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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vermicomposting - a better way to compost

The practice of using worms while composting to help break down material into a richer soil

Earthworms can eat their own weight in organic matter ever day

What it is all about:

While organic waste can be composted year round you will find many home owners do now want to take a trip outside in the middle of winter. Also there are plenty of home owners who do now want a large bin full of decaying matter on their property in the first place.
I had a wicked batch rotting in a 5 gallon bucket that I would leave outside...unfortunately I had to move before I could try it out but I will be trying again for the spring time.
Worms have been the recyclers of dirt since soil was soil. Their populations can double each month which is good because they have to do all the tunneling and digesting.
Using an earth worm bin could be your choice for keeping organic rich soil inside without all the stench and icky bugs.
The Process:
Be warned...dealing with rotting material is quite disgusting and not for the weak of heart. These worms will eat and digest and eat and digest food scraps until the material looks like dirt and is full of worms. Once the material passes through the worm it becomes saturated with nutrients and is referred to as 'casting'. These 'castings' or worm manure is the nutrient rich 'vermicompost' that plants love. Use this worm soil as a mulch or a mix with regular soil.
Is it worth it?
Depends....if you are already into composting and would like to speed up the process then vermicomposting would be extremely valuable to you. Worms digest plant material much faster than traditional composting.
Traditional composting can take weeks or even months if the conditions are poor.
Another advantage of vermicomposting is the time release capabilities of the castings. The worm castings have a mucous coating which takes time to break down.
Casting contain:
5X more nitrogen
7X more phosphorus
11X more potassium
than plant soil
(The three main ingredients that help plants grow)
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