Hello gardeners, we are back with a new composting article today. The article is all about worm composting. Do you want to know what worm compost is and how to prepare worm compost? Well, and then you need to follow this complete article to know in detail about worm composting. In this article, we also discuss all the requirements in worm composting.
Introduction to Worm Composting
Worm composting is using worms to recycle food scraps and even other organic material into a valuable soil amendment that is called vermin compost, or even worm compost. Worms usually eat food scraps, which will become compost as the waste pass through the worm’s body. This compost can commonly be used to grow plants.
A Step By Step Guide to Indoor Worm Composting for Beiginners, Do’s and Don’ts
Composting with the worms is the proverbial win-win situation. It will give you a good and very convenient way to dispose of organic waste, such as vegetable peelings. It saves space in the county landfill, which is very good for the environment. It will give worms a very happy home and then all the free “eats” that they could want to eat. For those that have gardens or even potted plants, homegrown compost is a good and great way to feed and even nurture plants.
How to Create and Maintain a Worm Composting Bin
A worm composting bin, is also known as a vermin composter, can be fairly inexpensive and even very easy to maintain. There are many different ways to vermin compost. Below are the instructions on the way to build one quiet worm composting bin designed to be used inside? It’s also possible to get worm composting bins. You’ll want to place your bin in an inside space as you are doing not want the worms to freeze within the winter or get too warm within the summer. Additionally, you’ll want to place the bin during a basement or other out-of-the-way space since you’ll be producing compost and worm “tea” within the composter.
Things you will need:
First, you just need to buy, borrow or even repurpose the following listed items that you will need to start worm composting:
- Two plastic bins – one must be very taller and the rest inside the other, shorter bin.
The shorter, bottom bin doesn’t need a top. A bin made from rubber or plastic which is approximately 15 inches deep, 25 inches wide, and 5 inches high works great. The additional length allows you to scoop out the additional liquid or “worm tea” to be used elsewhere for example, within the garden, for plants, shrubs, etc.
The top tub should have a top to stay the worms from finding their way outside the box. It also must be somewhat flexible so you’ll drill holes into it. An 18-gallon tub that is roughly 15 inches deep, 20 inches wide, and even 15 inches tall works very well.
- A drill – A drill with a one-inch diameter and even a one-eighth-inch diameter drill bit is usually needed to drill the holes mentioned above.
- Screening material – The type used for window screens is good and fine – just be sure not to use metal which will rust over time when exposed to the moisture in the bin. You only need nearly about four 4 inches by 4-inch scraps of the screen. Why use screening? If you don’t cover the holes by using this material, then the worms may escape.
- Waterproof glue – it is used to keep the screens in place, even after they get wet.
- Shredded paper – it is enough to fill your bin with three inches deep and then extra to add each time you feed the worms once a week. Almost any type of paper works, but better to avoid heavy, shiny paper and even colored paper.
- A little bit of dirt – A pound will be quite enough. Just make sure that it does not have harmful chemicals in it. If all goes well, then the worms will be producing their dirt that means compost soon.
- Some amount of water – Some amount of water is needed to moisten the paper and even dirt to create a comfortable medium for the worms to survive. So, you need to soak the paper and then drain it before using it.
- Worms – A pound of red wrigglers are usually recommended because they will consume waste very quickly, but earthworms also work.
- A trowel – trowel is usually used to move the compost as needed in the bin.
- Food scraps container – you need to use a very small container with a tightly fitting top to collect all the vegetable and fruit scraps.
How to Prepare the Bins
Below there are few steps to prepare the bins:
Drill a 1-inch hole that is nearly about two inches from the top of the taller bin on one side. Then drill another hole on the opposite side. Again drill four 1/8-inch holes near the bottom near the corners of the compost bin.
Cover each of the holes with a help of vinyl screening and even glue the screening in place with waterproof glue. Make sure that the glue is completely dry before continuing to the next step.
You need to place the tall bin inside the short bin. You should not drill any holes in the short bin.
How to Prepare the Paper, Soil, Water Medium, and Adding the Worms
Combine all the shredded paper, soil, and then just enough water to dampen everything. Put the mixture into a very tall bin and then fill the bin about three inches deep. After that add your worms to the mixture and then let them get used to it for a day before feeding them. Make sure the mixture is usually very moist, but not forming puddles of water.
Feeding the Worms
Worm composting bins collect food scraps, such as vegetables and even fruit scraps, bread, tea bags, coffee grounds, and even cereal in your food scrap container as you prepare and then clean up after meals. You should not include any animal by-products that mean fat, bone, and dairy, and even meat, waste. Also, it may take the worms longer to process woody or even dry items like stems or even the outer layer of onions. Worms will eat paper as long as it is very thin or even cut into small pieces, but they will not eat plastic or any fabric tea bags, coffee filters, and the labels placed on produce by grocery stores.
Once a week, do the following things:
You need to take all the scraps to the worm bin.
Then gently use a trowel to create a hole to put the scraps into the bin.
Throw in a very small handful of shredded paper.
Then add all the food scraps to the top layer of the paper.
Cover all of the food scraps with dirt and even with moist paper. Exposed food attracts fruit flies, but covered food scraps will not attract. Add dirt and even moist paper to the bin until the worms have made enough compost to use to cover all the food scraps.
Notice what the worms are eating and even what they are not. Better to remove any scraps that your worms have not eaten for a while as they may not like that type of food, for example, some worms will not tackle a whole potato or even citrus rind but may eat them if they are cut up.
