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The 5 Best Reasons to Use Vermicompost in Your Organic Garden

Vermicomposting is a simple and enjoyable way to recycle your kitchen and garden scraps into usable compost. Vermicompost is a fancy term that means compost made by worms, and it's exactly what it sounds like: specialized worms (a type commonly known as red wigglers) eat kitchen scraps and unusable garden produce and make compost from them.

These worms are quiet, can live in a very small space--even a shoebox-sized container under the kitchen sink-- and can transform food waste into compost. Therefore, vermicomposting is a way to make compost without needing to have an enormous compost pile that requires frequent turning and watering.

Vermicomposting is an ideal system for people who want to make their own compost but don't have much space or much material to compost. Fishermen also love it because they'll never have to buy bait worms as long as they have their own vermicomposting bin!

The process is simple. All you will need is a container or bin to house your worms in (worm bins are usually made of plastic or wood), some shredded newspaper or leaves to use as bedding for your worms, and a steady supply of kitchen scraps or unwanted garden produce to feed the worms. You'll also need to get yourself some red wiggler (Eisenia foetida) worms. They can be mail ordered from many garden supply companies or can even be bought at your local bait shop. You will need about 1/2-1 lb. of them to get started.

Once your bin has bedding and worms, you will need to find a cool place to put your bin (the worms don't like temperatures below freezing or above 85oF). Then, start feeding your worms by giving them up to half their body weight in food scraps per day. Make sure not to put too much food in their bin because this will attract fruit flies and may create an unpleasant odor, something that is not normal or healthy for your worm bin.

The worms will work their magic quickly and within a few weeks, your will have a bin full of vermicompost that is ready to go into your garden! Simply remove the vermicompost from the bin and replace it with fresh bedding in order to keep your worms hard at work.

Here are 5 great reasons to give vermicomposting a try:

1. Vermicomposting a allows you to recycle food scraps and unusable garden produce into compost for your organic garden.

2. Vermicomposting bins can be very small--in fact, they can even fit under your kitchen sink or on an unused corner of your deck or porch!

3. Composting worms are fascinating to watch and kids love 'em! If you have any fishermen in your family (or neighborhood!), your worm bin will become their first stop on the way to the lake!

4. Vermicompost will help your plants grow and is mild enough for use in potting mixes for starting young plants.

5. Vermicompost will improve your soil's health by increasing its biological activity and strengthening its structure.

For More Information:

A summary of vermicomposting methods.
Has a vermicomposting discussion board and lots of informative articles about worms and vermicomposting.