With climate change and the current state of the environment, more and more people are finding ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. And one way to reduce the waste you produce is through composting.
Composting allows you to recycle organic waste, such as food scraps and leaves, and turn them into fertilizers. However, many people lack the outdoor space in their homes for composting. And this is where vermicomposting comes in.
What Is Vermicomposting?
Vermicomposting essentially uses earthworms to convert organic waste into valuable fertilizer. The process involves aerobic decomposition and earthworm digestion. The result of vermicomposting is a rich and organic soil amendment that contains beneficial microorganisms and diverse plant nutrients. This vermicompost can then be mixed with potting soils to promote plant growth.
People mainly do vermicompost for the environment and to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Vermicomposting is beneficial because you get to make use of your organic waste and turn them into something more valuable. So, instead of throwing away all those food scraps, you can transform them into fertilizer for your garden.
But why is it so important to reduce organic waste? Won’t they just decompose anyway? Well, decomposition can take time. And in the meantime, they will only be taking up precious space in the landfills. Aside from that, the organic residuals in the landfills will also generate unpleasant odors that can attract pests and promote the spread of diseases. Organic waste also produces methane when decomposing. And methane gas can significantly contribute to global warming.
How to Do Vermicomposting?
1. Getting the Right Worms
The earthworms in your backyard aren’t exactly the type of words needed in vermicomposting. Instead, you will need redworms or red wigglers to do the job.
2. Setting Up the Worm Bin
You will also need to set up a worm bin when vermicomposting. You can use plastic bins, wood bins, or one to two-inch thick styrofoam bins. However, if you’re going with wood, it’s best to avoid cedar as it has antimicrobial properties.
Make sure your worm bin is properly ventilated. You will need to drill numerous holes at the bottom of the bin and at least two rows along the bin’s bottom half. And to allow proper airflow, the bin should be raised off the ground.
For bedding, you will need to fill half of the bin with moist newspaper shreddings. Next, add some garden soil and then the worms. For beginners, a thousand worms will be enough. If the population is too little, the vermicomposting will take more time.
3. Managing the Worm Bin
Make sure you place your worm bin in a cool and dark place that has minimal temperature fluctuations. It will also be best to have minimal disturbances as the worms stop feeding when exposed to light.
When feeding the worms, you can use leftover fruits and vegetables. Just make sure you place them under the shredded newspaper. And to avoid overfeeding, just give the worms small amounts every week or two. Also, make sure to avoid feeding them meat, oil, dairy, or fermented products as these can attract harmful bacteria and pests.
Vermicomposting is a great way to reduce organic waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle. It essentially uses earthworms to transform organic waste into useful fertilizer. To do so, you will need to get the right types of worms and set up a worm bin. You will also need to feed the worms using your organic waste, such as food scraps and leaves.
Learn more about permaculture gardening from Blossom & Broom. We are a home and garden aesthetics blog that provides a wide range of topics involving the home, gardening, and sustainable living. Check out our collection of articles now!