After that you just need to put the lid back on the worm bin.
Then again better to wash out the food scraps container for the coming week.
Maintaining the Bin
Once every few months, better to scoop the liquid out of the lower container and even use it as fertilizer outside on soil near plants, or you need to water it down to use on indoor plants. When the worm bin is full that means when the compost reaches the bottom of the top holes you drilled, then do the following:
You need to feed the worms on one side of the bin for a few weeks to draw the worms to that side.
When all the worms are on one side of the bin, then harvest the compost on the other side and then you can use it in pots, your garden, or even sprinkle it across your yard. You can also scoop compost and even worms onto a newspaper and then sort them out, but this is a bit messier. Make sure to harvest compost at the end of the week, just before you feed the worms again.
If there are too many worms in the worm bin, then share extras with friends and even family or release some with the dirt in your backyard.
The Five Major Mistakes in Worm Composting
Composting worms speed up the complete composting process. New worm bin owners tend to make very small mistakes. Once you get the hang of vermicomposting, you will like it. Reducing trash, saving the earth, and even creating free fertilizer make worm composting worthwhile. Your household may even adopt the worms as members of their family. let’s watch out for these five common mistakes.
Mistake #1: Overfeeding
A very enthusiastic worm bin owner will toss every available scrap into the worm bin. The worms usually cannot keep up. The bin starts to smell very terrible.
In theory, worms will eat their weight in scraps per day. However, that number might be lower, depending on air temperature and even other factors. A fool-proof method is to feed them every 2 to three days. Be conservative within the quantity. Soon, you’ll get a sense for a way much food they will handle. They ought to start eating one feeding before you add another. a whole feeding should be completely gone in 1 to 2 weeks.
Mistake #2: Wrong foods
Worms need a very healthy diet in small pieces. Whole cabbages and even watermelon rind halves will take too long to break down. Processed food that includes meat scraps, some sort of salty snacks, spicy foods, any oily sauces, yogurt, pineapple peel, and even bushels of tomatoes can very easily spoil the bin. Most non-food items are also very bad ideas.
The ideal diet for composting worms is non-acidic fruit and even vegetable scraps. Other things like grains, bread, coffee grounds, tea bags, and even pasta are also fair game. Aged grass clippings, hair, and even herbivore animal manure are very compostable. Add shredded black-ink newsprint carefully. Torn or shredded brown corrugated board is suitable. Clean, crushed eggshells add grit and calcium. All items should be small. Larger items should be a hack or run through a kitchen appliance. Very small pieces break down faster. This will reduce the odor and discourages pests.
Mistake #3: Too wet or too dry composting bedding
The over-enthusiastic worm bin owner will pour gallons of water on their worms. The negligent owner lets the bin dry out quickly. Too wet, and therefore the bin becomes stinky and the worms might drown. Too dry and therefore the worms dehydrate, cannot breathe, and can’t tunnel effectively.
The easiest thanks to checking worm bin moisture levels is by learning a couple. Squeeze it. If water comes out, it’s too wet. Worm bin bedding should have the sensation of a wrung-out sponge.
Better to see our instructions for drying out a wet worm bin. Also, determine the way to keep the bin moist.
Mistake #4: Forget to harvest worm castings
Avid gardeners eagerly anticipate removing finished compost from their worm bin. Fresh “black gold” is that the best organic to form plants grow. Gardeners mark the times until the worm castings are ready for harvesting.
However, non-gardeners typically specialize in reducing trash and odor. For them, the worm castings are a side-effect. Their worm bin eventually fills up completely with worm castings. Adding more trays or getting a bigger bin puts off the inevitable.
Harvesting finished compost means that separating worm castings from the worms. you’ll leave bedding behind for the worms to measure in. employing a screen should only take 30 to an hour. Making mounds takes each day, mostly waiting time. Tray-based composting bins might only take 10 minutes.
Compost is often harvested:
At the beginning and end of the season
Whenever it’s getting full
As needed, if the worms are within the bins for a minimum of three months and there are extra worm castings inside
If you’ve got more “black gold” than you would like, donate it to an area gardening project or neighbor.
Mistake #5: Too hot or too cold
Just like people, composting worms have a very ideal temperature range. The worm bin and even bedding will help in regulating the temperature. When the air temperature is below 12°, worms will slow down. And below freezing, they can die.
Commonly Asked Questions about Worm Composting
In case if you miss this: Epsom Salt For Gardening.
What is needed for worm composting?
So, all you need is a very small box, one moist newspaper strips, and even some worms. To figure out how to set up a worm bin, first, you need to consider what worms need to live. If your bin provides what worms need, then it will be very successful. Worms need moisture, air, food, darkness, and even warm which means but not hot temperatures.
Can I use regular earthworms for making compost?
The good and best kinds of earthworms to use are red worms, also called “red wigglers” and even “manure worms”. These worms survive in decomposing organic matter such as leaf piles, compost heaps, and even old manure piles. They are very smaller than night crawlers and are reddish-brown.
How many worms do I need to start composting at starting?
Amazingly, all the red wiggler worms which are composting worms will eat roughly half their weight every day. So, if your daily average food waste is nearly 2 lbs., you will need to add roughly 4 lbs. of composting worms to eat that much amount each day. In this scenario, 4 lbs. of worms are your ideal and optimal worm composting herd.
Do I need worms for compost?
No, you should not add any worms to your compost pile. Outside, the composting process happens with and even without the help of earthworms. Composting worms will usually find their way to a compost pile.
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