Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wonderful Worms

Worm Composting 101

Worm humus is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by Eisenia fetida Vermicompost is a nutrient-rich, natural fertilizer and soil conditioner. The process of producing vermicompost is called vermicomposting .

My WCFFL (worm-composting-friend-for-life, duh) Kendra and I set out last week with the plan of starting worm compost bins for her NHNG (New-House/New-Garden) and my NHPG (No-House/Porch-Garden... get with it guys) and the ultimate goal of WPCoLTGH (worm-poop-circle-of-life-total-garden-happiness!) On 2/24 our worms came in the mail! Kendra ordered our worms from Uncle Jims Worm Farm and I give them a thumbs up for fast delivery and for all of the worms still being alive when we opened them up. Way to go Uncle Jim! It is important to get your worms into their new home ASAP so without further delay we dove into the process of setting up our worm bins. The steps are as follows:

Order the right worms. You will need Red Wrigglers, not earth worms from your garden. Our worms arrived in an adorable and totally random tiny white fire hydrant....

You will need to set up the worm boxes before you bust those worms out of their tiny mobile hotel room. Start with about a 10 gallon opaque Tupperware bin. You could spend lots of money on a fancy worm bin but it isn't totally necessary for the average home gardener. Drill air holes in your bin, no larger than 1/4th on an inch. We put maybe 30 holes? Then fill your bin with torn up news paper.

Next, you will need to thoroughly wet down the news paper. It should feel uniformly like a wrung out sponge. Damp, but not dripping. Moist enough for worms to slide through without dry spots they will get stuck in.

Next add some food scraps. This can be things like banana peels, apple cores, broccoli stems, wilted lettuce, etc. Almost any fruit/veggie is fine. We used expired portabella mushrooms, stale bread, and some cooked rice. DO NOT put meat, dairy, spicy, or citrus foods in your bin.

Next you need to add a small scoop of garden soil to the bin to help the worms grind and digest their food.

Here comes the fun part!


Each bin should get about 1lb of worms.

Don't leave any stuck to the bag!

Now give the soil a good soaking. Ours were packaged in extra dry peat that needed to be rehydrated.

Once they are moist go ahead and cover them with the newspaper.

Ta-Da!! Now you have a worm bin! In a few weeks I'll be sprinkling compost in my NHPG with my WCFFL! :)

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