Worm Composting in the Tropics

April 20, 2016

I love composting. I don’t have a compost bin here in Mazatlán since our yard is small. But even in a small yard I am hoping it will be possible to compost with worms and keep them alive over the summer.

I’ve had worm bins for many years, and love having that compost bucket on the counter and having a weekly visit with my little wriggly friends. This year I got some worms from farmer Sacramento at the Organic Market and they seem to be very happy in their home in my backyard underneath the elephant ears.

If you haven’t kept a worm bin before I’d recommend reading “Worms Eat My Garbage” by Mary Appelhof.” It’s been around a long time but it’s a good book. You could also watch a video – like this one here from my friend Kennie showing how to make his own worm bin here in Mazatlán. He has inspired me to try to compost with worms here even though the summers are a bit hot for them.


As it gets warmer I’ll keep an eye on them to see if they seem to be dying or trying to get out of their tub. If that’s the case I will probably go ahead and spread the compost in my yard and hope they survive.

If you don’t know a lot about worm composting, the idea is that you set up a bin with coconut fiber, peat moss, or torn up newspaper. After you’ve brought home a coffee cup size quantity of worms you can start adding vegetable matter about once a week. The worms will migrate over to the new material and eat and eat until you can’t tell what it once was. Eventually you can use the rich worm castings as top dressing to your plants.

It’s worth doing even if you don’t have a lot of space. I love having a worm bin, now it’s time for me to figure out how to have a couple of chickens, too!

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.