Laverme's Worms Vermicomposting Laverme's Worms Vermicomposting

Green Barbarians–Ellen Sandbeck

A Buddha A Day–Ellen Sandbeck


Dear Ellen,

Question: What is the best way to transfer worms from finished compost to a new area/food/bin? With a screen, a new bin? My bin has been very active and healthy, I think, but I am looking for the castings to be a little more dry and supple like what I have seen in your bins. What can I do differently?

Nick, Minneapolis, MN

Dear Nick,

I will try to give you as many possibilities as possible.


  1. If you are using newspaper as bedding, stop immediately. It will make your compost very wet and sticky, and you will eventually get fruit flies.
  2. If your spigot is closed, open it and leave it open. There should be at least 2 inches of dry bedding (preferably leaves) on top of the compost at all times.
  3. If you are not adding dry bedding fairly frequently, please add some now.


Unless your bin is completely full, there is no reason to start a new bin. Worms transfer themselves to areas where there is food. The easiest way to harvest compost is to just harvest the finished stuff that is at the bottom of the hole when you dig a hole. I don't recommend harvesting any compost at all until the bin is fairly full of finished compost­this may take a year or more.

I hope this helps!

Please don't hesitate to send questions.

Environmentally yours,



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