Worm Composting Tips: Working and Feeding

Worm Worms Earth Vermiculture Agriculture Field

Composting is the natural process of carefully recycling organic matter, such as food scraps and leaves, into a precious fertilizer that can enrich soil 

Compost, you say? What in the world does a worm have to do with composting? Well, my friend, let me tell you more.

Worms play a vital part in the composting process. There’s an entire composting process called vermicomposting or vermiculture which involves food scraps, yard wastes, and worms. 

Worm composting means using and employing worms to recycle waste food scraps and other organic waste material into an important soil amendment called worm compost or vermicompost. Worms hog food scraps, which turns into compost as they pass through their body.

How does it work?

When visiting troubled gardeners and composters alike, I normally tell them that if they start composting with worms, they’ll have to adapt to a few changes. For instance, one of the first mistakes that many novice composters make is using the wrong worm.

Though commonly found in the soil of any backyard and along sidewalks on rainy days, Earthworms make for excellent fishing bait but not for worm composting. The reason is that even though earthworms aerate the soil, they don’t properly digest the organic matter and produce worm castings, which is what’s needed for composting. The best worms to use in the composting world are red wiggler worms. 

“Nightcrawlers work well, also, but they don’t tend to survive for long in too damp of an environment. You’d be better off with red wigglers.”

To ensure a successful composting experience, you’ll have to keep your worms happy, which means you have to feed them regularly. “Things like banana peels, chopped up vegetable stalks and leaves, in addition to some grit like a cup full of soil and some newspaper strips will keep your worms feeding and wanting for more.” After a few weeks, you’re most certainly guaranteed to have rich, black gold known as worm castings to add to your garden’s soil. 

Feeding the Worms

  1. Take the food scraps to the worm bin (make it using an eco-friendly container).
  2. Use a trowel (very gently) to make a hole to put the food scraps into.
  3. Throw in a handful of clean paper.
  4. Add all the food waste scraps on top of the paper.
  5. Cover ALL of the food scraps with moist and dirt paper
  6. Notice and record what the worms are hogging and what they are not.
  7. Repeat regularly.

Before concluding, I also want to add, “Unlike dogs, you won’t have to maintain who’s the boss in this relationship; your worms will be the hardiest of workers!”

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