In this article, I'll be sharing with you some of my best tips and tricks for how to get the most out of your worm compost. There is a lot that goes into composting worms, but there are also many ways that we can increase the amount of food they eat and help them process it better. We will discuss potential pitfalls along with how to avoid them as well!
What are the benefits of worm composting?
Learn how long castings can be preserved here.
- Creating a self-sustaining system
- Recycling water, food scraps, and paper products
- Producing nutrient-rich soil fertilizer
What are the possible pitfalls of worm composting?
- Attracting unwanted pests like flies or rats - Lack of oxygen in the container leads to anaerobic decomposition, which is not only smelly but produces gases like methane, which can be explosive
- Temperature fluctuations
What should you do to avoid these pitfalls?
- Keep your worm bin cool with a fan or air conditioner in the summer and warm enough for them in winter by adding insulation. - Place food scraps on top of paper products instead of burying them under them to avoid attracting unwanted pests.
- Keep your worm bin in a well-ventilated area, and if you find that the worms are dying, provide them with more oxygen by adding water or turning over their food scraps.
What have other people done when they've encountered these pitfalls?
- One person tried placing his worm composter outside, which solved the problem of temperature fluctuations.
One person found that burying their food scraps below paper products eliminated the smell and reduced pests by attracting them to all the buried goodness.
- One person added more water to their worm compost by watering it and found that vermicomposting doesn't require much maintenance.
How to set up a worm bin in five easy steps:
- Pick a spot for the worm composter and make sure it has direct access to sunlight.
- Gather an ample amount of newspaper, cardboard, or other dry material that will decompose quickly and layer them in the base of your bin.
- Add food scraps on top and cover more paper products or soil (if you want to add an extra layer)
- Fill the worm composter with a small amount of water and wait for it all to soak in.
- Cut off the top section of your bin, place on its side over the top layers, then cut again at about halfway down from each end (creating four panels)
Types of food scraps you can put into your compost:
Eggshells, coffee grounds, and filters, tea bags, oatmeal packets, or any other ingredients you have in your kitchen.
Tips: To encourage the worms to eat faster, add food scraps high in protein, such as fruit skins (for example, banana peels) or cooked vegetables with the skin on.
The more diverse types of paper materials you use, the better the worms will break down.
Some people like to add things such as wood chips or leaves from a yard (as long as it's not diseased) to introduce more diverse microbes into their compost.
-Always ensure that your food scraps are moist but never wet
-Adding an extra tray on top of the other compost trays can help to speed up your composting process
-If you have a family, make sure that food scraps are not piled too high, so they don't start rotting and attract pests.
Tips for keeping your worms happy and healthy:
Some of the things you can do to keep your worms happy and healthy would include:
-Feeding them a variety of foods, such as fruit scraps
-Avoid feeding them dairy products or meat (although some people have reported success)
-Keep your worm bin at an appropriate temperature for the type of worms you are using, and make sure it is not too hot or cold. You can use heating pads to regulate temperature if need be
-Keep your worm bin clean by rotating trays and removing old bedding on top of the pile.
-Don't overwater the worm bin, which can lead to mold and other microbial growths.
-Don't allow your worms too much time without food at any given point, as this may stress them out.
Ideas for what to do with the finished product, including using it as fertilizer in your garden or adding it to pots of plants indoors
-Make sure to keep your worm bin somewhere shady, preferably in the basement or garage (or a shed).
-Don't let it sit too close to any heat sources.
-When moving bedding from one tray to another, make sure you leave an inch of space between them on top and sides so they can breathe properly.
The best ways to use worm poop(castings) around the house:
Some of the best ways to use castings around the house would be to add them to your potting soil for plants indoors, on top of vegetable beds in the garden, or around flowers.
If you live in a cold climate and want to use worm poop(castings) outside, make sure to do so after it warms up because they are susceptible creatures.
The more castings you can get out of your worm bin, the better. As you get more experienced with how to care for them and their needs will change over time
-Keep an eye on how much food they are putting out. If you notice that it has slowed down significantly, there may be a reason why such as lack of water or improper bedding material- this should be fixed before continuing.
-If you want to have a worm farm in your home, there are many ways of doing so, and it is simply dependent on how much space you have available for the worms - they can live indoors if you make sure that temperatures remain between 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius at all times while also following other tips mentioned above.
-If you decide to build a worm bin, make sure that it is at least three feet wide and two feet deep. You will also need some wire mesh (or other material) for the bottom of your composting bin, as well as something to cover the top with, such as plastic sheeting
-Moisture should be provided by keeping the bedding moist and adding water to the bin when necessary. Make sure that you have enough room in your bin for a tray underneath where worms can migrate to if they need more moisture
-Keep up with turning on your compost so as not to let any material sit too long without being broken down into humus - how often it needs stirring will depend on how much material is in the bin
-Add a layer of fresh bedding every two to four weeks so that your worms have plenty of food and water
-Keep out any materials, such as plastics or meats, which may not break down readily. These will eventually seep into the soil, where they can then contaminate vegetables grown on the same ground.
-Place a layer of dirt on top of your bin to create an extra barrier between worms and materials that may be harmful
-If you have any questions about how best to care for your worm farm, please contact us! We're happy to help out with tips or tricks we might not have covered in the article! Happy worm farming!