A couple of months ago I made my second compost bin by drilling holes in a circular trash can. My first bin, which I made late last summer, was a huge success and this spring I’ve been happily spreading the finished compost throughout our garden. But the second bin, well, this one had me worried. For one thing, it smelled bad. The more troubling problem though was that after two months not a single worm was in the bin. Not one. And I know that if you build a bin properly, the worms find it. No worms = you screwed up.
It was time to problem solve. A stinky bin plus no earthworms is a big sign that the bin is too wet and not draining properly. And, truth be told, when I made the second compost bin I basically knew that I hadn’t drilled enough holes in the bottom of the trash can. I only drilled four holes. I would have drilled more, but the plastic on the bottom of the trash can was really thick and, frankly, I’m lazy. Fortunately, the sides of the trash can were a lot easier to drill through so I made lots of holes in the sides.
Anyhow, last week I figured that I needed to drain my bin. In order to do so, I just turned it on its side and left it alone for a few days.
And when I came back to check on it, oh sweet mercy, the worms had come.
There aren’t many worms yet, but they’re there. I am in no way embarrassed to say that finding worms in my compost bin is one of the more exciting things that has happened to me recently.
As soon as I finish using the compost from the first bin, I’m going to transfer the second bin’s contents to the first bin. Then I’ll diligently drill lots more holes in the bottom of the second bin.
In the meantime, although there aren’t a lot of worms in the second bin, I trust they’ll call all their friends and tell them about the cool party in my bin. After all, I’m serving really great food.