Vermicomposting- separating worms from castings

Desire’ Posts: 31 ✭✭
edited January 2019 in Composting & Soil Fertility
There are a couple of techniques depending on how large the container the worms are in.  If you have a large container you can wait until the worms have eaten most of the food in the bin and then add food to one side only.  After a period of time the worms will naturally move toward the food and you can harvest the castings on the other side of the bin.  If your container isn’t large enough for that (and mine wasn’t) you can use the fact worms hide from bright light to your advantage.  What I’ve done for this method is 1. Dump out the contents of the worm bin onto a tarp in the sun. 2. Allow the castings to sit for a few minutes while the worms burrow deeper into the castings. 3. Scrape off the top layer of castings which should have little to no worms in it. Then repeat 2 and 3 until you are satisfied you have most of the castings and put the worms back in the bin with some good bedding material.


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,218 admin
    edited January 2019
    You might also want to watch for the egg cases and remove them. They are kind of an orange-yellow. Of course, you will want to put them back with the worms. ;)
  • Desire’
    Desire’ Posts: 31 ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    Thanks for that reminder Laurie!
  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    Great idea!

  • Alison
    Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    Thanks. I desperately need to empty my worm bins and was needing to seek the best way to do it without loosing most of my worms to the garden.

    Had no idea of the egg castings. Awesome!

  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 345 ✭✭✭


    Great suggestions!

    Worms will move deeper into the pile away from the light.

    One can also make a worm trap. They have their favorite foods, just like us. Place a piece of screen on top of worm bin, then add some melon rind. The worms will go to the rind leaving the compost behind.

    Happy growing.

  • Grounded
    Grounded Posts: 153 ✭✭✭

    Good idea, I have made compost piles and noticed worms in them when I had to move them around and was wondering how I could save the worms from all going into the garden beds. Thanks.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,131 ✭✭✭✭

    Having not actually started a worm bin yet, I was wondering how to separate the worms from the casting. Thanks for the information.