It's time to start using your worm bin compost in the spring. All year, your red worms have been busily consuming kitchen wastes and producing useful fertilizer. Now they will stop eating and reproducing and begin storing energy for next summer when you won't be able to feed them.
In the fall, remove the cover of your worm bin and allow it to cool completely before removing the worms. Place the bin in a warm, dry area where it will remain undisturbed for several months. During this time, the worms will go into dormancy. When it gets cold outside, the worms will awaken from their winter slumber and begin feeding again.
Worm compost is perfect for planting in gardens or containers because it contains no chemicals or pesticides and is rich in organic matter. You can add some green waste such as leaves or grass clippings to increase its nitrogen content.
Start planning now for what goes in your worm bin this coming spring. Think about what you will need and how you will transport it. You may want to keep some bedding material on hand too so you can add more nutrients when you need to boost the fertility of your soil.
When your bin is full with compost (and very little bedding) after 3-5 months, it is time to collect it. Harvesting is the process of taking completed compost from a bin. Worms must be isolated from their castings after many months since large concentrations create a hazardous environment for them. Also, any plant material should be removed from the worm bin before harvesting.
Worm bins can be built from wood or metal and will usually have an opening at the top to allow air flow and moisture to reach their food supply. The bin should be at least 1 cubic foot in size and should be large enough to avoid overcrowding while still providing enough space for the worms to grow. Smaller bins tend to heat up faster while larger ones can hold more worms. Wood is the best choice for a bin body because it does not react with acid gases such as methane that may be produced by plastic and other materials. Metal is another option but requires maintenance to prevent insects from entering the bin.
Worm bins do not require much maintenance other than watering during dry periods and checking for signs of disease or insect infestation. If any pests are found, remove the source of contamination and replace the soil inside the bin.
Worms are easy to keep and can provide entertainment for children while helping the garden grow. They require only a small amount of space and are capable of breaking down vegetable scraps and fruit cores quickly.
Soil dominated by beneficial bacteria and fungus naturally nourishes healthy plants, retains moisture, and aids in disease prevention. The greatest time to add Big Red Worms, Worm Castings, or Compost X and Compost to your soil is in the fall. Apply as little as 1/4" of castings, or up to 2" of Compost X if organic matter is required. Work these ingredients into the soil around plant roots. In areas where there is not much natural rainfall, consider installing a composting system. These can either be done manually with buckets or using an automatic composter.
Worms eat the rotting material in your yard's decomposers and then excrete a liquid that is rich in nitrogen. This helps your soil build up over time and reduces the need for fertilizer. As long as you provide them with fresh food, worms will keep eating your yard's waste and producing compost for you to use later.
You can use worm castings under trees, along garden paths, or anywhere else you might like to add some organically-grown nutrients. They're perfect for fertilizing vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herb gardens. And since they are decomposed animal manure, they offer the same nutrients as human-made fertilizer but without the chemicals.
In addition to using under trees or along pathways, you can apply worm castings directly to your soil as a mulch or border treatment. This will suppress weeds while adding nutrients that help plants grow vigorously.
Red worms, often known as "red wigglers" and "manure worms," are the best earthworms to employ. A single container of red worms may produce pounds of nutritious compost, often known as worm castings. Compostable material can be collected in as little as two to three months. Redworms reproduce at an alarming rate. They will eat their way through almost any organic material including vegetable peel, eggshells, coffee grounds, and banana peels. Because they are an integral part of the agricultural industry, it is easy to obtain redworm larvae or "grubs" for children's gardens or school farms.
Black soldier fly larvae are also useful in composting. Like redworms, black soldier fly larvae will eat just about anything and require only water and a little soil to create compost. Unlike redworms, black soldier fly larvae do not emit gas when they break down materials in your compost pile. However, if you would like to include redworms in your black soldier fly composting operation, that can be done by placing some redworm grub food along with your black soldier fly larvae food. The redworms will eat the black soldier fly larvae food and then add themselves to the mix later on.
Compost is a great source of nutrients for your garden. It helps plants grow better and stronger, and reduces the need for fertilizer. There are several different types of compost, but all compost contains the ingredients necessary for plants to thrive.
Feed your outdoor composting worms once every two to three weeks. Make sure not to overfeed your worms. If you give your worms too much food, they won't be able to eat it before it rots. Food that has gone rotten might attract fruit flies and emit a foul stench. This will discourage your worm from eating it.
Worms need food all year long, even during the cold winter months. In fact, feeding your worms in the fall and spring ensures that they have nutrients to use throughout the year. Don't worry about not being able to find enough scraps around the house to feed your worms- they can eat vegetable peelings, bread crusts, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, and fruit cores.
Worms are an excellent source of oxygen for your garden because they decompose organic material in the soil. Worms help release nutrients that plants can use. They also reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in your yard that would otherwise run off into local waterways untreated.
There are several different types of worms used in agriculture today. Earthworms play a vital role in breaking down organic matter in the soil, especially in areas where regular soil tilling isn't done. They also hold the soil together, which helps prevent erosion. But earthworms require a lot of living space and so aren't suitable for everyone.