Vermicompost, or worm compost, utilizes various worm species with kitchen compost for creating an enriching source of nutrients for garden soil. With the use of vermicompost, the need for commercial fertilizers becomes nonexistent, thanks in part to the digestive enzymes of the earthworms within the compost. Creating your own vermicompost at home for your garden is a simple process that requires only a few ingredients.
Prepare a spot in your garden to place compost bin. Compost bins can be obtained from garden supply stores, or you can use a large garbage can or plastic wading pool with holes poked into the bottom for aeration. Clear the area of debris with a rake to level the land for the compost bin.
Fill the bottom of the compost bin with 4 lbs. of sand. The sand weighs down the compost bin to prevent it from spilling. It also adds to the consistency of the final product.
Pour a 5-pound layer of kitchen compost over the layer of sand. Kitchen compost consists of nonmeat and yeast-free products. Egg shells, coffee grounds and vegetable leftovers make excellent compost ingredients, as do grass and other botanical clippings. Never put bread, pasta, meat or fish in a compost recipe.
Cover the layer of compost with a 2-lb. layer of potting soil.
Cover the layer of potting soil with approximately 2 1/2 pounds of vermicast. Vermicast can be purchased from gardening supply stores. Alternatively, you can purchase red wiggler earthworms packed in soil.
Add the rest of the kitchen compost over top the earthworms.
Cover the compost with the rest of the earthworms.
Cover the final layer with the remaining potting soil.
Allow the bin to sit covered for a few months. This is an ideal process to complete during the winter season when gardening outdoors isn't an option. By the time the growing season comes back, the compost will be cured enough to use.
Mix the compost and worm castings with a shovel, allowing the sand at the bottom to mix in with it as well. The worm compost is ready to be placed in garden soil, where the earthworms will continue to digest and provide nutrition for your plants.