Benefits of Worm Composting
We all know the benefits of compost to a healthy garden and a robust crop. What if you do not have a tractor to turn the compost or the space to implement a large compost bin? Worm composting can be a very good and organic option. In the wild worms aerate and naturally turn our soil leaving behind beneficial vermicompost. This is rich in nutrients that our plants need to begin life and sustain a healthy growing season.
What is Worm Composting?
It is an effort to utilize the natural function of a worm to turn food scraps and organic material into vermicompost, or worm compost. The worms eat the scraps turning them into compost in their body leaving behind a nutrient rich compost. This compost is captured in a worm bin and utilized by the farmer to fertilize their plants.
Use only raw fruit and vegetable scraps. Stay away from meats, oils and dairy products, which are more complex materials than fruits and vegetables. Thus, they take longer to break down and can attract pests. Cooked foods are often oily or buttery, which can also attract pests. Orange rinds and citric fruits should be avoided as they can attract fruit flies and spread rather quickly in your bins. Stay away from smelly items like onions, garlic, and broccoli as well to keep your compost bins virtually scentless.
The containers you choose are up to you but we like the following recommendation below:
The Worm Factory's standard 4-Tray size is expandable up to 7 trays, allowing you to produce as much worm castings as you may need. When full, each tray weighs only 12.5 pounds making lifting and arranging trays effortless. The trays are light and easy to handle. The bins come in three different colors based on preference. I set this unit in my garage and the worms are working away at great spring compost.
Red wigglers are the worms you want to add to your bins. Common garden worms do not eat the garbage and will not produce the golden compost. If you take care of your red wigglers they will tirelessly eat your garbage day in and day out moving up from the bottom box to the next container all the way to the top. Leaving behind compast for all your gardening needs.
You can use worm compost immediately or store ur and use it in the next gardening season. Worms live for approximately one year but, if cared for well, they will mate and produce free baby wigglers to keep the composting rolling.
Even more important the worms can be used to make compost tea. Think of a rick tea made from compost that can be poured on your plants to give them a quick boost from your little composting heroes. Just pour a little water in your 1-2" from your rain barrel into the composter and collect the tea at the bottom spicket included in your composter.
Worm composting can be done in your garage or your basement. The worms cannot survive a winter outside and will be very happy in a non-freezing basement or garage. Happy Composting!