Monday, March 14, 2011

It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it!


I started composting three years ago because I thought it was a good way to recycle food waste and also get good soil amendment called vermi-compost or worm compost material. The worms turn the scraps and garden waste into a rich form of worm compost through their digestive system. The compost and the compost tea are full of micro-organisms and nutrients.

The compost started out with about 100 worms and now I have so many I would not be able to count them! The worms used are Red Worms: Eisenia Foetida -commonly known as red wiggler, brandling or manure worm. Red worms are the best because they can withstand various conditions.

I feed my worms about once a week. They love coffee grounds most soft vegetable peels and fruit scraps. I usually cut banana peels so they are easier for the worms to digest. They cannot be feed anything acidic such as citrus; lemons, chicken manure, tomatoes and chili. Acidic foods will also unstablize the ph level in your compost. Worms thrive in neutral ph conditions.  Another tip, do not include anything that has been cooked or has grease, no meat- this stuff will attractive rodents to your worm compost.

Each worm contains a male and female organ, so any mature worm from the same species can mate. After mating they produce a capsule containing 20 eggs. A mature compost worm might mate every 7-10 days & produce 4-20 capsules per week, but only 3 capsules will hatch with 4 worms inside. Thus producing 12 baby worms, per mature worm, each week!

For the compost tea; simply add 1-2” of compost to your water can and allow compost and water to steep for a day, mixing occasionally. Then use to water plants. This works as fertilizer and insect repellent.

Take care of your worms and they will take care of your garbage and produce compost. You will notice less bedding and more compost in 3-5months after setting up your worm farm.  This means it is time to harvest. Harvest means removing the compost from the container. It’s like striking gold! Your plants will be so much healthier and you will not believe the results.

To learn more about Worm Composting:






Article and photo via:  Guadalupe Lucio

3 comments:

  1. Fascinating...I so admire composting! It provides such rich soil. You are a wealth of information on the subject. Those worms are a little treasure!

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  2. You brave woman Christina...I have thought about this but have never been abel to bite the bullet and do it. You now have me thinking...it would be a great project for my son :)

    Jeanne xx

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  3. Thanks! My green thumbed, creative friend Guadalupe Lucio, wrote this very informative article and the results are obvious from the picture of her garden! I have always wanted to compost and have done it on a smaller level, but this is going to come in handy when I'm ready to take it to the next level!

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