What is Vermicomposting?
Vermicomposting is the process of using red wiggler or brown-nosed worms and microorganisms to convert food scraps into dark, earthy smelling, nutrient-rich humus. It is an interesting year-round activity for people at home or in classrooms, and provides a composting option for residents of apartments and homes without large backyards. When properly managed, vermicomposting produces no objectionable odors. It can even be done right in the kitchen!
Home worm composting is done in a sturdy container with a lid and air holes. The bin is filled with moist “bedding,” such as shredded newspaper, to provide a dark, damp environment that worms desire. Red wiggler or brown-nosed worms (not night crawlers or earth worms) are added and food scraps are buried in the bedding.
The worms do the rest!
Because worms consume their own weight in soil and organic matter each day, leaving behind the richest and most productive compost known — castings.
What do worms need for successful vermicomposting?
- Moderate Temperatures – The most rapid feeding and conversion of waste will occur at temperatures between 55ºF and 77ºF.
- Moisture – Worms “breathe” through their skin, which must be moist for exchange of air to take place.
- Ventilation – Worms use oxygen just as we do. It is important that you let air circulate around the bin.
- Darkness – Too much light will disturb the worms, keeping them from concentrating on eating and reproducing