also have an aquaponics system or a vegetable garden close by. The fish can always benefit from a tasty snack of live worms.
But if you only want to get rid of your household kitchen scraps, a bathtub worm farm is inexpensive and will process and average size home your kitchen vegetable peelings and waste all year round.
Worm castings are excellent to use in the garden. Seeds germinate faster and seedlings seem to grow stronger when planted into punnets of your own fresh worm castings.
The best place to locate the old bathtub is in a cool shady spot away from sunlight. We placed our worm farm in a dark spot under the main house. It was placed on two concrete blocks that made accessing the worm farm easier to inspect at waist level.
Building Your Bathtub Worm Farm
- We made a simple timber “ladder” out of offcuts and placed it into the bathtub to give the tub some ability to drain off any excess moisture. You could also just add drainage gravel. It will do the same trick. Then some old chicken wire or flyscreen was added to stop particles of matter washing away.
- Shredded cardboard and newspaper was laid down over the mesh. Worms love eating wet cardboard so always have some handy.
- A layer of dry leaves and some old grass mulch was applied in layers.
- One large bag of manure was then raked out. We used horse manure but sheep, cow or chicken manure is fine.
- Compost worms are then introduced.
- We placed a bucket under the bath tub to collect the “Worm juice” and watered the whole mixture.
- An old bath towel is ideal to place on the top layer.
- Cover the bathtub with a sheet of tin and place a house brick over it to stop animals, chickens or birds from scratching in your worm farm.
- Start feeding your farm your kitchen scraps on a regular basis.
Don’t let your bathtub worm farm dry out. Inspect it at least once a week and give it a good soaking if it appears dry. Keep adding wet cardboard sheeting on top of your farm and any kitchen scraps as well. Within weeks your worms will begin to multiply. Other creatures will also begin to inhabit your farm. Don’t be surprised to see your old salad seeds like pumpkin sprouting in this system. Cover the bathtub well and use the worm juice on your garden.
This system is easy and cheap to build and has enough capacity to create enough worm castings for any small household need. We also use our excess worms as a treat in our aquaponics system. The fish just love eating the worms. Don’t feed your fish too many worms – or they will “switch over” to their new worm diet and refuse to eat anything else! We also use this method to grow enough worms to also place them into the aquaponics grow beds to aid in the mineralization process.