Vermicomposting Tips

Vermicomposting, or worm composting, is a popular way to quickly convert many forms of household waste into an organic soil augmenter that is good for flowers, vegetables and trees. Worm composting is suitable for both urban and rural environments. In addition to providing a good organic fertilizer, worm composting can help reduce pressure on landfills.

Number of Worms

Design your vermicomposting system to support the right number of worms for your average household vegetative wastes. Around 1 pound of worms can consume about 1/2 pound of vegetative waste per day. If your household produces 1 pound of household waste, you will need around 2 pounds of worms. Because your worms will reproduce, you will need to cull the worms every 6 to 8 weeks. Remove excess worms and either release them in your garden or give them to friends who are interested in worm composting.

Water Requirements

In most cases, you won't need to add much water to your vermicomposting bin. Whens starting a new bin, moisten the paper you use for creating your initial worm beds. The paper should be wet, but not dripping. As you add plant and vegetable-based wastes to your bin, the natural water should be sufficient for your worms. However, if you beds begin to look a little dry, add a bit of water, but not so much that you drown your worms.

Acceptable Wastes

Only put plant based waste and egg shells into your vermicomposting bins. Good things include fruit and vegetable scraps and peels, egg shells, grains, bread, pasta and coffee grounds. Avoid oily produces or animal-based products because they can attract flies, mice, rats and other unwelcome vermin. Things to specifically avoid include meat, bones, fats or meat drippings. Also avoid any dairy products. Don't use large amounts of onions or citrus waste in your compost bin as these can injure the worms.

Keywords: vermicomposting tips, worm composting tips, organic gardening

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.