Consider Getting Some Worms for Vermicomposting

All organic gardeners should be composting. Composting is essential for those who are concerned with maintaining the health of their garden soil and continuing to foster a thriving ecosystem where many different useful and beautiful plants can be grown. With vermicomposting, worms will help you to do the work. Vermicomposting is an easy and efficient way to turn household food waste into a valuable product for the garden. It also helps to keep your food waste out of landfill.

By Jeff SchulerApril, as the weather warms up, it is a good time to consider getting some worms and building or buying a worm farm to house them. During the spring and summer, you may be able to keep your wormery outdoors, though in the winter months you will have to move your wormery under cover. The 'Red Wigglers' AKA 'Tiger worms' that are most commonly used in worm farms work at their best and will compost your food fastest at temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius, though they can survive at temperatures above 10 degrees and below 30. A worm farm with some insulation or careful design should be fine in an unheated garage or enclosed porch over the winter, though you will have to keep an eye on things and bring the wormery indoors if there is a particularly cold night. The other benefit of having a wormery indoors is that you will not have to traipse out to a compost heap in the garden with kitchen scraps when the weather is bad.

It might seem odd to keep worms indoors but you will not notice any noises and should not suffer any unpleasant odours as long as your worms are kept happy and busy. You can add kitchen waste to your bin, even mouldy bread and acidic items such as citrus peel that are often best kept out of compost. Dairy and meat products should not be added to the bin, as these will likely putrify and create problems. Feed worms well and give them the right sort of bedding – cardboard is perfect, as is anything else along these lines that is edible to them and that they can move through easily. Cardboard and paper will also help to soak up excess liquid from your compost.

By Jeff SchulerThe worms will eat their way through the layers of kitchen waste and cardboard, leaving their worm casts behind them. Worm casts have been shown to contain up to ten times as much nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as garden soil and also show fewer contaminants than the raw materials the worms have eaten. This is a valuable commodity that can really help the organic gardener.

As long as you keep your bin within the right temperature range and make sure that it does not get too wet or too dry in there, the worms should thrive and of course multiply over time. So as you begin to populate your garden this month, consider purchasing some worms and taking care of the soil in your garden.