Worm Composting - Vermicomposting
Worm composting, or Vermicomposting, is another way to decompose plant matter.
Worms do the work of consuming compostable materials. The worms excrete nutrient
and mineral rich worm castings. Assuming you are using all organic raw compost
materials, the output is also organic.... healthy for you and your plants!
Earthworms create worm casting equal to their weight every day. Worm castings
are highly valued by experienced gardeners.Worm castings are such a valuable
plant fertilizer, that some companies are in the business of managing worm
farms to produce and sell worm castings.
Did you Know? People once thought garden earthworms were a bad thing.
Many people confused them with snakes. As a result, gardeners would try to
rid their gardens of this "pest".
How to Make a Worm Farm
It's easy to make and maintain a worm farm:
Select a large wooden, or plastic box or container.
Drill small holes in the bottom for water to drain.
Add ample amounts of bedding materials: shredded paper, cardboard, leaves
or other brown "materials". Avoid color printed newspaper.
Moisten the bedding material.
You can also add decomposed manure (not raw).
Next, mix in food for them. Use plant matter. Kitchen scraps makes a great
food for your worms.
Do not add dairy products, oils or bones.
Add redworm or earthworms.
Cover the top with a layer of wet newspaper.
The worms will feed on the plant matter, and leave castings behind.
Continue to provide a regular supply of plant matter...it's their food source.
Keep the worm farm in a cool, dark location. If the container is in sunlight,
it can get too hot for the worms to survive.
Harvest finished compost, which is full of rich worm castings. Carefully,
remove the worms, and place them back into the container.
A healthy and successful worm farm will maintain a population of worms
indefinitely, with worms reproducing.
Not all Worms are Equal:
There are virtually thousands of varieties of worms, found all over the world.
Red worms and earthworms are the common residents of a worm farm.
Red Worms - These little guys are the most often used for worm composting.
Most people who have worm farms prefer to use efficient, hard working red
Nightcrawlers - Those big, fat worms that fisherman seek, are good
composters, too. They are also effective aerators, helping to loosen the
soil so plant roots can spread easier. Their big, deep tunnels and
burrows allow water and moisture to penetrate deeper into the soil where
your plant's roots are. Nightcrawlers also leave plenty of worm castings
Worm Casting Liquid Fertilizer - Castings can be made into a liquid
tea to fertilize for all of your plants, indoors and out.