- Fertilizers & Compost
Vermiculture:Managing a worm farm for organic garden composting
Managing a worm farm for composting can bring you both pleasure and profit. So if you’re a real worm enthusiast, and is also into composting and recycling, then you’ve found an activity that you can be truly passionate about. Now, one of the wonders of having to compost organic scraps is turning these into a valuable resource. Red wiggler worms, being the most favored when it comes to vermicomposting, has also proven that the kind of compost that they’re producing are also much more nutrient-packed compared to other compost types.
How to manage a worm composting farm
Keeping a worm bin for organic gardening or for other gardening efforts is actually something that is not hard to do. Anybody who has the real initiative to get this specific venture going will find that worm farming isn’t that complex. But before you can proceed to setting up your own red wigglers farm, start by assessing your intentions. It’s crucial that you know why you want to put up a worm farm. So in order for you to move forward, ask yourself some of these basic questions: Are you putting up a worm farm (1) to sell these worms and their castings?; (2) to simply raise and breed worms as pets; (3) to raise and breed worms as live animal food?; (4) to recycle the daily accumulated organic scraps from your home?
Setting-up your worm farm
The first thing that you’ll need to do is to provide a comfortable home for your compost worms. This will be in the form of a compost bin. Worm composters vary from size, shape, material (plastic or wooden composters are commonly used for vermicomposting), capacity and design. So in order for you to determine the size that you should be getting, start by determining how much organic waste is intended for vermicomposting. Other than that, also get a composter that has a depth of 12 inches (this is ideal). You’ll need to fill this with a lot bedding materials, worm food, and red wiggler worms later on.
Preparations needed before filling the worm bin with worms
Before you can even fill the worm bin with organic scraps (can be in the form of selected kitchen scraps and garden wastes), you’ll need to have the bin drilled with several holes first. Drill evenly spaced holes just below the top surface of the bin, and by the base of it (you can use a ¼” or 1/16” drill bit for this). Your worms will benefit a lot from these holes as these will serve as ventilation and drainage passages. Air should be able to access the bin freely, so that the worms and the compost contents will get their daily supply of oxygen. The drainage holes on the other hand will act as an opening for letting out excess water from the bin. This will help save your compost materials from getting spoiled, and also help save your worms from potentially drowning from it.
Harvest and restock your worm farm!
The last step to finishing your worm farm is by filling it up with organic bedding materials and organic food. Make sure to bury tiny pieces of these organics into the ground to encourage the worms to dig into the bedding (this will also encourage proper aeration to take place). Worms are born vegetarians, and will only eat the natural stuff. And as soon as they’re done eating their stock of food, make sure to check for worm castings. You can harvest these and use these as an organic garden supplement. After harvesting, also make sure that you replenish your composting bin with a fresh supply of bedding and organic food. This is typically how managing a worm farm works.
Saving the environment just by managing a worm farm
Using worm compost on your garden, especially if you’re into growing your own organic produce, is something that can be created on a constant basis. It’s inevitable to produce and accumulate organic wastes after every meal made in your kitchen or after every garden clean-up. Some way, somehow, you will be able to collect some natural wastes that can be made into organic fertilizer (which can be really inexpensive on your end as you’ll only be investing on a worm bin and a supply of composting worms). And with the help of compost worms and other organisms present inside the bin, organic compost can be created.
Other than acquiring these wastes for free, you also get the chance to save the environment from further pollution. By going all-natural, and by replacing chemical-based fertilizers, your garden produce will also be able to grow without the hazards of getting burnt in the process (along with other risks such as plants not being able to absorb the nutrients right away, etc.).