Homestead

Composting With Worms: It’s Easier Than You Think

So you’ve decided you want to start a compost bin, but you’re strapped for the time to keep up with it? Or, perhaps you aren’t too keen on keeping up with all the work it takes to maintain your compost bin. If that’s the case, maybe you should consider worm composting. After all, a sixth grader could proudly tell us that worms are the best composters, so worm composting (vermicomposting) is definitely worth taking a look at.

Worm Composting Is Less Work for You

Photo: Flickr/Melissa

The reason for composting, in general, is to create a rich product using both green organic materials and brown inorganic materials. This rich product is a type of soil full of nutrients that provide an excellent food source for your plants. However, to do this, the compost pile must be turned and mixed to provide oxygen and regulate the temperature. That can be a lot of work! When you compost with worms, the worms do all the work for you. As they tunnel through the layers of brown and green matter, they aerate the soil.

You’ll Get Faster Results

Photo: Flickr/rosepetal236

Worms speed up the process of composting, it requires much less space than traditional forms and keeps the odor and gas released into the environment to a minimum. In other words, no nasty smell! As an added benefit, the excrement they produce is a nutrient-rich plant food.

It’s Friendly on the Wallet

Photo: Flickr/Christian Guthier

The worms you will want to use are called red worms. They are commonly known as red wigglers or brandling worms and can be easily purchased at a local bait shop or garden center for a relatively cheap price. They are dedicated composters and reproduce at an alarming rate, which is great for the avid fisherman or for those who like to treat their chickens. In addition, red worms consume their own weight in food daily and are relatively easy to care for.

It’s Super Easy to Get Started

You can make or purchase a bin to get started on your worm composting. A quick and easy vermicomposter can be made of three 5-gallon pails. Take a look at this YouTube video by Go Get Some for instructions:

The bottom bucket is used to allow liquid to drain (which makes for the perfect fertilizer). The middle bucket catches worm castings and dirt. Fill the top bucket with kitchen scraps, dirt, newspaper, cardboard, and the worms. Feed them food scraps at appropriate times and they will go right to work in making you the best compost ever.

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