Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting, aslo called vericulture, is feeding composting worms your compost inputs, worms do best with the same mixture of greens and browns as classic compost, and quickly produce worm castings which plants love

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What happens when a worm is cut in half?

A worm cut in half does not make two worms. It’s makes half a grievously injured worm.  Many worms will re-grow a tail, but it’s a big set back

How to vericulture

Getting started

Get a worm, bin from the store or check out our how to make a worm bin project

Order you worms! You will want to use red wriggler worms because they are best suited for consuming food scraps other types of worms will not work.  A pound of worms is typically sufficient to get a system running

Choose a cool low light out of the way spot for your worm bin. A cabinet works well

Once your worms arrive create a bedding nest for them, use newspaper, leaves or hydrated coco coir along with 2 handfuls of soil (about a cup)

Wet the bedding, it should be damp not sopping

Put the worms and all the peat and casting that came with them in your worm bin system. Leave the bin in the light with the top off for about 20 minutes so the worms go down into the bedding, cover.

Do not feed worms for two days to allow them to settle in

What to feed

Generally the same inputs that are needed for traditional compost are needed for worms, however it isn’t as important to have a balance of greens and browns unless you are having moisture issues

Newspaper is often an easy source of browns for worm bins

Worms will eat kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, leftovers raw and cooked, dampened paper products, natural fiber clothing, garden cuttings, wood chips, oatmeal, pasta, cereal, grits, biscuits, baked beans, and grains

What not to feed

Do not feed your worms meat, dairy, bones, glossy paper, plastic, rubber, metal, or other non organic materials

The smaller the food particle the better for worms, they don’t have teeth, so the suck up everything they eat

You can put a much broader selection of foods in your worm bin.

Adding a teaspoon of garden lime every month can help insure the best possible conditions for your worms

How much will worms eat in a day?

Mature worms will eat their body weight in a day younger worms can process as much as twice their body weight in a day.  Your worm bin will have several generations of worms

1000 worms will eat about a cup of food a day

Harvesting worm casings

Vericulture problems and how to solve them

Problem: Too much uneaten food and not enough air

Solution: Stop adding food, use a cultivator hand rake to gently mix the worm bin, a teaspoon of garden lime will also help

My worms are escaping!

Problem: issue with the bedding, this could be a liquid buildup, especially if you’re using a plastic tub

My worm bin has fruit flies

Problem: too much green scraps, system out of balance.

Solution:  make sure you have healthy bedding, stop feeding your worms, put a cup of apple cider vinegar near the system to attract the fruit flies, avoid putting tropical fruit in your worm bin.