Tips on Vermiculture

Vermiculture or vermicomposting is the use of worms to compost household waste. Worms allow you to create a small composting bin that you can use indoors. This is convenient in areas that do not allow the use of outside composting bins. Worm composting has little odor and is a faster process than traditional composting.

The Bin

While you can buy vermicompost bins, building your own is simple. Containers require a lid to keep light out, moisture in and smells from escaping. A 5- or 10-gallon plastic tub with a tight lid, made of non-translucent plastic is a good choice for a composting bin says the Master Composter website. Punch 1/8-inch holes, 1 inch apart along the middle of the bin for air circulation. Holes in the bottom of the bin allow excess water to drain from the bin, but requires a tray to catch the moisture.

Worms

Two types of earth worms, says Washington State University, are suitable for vermicomposting; the red wriggler (Eisenia foetida) and Lumbricus rubellus. Dew worms and the common earthworm are not suitable as they either die or cannot consume materials quickly enough. Both worm varieties are found in manure piles or are available from worm suppliers. Use 2 lbs. of worms per 1 lb. of food waste produced.

What to Compost

Worms can consume a variety of food substances. Crushed eggs, fruit, cereal, vegetable and fruit scraps (avoided excessive amounts of citrus), pasta, coffee grounds and filters and tea bags are all suitable. Avoid excessively salty foods to prevent raising the compost's salinity. Worms are also vegetarians, so avoid meats, fatty foods and diary products. Meats and dairy foods will also cause odors.

Keywords: Vermicomposting bins, Worm composting, Vermiculture tips

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on eHow.com, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.