Worm Composting Tips

Using worms to compost yard clippings and leftover food items is big business. For some people, the resulting compost makes up the majority of the fertilizers they use on their vegetables and flowers. Rich in the nutrients plants require to thrive, worm castings have the added benefit not burning plants as synthetic fertilizers can do. Worms are living creatures and require some upkeep to keep them thriving and producing that rich fertilizer.

No Full Sun

Avoid placing worm beds in the full sun. This causes the worms to burrow as deeply as possible into the soil. If they cannot escape the heat, they will try to leave the bed or will end up drying out and dying. Construct shade cloths or lay a protective covering over the entire worm bed.

Keep Worm Bedding Moist

Worms do not like dry soils, so it is important to keep their bedding consistently moist. Check the beds daily in hot weather and after a rain. Remember to provide ample drainage or the worms will drown. Drains can clog before you know it, causing the demise of most if not all of your culture.

Feed Only Organic Foods

When feeding the worms, use only foods that are free of pesticides and herbicides. Worms are rather delicate, and these chemicals may harm or even kill them. Worms relish yard weeds, rotting vegetables from your garden and grass clippings as food.

Keep Worm Beds Covered

Animals eat worms, a rich source of protein. Normally they would need to wait for wet weather or dig pretty deeply into the earth for this snack--but not so with a worm compost bed. The already loose soil is easy to dig through, making your worms a target for skunks, raccoons, cats, birds and other insects. Pests, too, will ravage the culture as they try to eat leftover foodstuffs. Use tough wire netting to prevent snouts and paws from wreaking havoc on the worm bed.

Make a Profit

Worm castings are akin to gold, for some gardeners. Some, like those living in apartments or other areas where composting would be difficult will pay for the excess castings you have. In general, worms fed an organic diet free from all synthetic products fetch the highest prices.

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About this Author

Izzy McPhee has been a freelance writer since 1999. She writes about gardening, nature conservation, pond care, aquariums, child care, family, living on a budget and do-it-yourself projects. Her paintings have appeared in the well known gallery The Country Store Gallery in Austin, Texas. Her work can be seen on Suite101.com and Demand Studios.