Vermicomposting – How to harvest your worm poop (castings)

Now your worms have been working hard eating, pooping, and reproducing so now it is time to harvest the fruits of their labor (worm castings) There are a few methods to harvest worm castings so I will briefly describe a few:

Dump and Sort Much like it sounds you simply dump out your worms and castings onto a plastic sheet. Sort through and catch as many worms as you can and set them aside.

Divide and Harvest Move you compost and worms to one side of your worm bin and fill the other half with new bedding. For the next couple weeks only bury food on the side with the fresh bedding. During these two weeks a majority of the worms will move over to the other side where you can harvest the castings minus the worms.

Moving on Up Create a second bin which you place on top of your existing one (Rubbermaid containers and 5 gallon bucket worm bins work great for this) and fill it with clean bedding and food and after a couple weeks the worms will migrate into to the new bin. Now you simply harvest the lower bin.

Using any of these methods I would suggest using a soil sieve like I showed how to create previously to better separate food/bedding from the castings and either use the remains in your next bin or put them right into your compost bin.

6 Responses to “Vermicomposting – How to harvest your worm poop (castings)”

  1. kate smudges Says:

    Thanks for this information – I’ve just started with my worms. They are doing amazingly well. I added some coco fibre as bedding to see what that was like. Worms are supposed to love it. Now I know how to harvest the poop. I’m looking forward to that.


  2. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Best of luck with your new worms, I started mine late last fall so they have been pretty dormant over the winter in the garage. Curious how they will start doing now it is starting to warm up again.


  3. vonlafin Says:

    Great information! I started my worms last spring, and moved them to the basement last fall. They seem to be doing well. I love to tell people that I have worms in my basement that eat all of my garbage…they either are intrigued or grossed out. I don’t care, I love them!


  4. Anonymous Says:

    Recent research (2002) proves that worm castings can repel many species of insects. Worm castings have chitinase-producing organisms in them. Chitinase is an enzyme that dissolves chitin, and the exoskeleton of insects is made of chitin. Insects can detect the amount of chitinase that is in plants and soil, and if the concentration is high enough they will avoid the plants. Apparently, aphids, spider mites, white flies and numerous other species are repelled by the castings.You can also attach a magnet to your worm bin to increase their growth. Albert Roy Davis discovered that the two poles of a magnet have different effects on all organisms. The South pole caused worms to grow larger, reproduce faster, and produce castings that were richer in nutrients. He wrote about these experiments in his first book, “Magnetism and Its Effects on the Living System”, by Albert Roy Davis and Walter C. Rawls, Jr.


  5. Roch Says:

    Thinking of getting a kit for vermicomposting. I might just end up putting it on my list. Would you suggest going to the multi tray installations or just a simple box?

    I dont quite understand the multi tray system does it help in harvesting the poop?


  6. Using WonderSoil for seed starting - The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    […] sort of gel crystal which is supposed to save up to 50% water.  They also boast about use of worm castings which I am definitely a fan of as well as addition of a balance of various […]


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