Vermicomposting is a natural process in which worms breakdown the waste material and turns it into soil.
Worms eat away the waste material which then passes through their body and comes out as rich nutrient material.
Vermicomposting is easy when you provide worms with sufficient water, air and food. Use red worms in vermicomposting since they break down the waste material easily.
Red wiggler, european night crawlers and blue nosed worm are mostly used for vermicomposting.
They like to grow in underground areas since it is both darker and warmer than the surface area. These kind of worms are observed in rotten horse manure.
Food For Worms
You can feed the worms with vegetable and fruit scraps. Avoid usage of cooked foods, meat and dairy products.
Addition of vegetable and fruits like onions, broccoli and citrus family fruits must be strictly avoided.
How Many Worms?
- Add 1 kg of worms for half kg of food scrap.
- Usually worms double their number in 90 days.
Container Selection For Vermicomposting:
- Select a shallow container with a dimensions of 24″x18″x8″. If you are selecting transparent plastic container, worms should live at center instead of at edges.
- Choose eco-friendly containers like wooden container.
- The selected container must be rot proof.
- Usage of cedar redwood container is preferable.
- Wash the container thoroughly. Place a loose lid on container to allow aeration.
- Lid should have the holes to provide aeration.
Soak news paper pieces in water. And now fill the container with these pieces because it helps to hold the water and provides aeration to the worms.
Crushed egg shell or saw dust is added as grit on news paper layers. Now add food scraps as a layer above the grit.
Later add the worms. News papers should remain 50%-60% wet all the time. Add food scraps in smaller quantities to the container because larger quantities becomes rotten before worms process it.
Remove the food scraps which haven’t decomposed since long time. Worms can live up to one year in the same container. They easily decomposes in your bin and becomes compost.
They multiply in number before they die. If their number increases and your container is not enough for them then start new worm bin.
- After 3-5 months you will observe the beds of compost in your container. Then remove the compost and use it for your plants.
- Push the contents of container to one side. Remove left over news paper pieces and food scraps on empty side.
- Now add the fresh food scrap with newspaper and grit bedding on the empty side.
- When worms migrates from composted material side to fresh food scrap side then remove the compost and use it.
- If freshly added side is ready to exhaust, add new beddings and food on recently harvested side.
- Dump the contents of your container on water proof membrane like plastic sheet.
- Create a number of compost cones since the worms like darkness, they migrate away from light and reaches bottom.
- Now remove the news paper pieces and food scraps from the top layer.
- Keep it aside as heap. Repeat the process until you get a heap of fine compost.
- The obtained compost must be worm free
- You can use any method to collect the compost.
- You can use vermicompost immediately or can store for later use.
- Vermicompost should be mixed with your potting soil to improve its quality.
In Case If You Use Vermicomposter
- If you use vermicomposter, add food at top layers since worms migrates upwards for food by leaving the compost at the bottom.
- Place a tap at the bottom of the vermicomposter to collect the compost. Sometimes thick liquid is collected which is used as compost tea.