Perhaps you have heard the age old adage that you can’t get anything for free. This is true for most things in life with the exception of vermicomposting or what many call worm composting. Basically, worms will take your organic garbage and transform it almost magically into a type of compost that is rich and ready to be planted with your garden plants to enhance their growth and make your food that much more nutritious. There are a few things you should know about worm compost that will show you clearly why it works so well.
Regardless of the affordability factor, worm compost is one of the richest forms of fertilizer that you can use in your garden today. Although this is a very simplified idea, it simply has to do with you taking a handful of worms, dumping them in a bin of dirt with some newspaper, a little water, and your every day organic trash such as leftover vegetables and in a few weeks you will have your worms producing the richest fertilizer that you may ever use for your indoor or outdoor plants.
The reason why this is possible is that worms are ultimately natures greatest recyclers because they can take your organic garbage and turn it into expensive gardening real estate. Red worms are typically used in any worm composting bin which can be as small as a Tupperware container with holes or as large as a rain barrel depending upon how much compost you actually want to produce.
Be careful how much food that you give the worms because over time they will begin to overcrowd themselves and you may need to expand your operation which can only be good for you especially if your garden is in need of extra compost from time to time. Some people will actually use buckets and harvest the compost in as short as two to three weeks. Often times 50 to 60 days is necessary in order to keep a proper balance of happiness with your worms as well as moisture content and cocoon productivity.
Probably the most expensive thing that you will have to invest in is in the worms themselves which run about $25 to $35 a pound, which is about a thousand worms. Also remember that the container that you keep them in should be relatively warm as red worms do not produce well or create compost well in colder climates.
As far as a worm bin goes for your worm compost, you can usually pick one up for $20-$30 for a medium-sized one or if you are interested in a barrel, it would be a good idea to get a plastic one. Typically water barrels are made from oak because oak wood is used in wine barrels that are commonly seen in many landscaping schemes. Oak wood has an acid which is detrimental to your worm population so you would be better served to spend her money on a sturdy plastic container.
The average amount of worm compost that you harvest may vary depending on whether or not you provided the worms with ideal conditions of air, moisture, and food. Make sure that the bottom of the bin or the container that you are using has drainage holes for the excess water and if you have a lid on top it needs to be aerated with holes on the sides as well as on top of the container itself. Worms can be very finicky and you will have to get to know how the worm bedding feels with your hands in order to make sure that it is moist enough for the worms to continue breeding and creating compost. The moisture content should feel like a wrung-out sponge.
Once you have your worms supply, and you have your bedding and dirt ready in your worm container, simply put the worms on the top and they will penetrate down to about six to 8 inches beneath the bedding. Add the food scraps on a regular basis on the top making sure to close the lid because despite the fact they do not have eyes, worms are photophobic and will not come to the food if there is too much light.
That is it! You are now on your way to creating the best vermicomposting for your garden. By following the simple steps provided, you should have enough compost to add to your small garden and create and enough food for your family on a regular basis all year long. And the beauty of the system is not only is it repeatable but it can grow to exponential proportions. By simply adding more material and increasing the area in which you work, you can create your quality worm compost for not only yourself but over time could probably sell enough of it to pay for all of your gardening needs.