How to Use Worm Compost

Overview

Organic fertilizing is a hot topic. One variety of organic fertilizer is compost made from the waste material--called castings--of worms. Worm composting is known as vermicomposting. Many gardeners may know about the concept of worm composting, but may not be familiar with how to use worm finished compost. Worm compost can be used in both solid and liquid form with preparation.

Step 1

Set up the compost bin. Drill holes in a bottom of the plastic bin. Put the bin with the holes into the other bin.

Step 2

Add the shredded paper for bedding. Add the water to wet the bedding so the paper is digestible by the worms. Add the worms. Add organic material such as kitchen scraps and garden waste for food. Add more organic material daily to keep the worms fed. Use one pound of worms for every half-pound of organic waste states the Nebraska State University Extension.

Step 3

Harvest the compost after a few weeks. Lay out the tarp and pour the contents of the container onto the tarp. Pick out the worms and set them into another container with bedding to resume the composting process. The pile remaining is the usable compost.

Step 4

Add the compost to the soil. According to the Cornell University Department of Crop and Soil Sciences you can mix the compost directly into the soil as an amendment or as top dressing for both indoor and outdoor plants.

Step 5

Store some of the compost for use during the winter with indoor plants. Use plastic bags or containers with airtight seals to keep the moisture in. Keep the bags or containers in a cool dry location to avoid mildew or mold from forming.

Step 6

Drain the bottom bin into a bucket. Drain the bucket contents into spray bottles. Spray plants with the liquid compost.

Step 7

Mix compost with water to make "compost tea." Cornell recommends adding up to 2 inches of compost to an average-size watering can or rain barrel. Allow the mix to sit for a day. Mix the contents once or twice daily. Water the plants as usual to add the nutrients from the compost tea into the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't use animal fat or anything not from vegetables for composting. Don't add kitchen waste too quickly, or the worm bins may begin to smell.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 plastic bins
  • Shredded paper
  • Red worms
  • Organic waste
  • Garden shovel
  • Tarp
  • Bucket

References

  • Whatcom County/ Washington State University: Composting With Redworms
  • Cornell University Department of Crop and Soil Sciences: Worm Composting Basics
  • University of Nebraska at Lincoln Extention: Vermicomposting
Keywords: worm composting, organic gardening, using organic compost

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.