Vermicomposting is the process of using worms to turn kitchen waste into a black, earthy-smelling, nutrient-rich humus.
You Need 5 Basic Ingredients to Start Vermicomposting:
- A Container. Worm boxes can be purchased or made. Plastic storage containers are convenient and come in a variety of sizes. These containers are easily transported. Never snap the lid shut tight. The lid should lie loosely on the bin.
- Bedding. Use shredded corrugated cardboard, shredded paper like newspaper, or commercial worm bedding which is available in sporting goods stores, but it is also more expensive.
- Water. Place the dry, shredded bedding in a large container and add water until it covers the bedding. Squeeze the water out from the bedding as much as possible. Place the bedding in the bin and fluff. Your bedding needs to remain moist. Mist if necessary.
- Worms. The worms used in vermicomposting are called redworms (Eisenia foetida). You can order them through lawn and garden catalogs. Keep the temperature between 55 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Non-Fatty Kitchen Scraps. Add vegetable & fruit waste, coffee grounds, egg shells, and tea bags. Start slowly. Gradually increase the amount of food. Pull back a small amount of bedding and dump in the scraps. Cover the scraps with bedding.
The worms will digest the kitchen scraps and bedding faster than any other compost method, passing through the worms' bodies and becoming "castings." In about 3-4 months, the worms will have digested nearly all the garbage and bedding. The bin will be filled with a rich, black natural fertilizer. Worm castings contain five times more nitrogen, seven times more phosphorus and 11 times more potassium than soil. Remove the castings from time to time.
For more information go to www.wormlady.com.