How Many Trays to Use When Starting a Worm Farm?



When setting up a worm farm vermicomposting system, how many trays should I start with?

Most of the worm farms that are sold at garden centres use a stackable tray design, and when first starting, use only a single tray. When the first tray is full, when the contents reach the fill line on the inside of the tray, then add a second tray.

It takes a while to fill a tray, as the food that’s added disappears in a few days, and the level drops back down. When the food is converted to worm castings, the level in the tray doesn’t go down anymore, and that’s when a new empty tray is stacked on top of the existing one.

For more information on setting up and managing worm farms, please see my article – The Complete Guide to Worm Farming, Vermicomposting Made Easy


Got any gardening questions? Please feel free to add them to the comments below or email them to if you would like them answered. Make sure to include pictures in your emails if they help explain a garden problem!


  1. Love it. I use a fairly basic worm farm that I built from an old bathtub, and keep out of sight near my apartments veggie patch. I basically just keep adding to it and the worms munch it down. I didnt have much luck at all with my store bought layered kit so gave up onthat one after a few months and went the ‘whole hog’ with the bathtub


  2. I am trying to answer a question about my upgraded worm ‘hotel’ please. I have three stacking tote bins. The bottom has a spigot and will be for drainage only now (i used this one bin for the past 6 months and want to upgrade to the three bins system to make harvesting easier).

    The second bin has holes in the bottom and my healthy happy worms now placed in this bin in their soil.

    Now it’s the third bin I want to discuss…I have put holes in the bottom and top edge of this bin and when i put it inside the second bin, it sits right on top of the soil of the second bin…there is no air gap and I assume that is good so the worms will easily migrate upward, however, as a result there is now airflow either as the third bin is directly on top of the worms in the second bin. Is this ok? I set it up tonight and have been scouring the internet to get some guidance but I andy find anyone who says whether the third bin should sit on the soil layer of the second bin or not. I don’t want to suffocate them….thank you for your help!


    1. Worm farms that use stacking trays are designed so that the trays sit at a certain level in the tray below them, which is exactly where the fill line is, which indicates when the tray is filled to the maximum level. The base of the upper tray will sit on the surface of the materials below, enabling the worms to crawl into the upper tray. That said, the trays sit on a hard stop in the tray below, which keeps all trays spaced apart at a particular height, so if any weight was put on the top tray or lid, it would not compress the contents below!


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s