Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Dirt on Composting: DIY Compost Bin with Worms

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot.

I recently got the opportunity to team up with The Home Depot to share some wonderful activities that help children learn about and care for our earth. One of these great projects is to create a homemade compost bin. A DIY compost bin is something that's intrigued me for a long time, but I've never known just where to start, but we're finally jumping into this fun family endeavor.
 
Bear {4.5 yrs} has a newfound obsession with worms. One of his favorite books is A Diary of a Worm. Through conversation, we decided that a wonderful way to tie our new compost bin into our science activities and exploration is to do vermicomposting! This means adding worms to the compost bin to help create beautiful, rich compost. This is going to take our adventure and raise it to another level by increasing the scientific element to it.
 
  
I think that it's amazing what an impact those little creatures have in the grand scheme of things in our environment. To get our worms off to a good start, we created a kid-friendly mini-compost bin for inside the house that will allow us to see exactly what our little wriggly worm friends are doing.

For how to create a small indoor compost bin with worms, I combined info from several sites, friends' recommendations, and the info provided by Uncle Jim's in our pack of worms.  For the container, we used a large reptile terrarium.  The clear sides will allow us to see the internal workings of the bin.
 

Here's how you can create your own small, indoor vermicomposting bin:
  • Layer garden soil and new sandbox sand at a 2:1 ratio.  We created four layers total.
  • Lay dried leaves and brown vegetation across the top of the soil.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of water.
  • Dump your worms in and cover with a damp piece of newspaper.
  • Place in a cool darkish spot.  Uncle Jim's recommends leaving them in light for a day or two until they get settled, then darkening up the bin.

 

I'm still doing research on how to make the outdoor compost bin work and be successful. I want to make sure that I set up an environment that is healthy and supportive for our worms in the large outdoor bin that we are going to build. So far, I know that the best items to compost are organic greens and browns. Items like this:
 
I would have never thought that I would be looking at how to build a compost bin. Ever. But the more I look at the compost bin plans on The Home Depot website, the more excited I get. Our backyard has a nice little corner by the shed, that I think would be an excellent spot for it. The great thing is that The Home Depot has a Garden Club Community Forum (Ask an Expert) so if I get stuck somewhere, I've got great resources for help.   
 
I'll share more of what I find in our project post on it in a few weeks.  And this weekend, we'll be going shopping at Home Depot to get our supplies.  I have to tell you, I'm pretty excited to use some power tools :) 
 
Does your family compost? 
What tips, tricks, or posts do you have to share?
 
 
 
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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot.
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