Eco Home And Garden – Worm Composting

Worms are nature’s greatest natural recyclers. They speed up the composting process and in return give a valuable odourless plant feed and soil conditioner called worm castings (worm poo). Known as vermicomposting or vermiculture, a very basic worm composting method involves simply creating a pile of waste organic material like animal manure, grass clippings, waste food from your kitchen. Introduce some brandling aka. tiger worms to the pile of waste material and let them do their work. Brandling worms are found naturally in cow and horse manure so ask a local farmer if you can have a bucket of seasoned manure to get you started. Cover your worm compost pile with some carpet and add your waste household food like vegetable peels, coffee grinds, (torn) tea bags, egg shells, cereals, pasta, etc. Take the carpet cover off occasionally for a day or two to let some rain keep the pile moist or spray with some water once a week during hot weather. Worms do not like citrus fruit peels but almost everything else can be thrown on to your worm compost pile. If you want to recycle meat and bone waste with your worm composting system you will need to use a rodent proof composting container. See the video at the end of this post for a cheap and efficient container worm composting system that anyone can design in their home garden.

It is good to add some straw, hay or leaves occasionally (once or twice year) for the worms ‘bedding’ and they will happily feed on the decaying waste material you provide from your kitchen each week. The worms will also produce a liquid manure which is one of the best plant feeds around. Add some of this worm ‘juice’ when available to your watering can when watering your plants. You can buy compact worm composting bins from your local garden centre to compost in urban environments too where you do not have a large garden space. Composting food waste at home greatly reduces food waste going to landfill and gives you a regular valuable resource for your home garden saving money and the need to purchase organic liquid plant feeds each spring summer. Worms constantly reproduce in their composting heaven and you can occasionally take some of the worms from the top of the pile and feed them to your chickens if you like for a valuable protein source for the chickens and your eggs.

Here is a a really low maintenance simple and effective worm composting system that anyone can have for their home and garden composting (you could also use an old bath for this system):