Friday, 13 March 2009

Vermicomposting - Composting with Worms!


Vermi Composting Is Composting With Worms.

It's very easy to do, really. Earthworms turn your organic waste into beautiful compost. It's by far, the best way to compost kitchen waste.

Worm castings contain five times more nitrogen, seven times more phosphorus, and 11 times more potassium than ordinary soil, the main minerals needed for plant growth.

The casts are also rich in humic acids, which condition the soil, have a perfect pH balance, and contain plant growth factors similar to those found in seaweed. What could be better for your garden?
In Canada, where snow covers our composters and gardens, we all make excuses as to why we are putting vegetable scraps in the landfil instead of the garden, but vermicomposting can be done year round, right in your kitchen, and without any smell!

Here's how:

Purchase a plastic storage tote from the hardware store.
It is best to drill ¼-inch holes in the bottom, sides and top of the box, not just for drainage but for aeration. You don't want the worms smother!
The box should one square foot of surface area for each person in the household.
e.g: A 2' x 2' x 2' box can take the food waste of four people.
Bedding materials can include shredded newspaper, corrugated cardboard, peat moss, and partially decomposed leaves.
Worm boxes should be filled with bedding to provide the worms with a mixed diet as well as a damp and aerated place to live.
Tear newspaper or cardboard into strips before first. Bedding material should be moistened by in water for several minutes. Squeeze out excess water before adding it to your worm box.
Cover food waste with a few inches of bedding so flies won't becom a problem.
Red wigglers are the best for vermicomposting. They thrive on organic material such as yard waste and fruit and vegetable scraps.

Do feed them:
Coffee grounds or filters
Fruit and vegetable scraps
Small plant material
Tea leaves with bags

Do NOT feed them:
Bones
Milk and Dairy products
Fish
Greasy foods
Meat
Peanut butter
Pet/cat litter/feces
Vegetable oil/salad dressing

To Harvest castings, feed one end of the box for a week or more. Most worms will find their way to that side. Remove two-thirds of the worm castings from the opposite end and apply fresh bedding . Start burying food waste in the new bedding, and the worms will move back.

Here are some great links to get you started... Have fun!! : )
~A fun way for educators to Introduce Children to Vermicomposting



Or...Build your own bin. Click here:

4 comments:

April said...

I did Vermicomposting as a lesson when I was student teaching. The kids had a lot of fun learning about the worms and we used the compost around a tree the school had planted for Arbor Day :D

KarenSloan-WallFlowerStudio said...

April, thanks very much for commenting. I think it's wonderful that you introduced kids to vermicomposting. What a wonderful way to celebrate Arbor Day : )

Andrea said...

We recently purchased a worm factory! We are waiting for our worms to arrive! I think this is a great way to introduce children to composting. My kids are excited that they will soon have worms, lol!

KarenSloan-WallFlowerStudio said...

Andrea, you are so right. It's the perfect way to introduce composting to kids. I hope your family has lot's of fun with it all, and I'd love to hear how it all goes! : )

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