vermiculture, worm composting, composting worms, worm composter, composting 101, how to compost

Vermiculture - Worm Composting

Vermiculture is the formal name for worm composting. Find out here how to keep your worm compost environment operating at top efficiency.

Green Living Made Easy on Facebook
Bookmark and Share Subscribe
Vermiculture Also Known as Worm Composting

You have everything ready for your new worm's home, including your worm bin and lots of humid, moist worm bedding. You have also purchased your package of worms and are ready to move them to their new home. You have additionally purchased your package of worms and are ready to move them to their new home. What comes next?

If you have placed your worms in their new home by putting them on top of the bedding material, they are going to be hungry in no time, and will want to start eating.

Vermiculture - What Do Worms Eat ?

Kitchen scraps, garden plants, lawn trimming and even paper can be added to the worm compost. In other words almost anything that would go in a conventional compost pile. Experience has shown that most people into vermiculture will use it strictly to compost kitchen scraps.

While that is great, worms do enjoy much more than just kitchen scraps, and the more] versatile the items you feed your worms, the better and more nutritious your finished compost will be.

Favorite Food For Worms Include:
  • Any vegetables, mushy fruits (melon, pumpkin, etc.)
  • Tea (including tea bags)
  • old bread
  • ground up eggshells
  • coffee grounds (including the filter!)
  • fruit rinds and cores (not too much citrus, though)
Happy Worms are Hungry Worms

You next task is to keep the worms environmental conditions as close to the natural worm world as possible. They they will consume lots of food and waste scraps and be at their top efficiency. If your worm bed is sweet smelling, you know that it is working efficiently.

In order to keep the worm bin conditions optimal, follow these simple tips.

Ideal Temperature: Try to keep the temperature between 55 and 77 degrees for red wigglers. They will survive at temperature that vary from this to a degree, but they will not eat nearly as much and your compost production will decline from the optimal levels.

Correct Amount of Moisture: It cannot be emphasized enough how important the moisture level of the bedding is. Optimal moisture content is between 60 and 85 percent. You will find that adding food scraps will add some moisture to the mix, but you will most [likely|often] need to add moisture periodically.

This can be done with a spray mister or using a plant watering can occasionally. Just keep in mind that if worms dry out, they will surely die. Be cautious not to add too much moisture as that is not a good [thing|matter|item] either. If your worm bedding gets too wet, it will begin to smell, which is your cue that things need to dry out a bit.

Correct Amount of Light: For the most part worms like it dark. They are very sensitive to light and they don't have eyes. If a worm is exposed to direct light for an hour or [more|in excess of] it will become paralyzed, dry out, and die. Keep your worm bin in a dark locations, and make sure that the bin does not let stray light pass into it.

Air Mixture: Another critical [element|component] to optimal vermiculture is the introduction of oxygen. Oxygen levels will begin to lower when the bedding gets too wet, or if too much food is added to the bedding at one time. Again, your bedding will begin to smell when the oxygen levels are depleted.

To solve this, gently aerate the bedding by gently fluffing it at least once per week. This can be done with gloved hands, a spatula or a spoon in order to mix things up a bit. As with any composting system, there are issues that may arise that will affect the production of compost.

Also check out our articles on Worm Composting, Composting 101, How to Compost, Composting Indoors, Compost Troubleshooting, Backyard Composting, and Backyard Composting for lots of additional great tips.