My no cost bathtub worm farm

There was an old bathtub lying at my place, I thought maybe I could get someone to haul it away but a friend of mine suggested turning it into a worm farm and he told me about worm juice and how great it is for fertilising the garden crops. Sounded like a good idea but the tub sat there for almost another year until today I finally did turn it into a worm farm.

I got some ideas about how to do it from these web pages:

However I didn’t get as fancy as either of the above – I kept it very simple so that I could finish it in a few hours just using scraps of materials that I already had lying around. I didn’t have anyone to help me lifting the bathtub so I made the ends of the frame first and then raised up one end at a time onto each end piece of the frame (just four pieces of wood nailed into a square). Then I attached some boards along the length (two at the front and one at the back) to stabilise and complete the frame.

Bathtub in frame

To make a drainage area in the bottom of the bath I simply laid some pieces of wood across the bottom. Because the bottom of the tub is curved, liquid can flow under the wood.

Pieces of wood laid in bottom of tub

Then I added a layer of weed mat material – 2 pieces accross the width and one on top of that lengthwise, secured with duct tape.

Add weed mat

Weed mat added

For the bedding I used some torn up newspaper and cardboard along with a few forks of damp leaves.

Added some torn up cardboard & newspaper

I got the worms from my compost bin. I wasn’t sure if they would be the right worms for a worm farm but got some good info from Rodney of and determined my boys were the right ones for the job – tiger worms.

Close up of worms

I forked in some of the worm rich top layer from the compost bin which also contained some food scraps that I had but in earlier in the day.

Wormy compost mixture

Tub with compost and worms

And to finish it off a layer of cardboard on top to cover the worms and keep them in the dark and then a sheet of wood as a cover over the top of the bathtub. And a container under the drain for collecting the worm juice.

Covered over with some cardboard

Cover over the top


  1. Worm farm looks great and yes they look like tigers to me … eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be. One point that I would make is that you may find that the weed mat doesn’t stay together very well with the tape and allows the worms to escape into the area below the grate. Once there I found they either drowned or had difficulty finding their way back. Had this problem with my first tub farm but solved it by getting our daughter to sew the two edges together. That’s one skill I don’t have.

    That bath looks like cast iron … if so I bet it was heavy! Been there done that.

    Thanks for the acknowledgments and only too pleased to help … cheers.

      • Aidan on 4 July 2010 at 12:14 pm
      • Reply

      Yes it’s heavy. I thought I would have to get someone to help me but I was able to manage it by just lifting one end at a time.

      I reckon it should stay dry in the bottom as the liquid will be draining out the plug hole but we’ll see how it goes.

      One question I have that you might be able to answer is how much stuff (compost/food scraps/worms from compost bin) to put into the tub? As you can see in the photo I’ve started with just a few inches in the bottom but wondering if should add more in, what do ya reckon?

  2. Hi Aidan
    What you have there I believe is fine … it obviously will build up as you feed them. I estimate that I have 5000 to 6000 worms in each of my tub farms. Took about 6 months to get to these levels.

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