Monday, March 5, 2012

Dem Worms, Dem Worms, Dem Good Worms

I've had a worm composting bin for nearly two years.  Since the husband isn't too keen on keeping a giant compost pile in our suburban yard (yet) I decided a small composting setup would be the best way to get him used to the idea.

I use a stacking worm composting bin.  Each tray has tiny holes to allow both the worms, water, and air to pass thru freely.  They're small enough that the finished "dirt" won't spill out entirely.  As one tray finishes I can rotate the trays to keep the working tray near the top and the finishing trays near the bottom.  Though once a tray is finished I move it to the top to dry out a little before I move the dirt to storage.

Worm composting bin

Worm composting is often faster at breaking down food scraps than an outdoor compost setup.  Though established outdoor setups can process much larger quantities of food and yard waste at one time.  I eventually want to have both types going.

Worm "dirt"

You can see the eggshells haven't quite broken all the way down but that's okay.  Eggshells can add beneficial calcium back to the soil and to the plants the "dirt" is spread around or planted with. Good worm "dirt" should smell earthy and clean. It should be relatively dry and have a crumbly texture.  If it smells a bit off then it's definitely not done composting or there's an imbalance (too much food added at one time, too much mositure or you have meat/dairy products in there which is a big no-no)

Worm Tea

Because the composting process requires a little water to keep things lightly moist/damp (not soaking) as the water trickles down thru the stacked bins the lower level collects it.  I can then harvest the concentrated worm tea via a small spicket at the bottom.  I like to dilute this just a bit more and water in new plants or use it in it's concentrated form for an extra dose of fertilizer.

If you're new to composting I encourage you to read up on it.  It does take some trial and error (a learning period) but once you've got it down it's very easy to maintain and offers a great benefit to any garden, yard or flower bed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool! I have a large, messy outdoor compost heap but have never tried worms......yet. Hugs to you for recycling your scraps and feeding dem worms.

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