Behind the Fence

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Have Worms!

Yes, I have worms, thousands of them. They are the backbone of my compost system as well as the cheapest and easiest manure available. And so easy!

I started my vermicompost farm about 4 years ago. It is really pretty simple. Using a storage bin from a “big box store” my in-house engineer (every gardener should have one of these) made vent holes which he covered with screen. I added bedding of newspaper strips, a little bit of sterile potting soil, sprayed with water to dampen and added the red wigglers. About once a week I add kitchen scraps like past-prime lettuce, potato peelings, coffee grounds with filter, over-ripe fruit, etc. I cover the scraps with shredded paper and shredded light weight cardboard. Usually I spray the bedding with water when I feed the worms. Sometimes weeks go by without me feeding the worms but they not only survive but thrive. The worm farm is in my basement where the temperature is around 72 degrees year-round. I harvest the castings 2 or 3 times a year and add them to the compost from my outdoor compost bin. I have not bought worms since the initial purchase of about ½ pound.

Harvesting the castings (otherwise known as worm poop) recently I realized they had reproduced enough that I could support two bins. Now I have little red wigglers in two bins, working constantly to provide castings for me:)

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