by Kelly Casey
Have you ever heard of worm composting? I know about composting. I have a small composting pile brewing in my backyard. However, the first time I’ve heard of worm composting, I have to ask (embarrassingly I might add) twice if the person was not joking.
When I got home, I searched the web and found out that those wriggly friends do help make compost. The process is interestingly different from the regular composting procedure.
Work composting or vermiculture is easy, affordable, and low-maintenance way of creating compost. It has a lot of advantages. Definitely it requires less work, just let the worms eat up all your scraps and in two months you’ll have rich compost at your disposal.
The worms used in composting are the brown-nose worms or redworms. They work best in containers and on moistened bedding. Those night crawlers or large, soil-burrowing worms are not good for composting purposes.
Just stick with the redworms and things will work out well. All you need to do is add food waste to the container and soon enough the worms will eat them up and convert compost together with the bedding.
Before placing your redworms inside containers, place a nice layer ofpaper to serve as bedding for the worms. Any kind of paper will do, but it has been observed that the worms will consume newspapers, cardboard, paper towels and other coarse papers faster.
The worms will eat this layer of bedding together with the scraps of food to convert them in compost. You can also add a bit soil on top of the paper and a few pieces of leaves. If your redworm container is located outside the house, try considering adding livestock manure on it. Redworms love them.
Fruits, grain, or vegetables are great for worm composting. The redworms can even eat egg shells, coffee grounds, and even tea bags. Avoid giving them meat, fish, oil, and other animal products. Like the traditional composting, these materials only attract pests to the composting bin and also produce bad smell.
The proportion of worms to food scraps will be based on how much scrap you like to be composted in a week. For example, if you want 1 pound of food scrap to be composted a week, all you need is also a pound of redworms.
You don’t need to add redworms into the container unless you want to increase the amount of food scraps you intend to compost in a weekly basis.
For containers, keep it well ventilated to let the air in and let the excess moisture out. You can use plastic bins, and even wooden boxes for worm composting.
The time to harvest would be when the container is full. Scoop out the undigested food scraps as well as the works which are usually on the top few inches of the material. The remaining material inside the container is your compost. To remove the remaining worms from compost, you can spread the compost under the sunlight.
Leave a few small mounds of compost. As the heat dries the compost, the worms will gather in the mounds. Just be careful not to leave the compost under the sun that long or the worms will die.
Afterwards, you can place the worms in the container again and repeat the process all over. You see, this is how our wriggly friends help make compost and for those who don not mind the feeling of worms in their hands, this might be a good and easy way to make compost.
Click here to read more about DIY garden compost