Worm Composting - Vermicomposting

What is Vermicomposting?

Worm composting, more commonly known as Vermicomposting, is a method of making compost from your food scraps that can be done in-doors. In addition to decomposing microbes in the soil, worms eat the food scraps, breaking them down into a rich, black, earthy-smelling humus.

Some of the benefits of vermicomposting:

  • Compost can be made inside the house.
  • There's no need to take composting materials outside in the winter time.
  • If done properly, there is no smell from the Vermicomposting bin.
  • For fishermen, you'll have a steady supply of worms that will propagate themselves in your compost bin!
Vermicomposting at Home
  1. Choose one of the myriad of commercially available vermicomposting kits available online. To make your own worm box, use a large plastic storage container. Cut 2" diameter holes in the sides of the bin near the top as well as in the lid. Attach mesh screen to the inside to block the holes. You don't want any escapees!
  2. Tear newspaper into strips and fill the worm bin. As you go, pour a little water in to moisten the paper. Don't soak it, but make sure that it is moist. Fill the bin with paper.
  3. Next you'll need worms. "Red Wrigglers" are commonly sold at bait stores and are perfect for your worm bin. Buy a few tubs and put them in one corner of the bin.
  4. Place scrap foods (see below) into the opposite corner of the worm bin.
  5. Close the lid tightly and place bin in a cool, dark place away from harm.

As the worms begin to smell the food, they will eat their way across the bedding material, creating compost as they go. Over time, the newspaper bedding and any food items that you put in will turn to vermicompost. Check the bin every few weeks, removing small amounts of excess compost and replacing with more shredded newspaper.

What to Feed your new Worm Friends

Worms can process a variety of different food scraps. From vegetable matter to some meats, they relish variety. Avoid overly acidic or salty items (pickles or pretzels), as they could harm the worms. Coffee grounds and egg shells are fine, as are bread crusts and pizza leftovers!

Remember to feed your worms atleast every other day. You'll be surprised at how fast they eat, and how quickly they multiply when they are happy with their new home!

If you notice bugs appearing in your worm bin, take it outside and let the lid off to vent. Try to avoid a lot of fruit or other foods that can attract small insects with their sweet aromas.

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