Looking to get your home garden in top shape while also reducing your carbon footprint?

Worm composting – or vermicomposting – isn’t just good for creating a lush garden, it’s also good for the environment. Worm castings improve soil health, which helps plants fight pests, diseases and other environmental stressors. They can also help soil hold more moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering, and minimizing erosion and nutrient loss. By recycling kitchen scraps, you’re also helping to divert organic materials from the landfill, encouraging natural nutrient cycling. Not to mention, it helps keep a little extra green in your wallet by reducing the need for extra water and fertilizer costs.

Here is a “recipe” and a few helpful tips from our worm composting expert, Terry, to help you get started! 

Hand holding worms in worm composting mound

Materials needed:

  • Shredded newspaper
  • 1 cup coffee grounds
  • ½ cup sand
  • ¼ cup dirt
  • ¼ cup eggshells
  • 8oz. red wiggler worms
  • 8oz. worm castings
  • 1 “burrito” of kitchen scraps wrapped in newspaper

Types of worms used:

  • Red Wiggler Worms, Eisenia fetida

Red Wigglers process large amounts of organic material, are fast reproducers, and tolerate a wide range of temperatures and conditions. They are tough and withstand handling well.



What foods/scraps to add in:

  • Vegetable scrapsscraps of food on newspaper for composting
  • Fruit (avoid citrus)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Coffee filters
  • Tea bags
  • Bread/pasta (in limited quantities)
  • Eggshells

What NOT to add in:

  • Meat
  • Dairy (eggshells ok)
  • Citrus
  • Onions

How to add in scraps:

Spread out a sheet or two of newspaper, plop scraps onto the paper and fold it into a “burrito” 


Step 1: Create a compost burrito using kitchen scraps.
Step 2:  Add damp shredded newspaper to the bottom of a worm bin along with the compost burrito.
Step 3: Layer in the coffee grounds, sand, dirt and eggshells.
Step 4: Add the worms!
Step 5: Layer the worm castings on top – the castings have good bacteria that will help get things going.
Step 6: Mix it up!
Step 7: Leave the bin uncovered and let the worms do what they do best. 

worm casting in garden bed

After a few months, you’ll have a bin filled with healthy compost to sprinkle on the plants around your garden. 

If you’re looking for even more ways to get started with worm composting, be sure to check out these upcoming events and activities at the Garden! 

  •  All About Worms (May 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.) – Join educators from Solana Center for Environmental Innovation for a free hands-on workshop to teach you all about how to get started and maintain a happy home for red wiggler worms.
  • SAPLinGS (Every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m.) – As part of our Science, Art and Play in Garden Spaces children’s programing, kids and adults can help out in the Incredible Edibles garden to water, weed and learn all about other activities that keep a home garden healthy, including worm composting!