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Vermicomposting

Commonly known as worm composting, vermicomposting is the process of using red or other types of worms to convert organic/food waste into humus, a nutrient-rich soil conditioner. It is simply composting with worms.

Getting Started

  • The worm container can either be a plastic container or home-made from plywood. A good size for a bin is 12" high x 16" deep x 24" long, or about 50L. An aeration hole should be cut in the top of the box.
  • Bedding can be bought at a local retailer, or if you choose to make it yourself there are many suitable materials: shredded or mulched newspaper (soaked), shredded fall leaves, chopped up straw, sawdust or peat moss (soaked).
  • Put the mixed bedding in the bin to a depth of 6-8 inches, it should be light and airy.
  • Place your red wigglers on top of the moistened bedding, keep the lid off and after a few minutes the worms should all disappear into their new home.
    Your worm bin can be located in a number of places; kitchen, patio, garage, basement, closet. The location should be dark, well ventilated room, as long as the temperature does not drop below 4 degrees Celsius.

What Worms Eat

Acceptable Food

Unacceptable Food

egg shells (crushed)

coffee grounds & filter

fruit peelings

tea bags

vegetable peelings

houseplant clippings

breads & grains

pasta (plain & cooked)

peanut hulls (no nuts)

dairy products

fats

meats

oil or oily foods

peanut butter

starches

 

Red wigglers will eat half their weight in food scraps every day. So for every pound of red wigglers, feed half that weight in food waste. Feeding twice a week is fine. Bury the food waste by pulling aside some of the bedding, dump the waste and then cover it up. Each time you feed your worms, choose a different location.

Harvesting Your Compost

Harvest your bin every 2-3 months, when the original bedding has turned into an indistinguishable mass. Move the contents of the bin to one side, and add new food to the new bedding on the opposite side. The worms will leave the old pile for the new one in search of food. After a few days, remove all the finished castings.

The Finished Product

Worm compost is concentrated, so a little goes a long way!
Add compost directly to your garden or mix some with potting soil. You can even sprinkle some on the soil of house plants.

Vermicomposting Contacts

Cathy's Crawly Composters: www.cathyscomposters.com or Toll Free: 1-888-775-9495