How to Make a Worm Composter How to Make a Worm Composter
A worm composter allows you to compost food faster than ever before. Furthermore it is odorless and results in high quality compost and fertilizing liquid. Waste disposal costs are reduced and the worms raised can be used for fishing! This is an environmentally friendly way of treating your organic waste.
Step 1 – Make/Buy a Worm Bin
Anything from wooden to plastic boxes can be used. When using a non-galvanized metal box, remember that metal is prone to rusting. Holes in your worm bin would result in a decreased efficiency of decomposition of your waste. The size of the bin should be equivalent to the amount of organic waste you wish to dispose of. A square foot of surface area and 12 inches in depth should suffice for your basic demands.
Step 2 - Add Bedding
Bedding is needed to supply moisture for the worms to live and as a substrate to where they can work to bury the garbage. Its composition should mimic that of a forest floor, to resemble the worms’ natural ecological conditions. Make sure that the bedding is moist and not compact, to facilitate aerobic degradation of the food that is left in the composter. The worms will actually consume the bedding along with any food wastes and excrete the matter in a decomposed form called casts.
Sawdust and dry leaves would make perfect bedding. Surprisingly some shredded glossy papers, newspapers and magazines may disrupt the system by the toxins they contain, which might harm the worms.
Step 3 – Add Worms
The best worms to use for composting and degradation of organic material are the red worms. They are the most efficient, being able to degrade material at the fastest rate. The worm composter should be heated gently in winter as these worms survive best in warm conditions.
Remember that the worm population is directly proportional to the amount of food at hand.
Step 4 – Bury Garbage
The most important step, which is actually the whole point why you have created this worm composter, is to bury your organic waste and food scraps. Anything from egg shells to fruit scraps to tea leaves could be thrown into the worm bin. However do not throw in any dairy products, meat, fats or bones. Covering with a lid might be helpful, especially during the dry hot seasons. Otherwise moisture would be lost and the worms would die.
Always remember to bury the ‘garbage’ occasionally beneath the worm bedding. If you do not cover the kitchen wastes and food scraps by the worm bedding, you could attract many unwanted visitors, including rodents and cockroaches!
As mentioned previously, the benefits you can reap from utilizing a worm composter are countless. Apart from reducing the amount of kitchen waste thrown away with other waste material, you will also increase the soil fertility of your garden. Creating and maintaining a worm composter is a sacrifice worth undergoing!