Yes, it is possible to give a new life to your organic waste and food scraps. Even you don’t need to work alone in the garden. You can take the aid of some kind of wriggly little friends. In the end, you’ll have finished material that will be money-saving, and environment friendly.
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You can make an initiative to give a happy home and free food as much as you can to these worms. At first, you’ll feel like who should be engaged in this daunting process, but my friend it is not. This can be an odorless and easy process if you’ll done it correctly. So, let’s dive deep into the guide to vermicomposting.
What is vermicomposting?
When worms eat natural materials like fruit peels and then break down such materials through digestion, this process can be referred to as vermicomposting. Whatever the finished product, it would be an incredible soil amendment that can be easily mixed into your soil as a fertilizer.
The list doesn’t end here, even you can expect worm tea at the end. This tea is kind of a liquid that is produced chiefly while the composting process is taking place. You can do vermicompost anywhere you want, like school, home, kitchen, etc.
How to make your worm bin?
- 2 dark-colored plastic bins (12 inches deep) and one lid.
- Bedding includes shredded paper, leaves, cardboard, hay, etc.
- Small ceramic brick/pot.
- You can drill between 3/32″ to 3/16″ on the upper side of your bin with 15 to 20 holes. On the bottom side, again, drill 12 to 20 holes.
- Take your other bin and use its bottom to place a small ceramic brick/pot. Now, inside this bin, try to stack it with air. Your brick/pot will aid in ensuring the space for the collection of waste.
- In your top bin, place bedding of around 4 to 6 inches. Finally, it’s time to add worms once you’re done with bedding materials. Such worms will burrow their way by own down into the bedding. One more thing to do is just cover the top bin with a lid.
How to choose your worms?
It is better not to collect any worms present in your yard. You can check in your area to purchase the appropriate kind of species. It is a fact that your worm will mainly depend on the climate you have, but the points mentioned below will make it clear:
1) European nightcrawler worms
You can spot such worms deep into the soil and in cooler temperatures. They might be low at reproducing in comparison to red wiggler, but you expect a great end product.
2) Red wigglers
This name of worm is most common, and you must have come across the term red wigglers. Their tolerance for a range of temperatures makes them special, and thus, these worms can be good to go for several countries.
3) Indian blue worms & African nightcrawlers
In the end, you can give Indian blue worms and African nightcrawlers a try. However, such kinds of worms are better suited if you’re living in a tropical environment.
What to feed your worms?
Start with small amounts of food for your worms and keep a check on the time taken to eat it. In case, worms left over a lot of waste, then try to add smaller pieces by chopping up the food. Boost the amount until you can finally add the equivalent of half the weight of worms daily.
Any kind of vegetable or fruit food waste can be eaten by worms. Things must be avoided, like bones, meat, dairy, etc, which directly come from an animal. Worms might also face difficulty with the outer layers of onions, and even they fail to tolerate much citrus amounts.
What is the right location for your worm bin?
Have you ever seen worms moving in place exposing them to light? No, because worms are well suited to the environment, like dark and moist. You can locate them anywhere, it can be a garage, sink, basement, or pantry.
It would be best if you locate your worm compost bin in areas with temperatures between 40- 80˚F. If harsh winters are going on in your area, then immediately move the bin inside your house during such months.
Troubleshoot vermicompost issues
1) Worms are crawling out
There are no issues if you spot a few worms coming out from the bin, but it can be an environmental problem if a lot are escaping. The problem might comprise temperature, infestation, and moisture.
2) Fruit flies
It would be really easy to get a fruit fly infestation if you by mistake saved compost on the kitchen counter. So, it is better to use bedding properly to cover the food waste. Try to cut large pieces into small and never let anything just rot in your bin.
3) Smelly bin
If there is any food waste rotting, then immediately dig through the bedding and remove it. Such kind of smell might be signaling a moisture problem. Try to balance things out with dry paper and cardboard bedding. With this, your worm’s bin bedding will get back to its spongy moisture level.
If you ever spot eggs, insects, or furry creatures, then it is better to take the bin outside to harvest the castings. It can be a good time for cleaning out your worm bin and removing any kind of old bedding or rotting food. In case, there is a rodent invader, then holding the lid down with rocks will work.
You can reduce your food scrap waste in the most environmentally friendly way for your stunning garden. Why don’t you give it a try to vermicomposting to make nutritious and rich compost? You can reap its advantages even if you’re living in a city apartment.