Vermicomposting in a nutshell

Food waste disposers help you to get rid of food waste but often composting is a better solution. One special kind of composting is vermicomposting, in which worms are used. Far from everyone likes the idea but it is actually a very good solution for indoor composting. Here is a short article telling all about vermicomposting in a nutshell.

As mentioned, far from everyone likes worm composting but it is actually very well suited for indoor use. Vermicomposting as it is called has a number of advantages, here are a few of the most important:

– does not smell
– requires very little space
– produces high-quality soil
– requires little maintenance

You have some initial costs, you need a compost bin and worms. After that, vermicomposting is cheap. You can construct your own compost bin but you can buy worm bins relatively cheap nowadays so that is an easier solution.

Since worms prefer to stay near the surface, a deep container is not optimal. Instead, a set of trays maximizes the amount of surface area. That’s why you have a lot of stackable tray solutions on the market. The worms will move upwards once they have eaten themselves through the food in a tray.

Note that only a few worm species are suitable for vermicomposting. Don’t just take some you managed to dig up from your garden. Most often used are red wigglers and red earthworms. You can order worms online or by mail-order. Note that if you live in a very hot climate, such as in southern Florida, you need to use other worms, for example blueworms.

So how many worms do you need? As a rule of thumb, worms eat half their weight every day. So if you have one pound of worms, they eat about half a pound of waste. But be careful not to overfeed your worms, excess waste may start to smell or attract flies.

You create a home for your worms by using paper, cardboard or grass and a little bit of soil. You need to shred the paper. Make sure that the paper, grass or cardboard is wet. The worms will die if their skin dries out. Place the soil on top. All together you should have at least ten inches.

Once the worms have settled into their new home, you can add a little bit of food waste. The worms need a little bit of practice before they get up to speed, so don’t give them too much food scrap in the beginning. Add new food waste once the previous scraps are almost gone.

Don’t put any meat or dairy products into your worm compost. Also avoid grease and oil. Be careful with salty food, too much of it may dry out your worms.

Maintaining the right moisture in your worm compost will probably be the biggest challenge. If it gets to dry, the worms will die. The moisture should be between 60% and 85%. Note that it can get too wet as well, so don’t add too much water.

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