All about Worm Composting and the Wormery
There has been a lot of buzz of late with regard to worm composting. This makes one wonder what in particular makes this waste management unique and the most effective. Well, composting with worms is not a new practice. It has been in use for many years but lately it has become popular due to the fact that most people prefer anything organic. It is one of the best ways of conserving the environment. It helps convert kitchen waste into a nutrient-rich compost and liquid fertilizer that is essential for a green and healthy garden.
The Wormery or Worm Bin
Red worms make it possible to decompose kitchen waste. They require a healthy habitat to do this and that is where the worm bin comes into the picture. It is a unit with compartments where the red wiggler worms work on the garbage. The bins come in two designs; those with one compartment and the other with two. Those with two compartments has one part of the unit, referred to as the lower sump, which acts a liquid collection area and an upper part which houses the waste for the worms to work on it. The single compartment wormeries may be used as well.
Some of the worms ideal for composting include red, brandling, tiger, and manure worms. They fall into any of these species; Dendrabaena veneta and Eisenia foetida. Not all worms are ideal for composting. The red worm is the best whereas the common earthworm or Lumbricus terrestris is unsuitable.
Conditions required for the Wormery
Composting with worms is not only a no-brainer to begin with but it does not require a lot of space as well. Anyone can begin a worm farm be it indoors or outdoors. However, you should have some specific points in mind since red worms require some specific conditions to thrive;
- Provide a warm moist habitat since worms require temperature conditions of between 18 to 25ºC (64 to 77ºF). Worm activity will substantially decline when temperature goes below 10ºC (50ºF) or beyond 30ºC (86ºF).
- Keep the worm bin in a shed or an area that is sheltered. The wormery should neither be too cold nor excessively warm.
- It is important to note that a wormery, if neglected, will generate a bad odor. Therefore, if you decide to have one indoors then you should be willing to monitor the unit regularly.
- The best pH level for the worms is between 6.5 to 7.0 pH. The area should also be well ventilated. Red worms will not bear with extremely acidic conditions. They also prefer well-aerated areas that are not waterlogged.
- Fruit flies find strong odours alluring. Even though these flies are harmless they are a nuisance at times. If you intend to keep your composter indoors then you should know how to eliminate these flies. Use a damp newspaper to cover the wormery. You can also bury new waste on decomposed material.
A Final Word
You can start worm composting almost anywhere. Worms can easily be purchased from various suppliers like Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. Furthermore, it does not take much effort and knowledge to install and maintain a worm composting unit and reap the rewards of worm composting.