Utilizing Worms for Composting

Published 06/05 2014 03:31PM

Updated 06/05 2014 05:34PM

Introducing a form of composting that you may not have heard about before: verma, or worm composting.

Red wigglers can turn fruit and vegetable scraps into high-nutrient compost for your gardens and flower beds.

These worms aren't the typical ones that you find in your lawn or driveway. They're called red wigglers and can actually eat their body weight in a day.

That means they can quickly break down fruit and vegetable scraps.

"The nice thing about worm composting is that you can confine it to a small space. You can do it indoors and do it all yearlong. It's an easy way to manage food scraps," said Kevin Mathers, resource educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of B.C.

It's easy to get started.

First, get a rubber bin.

Then add in some peat moss, shredded newspaper or you can use what is called coco coir mix brick.

The last step is to order the composting worms off the internet. In total, it may cost about $30 to $35 to get started.

"You do have to change the bedding they live in occasionally. That's a good part, because as you change that bedding then you can harvest the worm compost, all the things that are broken down and use that in your garden and for your plants," explained Mathers.

The easiest way to get the nutrient rich compost out of the bin, which is even better than what you get from outdoor compost piles, is to bury food scraps in one corner of the container. The worms will migrate over and then you can remove the rest of the material and add new in.

You can also shine a bright light on the bin. Since the worms don't like the light, they'll move downward and you can scrape the compost off the top.

The rule of thumb is a 10 gallon worm compost bin can handle about a pound and a half of food per week. It can also hold 1,000 red wigglers since they are so small.

Also, anytime you add in food scraps, you want to make sure to bury them.

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