Vermicomposting Adds Value to Your Garbage – 10 Steps
Did you know that the garbage in your house can turn your garden into a healthier one? Yup, it can be converted into rich manure, which is highly nutritious for plants in your garden. Composting is an amazing way to reduce environmental impact and prepare a beneficial soil for plants to grow. But for the people living in apartments can’t manage traditional composting since they don’t have outdoor spaces. There is an option where they can go for indoor composting using worms. This is called Vermicomposting. This is a process of breaking down of the garbage you dump into the bin by worms.
The following steps teach you how to prepare vermicompost: 1. Build your Worm Bin First step involves building a worm bin. It is an enclosure where the worms live; with bedding and regulating moisture content in the bedding and also blocking the entry of light as it is harmful to the worms. It is very cheap and easy to prepare a worm bin of yours. You can also buy them from some organic supply stores as well if you wish to have a readymade worm bin. The worm bin should consist of a plastic bin with a lid. It should be a foot deep because worms love to live just below the topsoil. Usually, a family of 2 is enough for a 4 sq. feet bin. Remember that the bin has to be opaque so that it can block light from entering it. Make a few holes in the sides for air to flow. Don’t worry; the worms won’t go through these holes because they hate light. 2. Buy worms for your worm bin Red wigglers (Eisenia Foetida) are the best worms for vermicomposting operation. Begin your bin with a pound of worms. They can be ordered from different gardening stores too. Earthworms are not suitable for indoor composting because they are not very aggressive in composting as the red wiggles do. 3. Preparation of worm bedding. Now, you need to make bedding from any carbon-rich matter, like cardboard or newspaper, where the worms will live. 4. Moisten your bedding. The moist environment supports worms to live. So make sure that your bedding is moist. Place the newspaper strips and pour some water into the bin. Try to pour dechlorinated water if available. Now, the bedding feels like a sponge and no drop of water should fall out when you squeeze it. 5. Add Soil Add a handful of outdoor soil to the bedding. Soil provides strength to the worms to digest organic waste. It also helps in invading microorganisms that help in the decomposition of the waste. 6. Add worms Scatter worms onto the bedding of your vermicomposting bin. Block any light falling on it by just closing the lid. Make sure that you don’t add food scraps for a day in the bedding. 7. Add food scraps. To start the composting, just drop your scrap and close the lid of your worm bin. Avoid swamping your worms with food scraps for a few days. As time passes, you can add more food scraps. 8. Remove your worms Worms produce ‘castings’ when they digest food scraps which are dark black thread like structures. These castings make up your vermicompost. Remove the worms by hand or remove the bedding bit by bit, making the worms go to bottom to escape the light. 9. Harvest vermicompost. Now your compost is ready for use. If there are bits of undigested bedding, it will break down as soon as possible. So you need not worry. 10. Replace bedding Reintroduce your worms for the next bedding. Provide fresh bedding by preparing the bin as before by repeating the same process.