I am interested in making a worm bed to raise worms for fishing. Can you give me info on type of soil, type of box, which kind of worms to raise, can you raise earthworms and redworms together, etc.?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Terry in Kentucky: Vermiculture is a great way to reduce waste, add nutrients to the garden, and in your case, raise bait for fishing. It is quite simple, you will want to start off by either making or purchasing a home for your worms. It does not need to be fancy by any means, but if you decide to make your own it should be assembled out of exterior plywood. You will want to avoid using pressure-treated wood since there is potential for it to be toxic to your worms. In terms of dimensions of the container, they do not have to be exact but approximately 1 ft. tall, 2 ft. deep, and 3 ft. wide will suffice. Drainage is essential so drill a dozen or so holes in the bottom of the box. After the box is built/purchased, you will want to fill it with 10 lbs. of shredded newspaper (only the black and white sections), cardboard, or printer paper. Then add 1 gallon of basic garden soil or topsoil purchased from your local garden center. Then add 4 gallons of water. All this should be done a couple days before adding the worms. You can raise both redworms and earthworms together. The redworms tend to live closer to the surface and have an incredibly high reproduction rate. The earthworms are larger worms that may be better fishing bait but they do not have a very high reproduction rate. Feed your worms as often as you like with kitchen scraps, and anything that you would add to a compost bin such as veggies, fruits, coffee grinds, etc., but avoid any meat products. You will want to keep the bin where it will not be exposed to temperatures below 40 degrees F. Ideally the temperatures should range between 40 and 90 degrees F. You will want to harvest your worms at least every couple of months or sooner if you need fishing bait.