15 January 2008

Critters in the Garden - Compost Worms


At 60-degrees and sunny this could be called a perfect day for being in the yard. I must admit that digging out weeds is getting old though and I can't wait for something that seems more productive, like seeing seeds sprout.
Where do the creatures go in winter? We rescue turtles from the neighborhood dogs' mouths and babies are born here. But where are they now?
I crawled around flower beds to seek and destroy weeds, move leaves and flower stalks but I found no wildlife anywhere.

COMPOST WORMS For Earth Day this year I'm going to give away composting worm kits, so gardeners and kids can see how food scraps can become good earth for growing plants.

So, I've been reading worm blogs on the Internet and searching for compost worm articles. Did you know that 25% of landfill is food scraps that could be composted to make rich garden soil instead?

I found worm cartoons on You Tube.

Here are some interesting sites about composting with red worms:

Red Worm Composting

Earth Worm Digest

Uncle Jim's Worm Farm

Urban Agriculture

Allied Waste Company has good basic how to info on their site and they aren't selling anything either. < ; - )

Here are their basic instructions on Start a Worm Bin
- Find or build a shallow container (about l6-l8 inches deep), wooden boxes, plastic storage containers work well. Drill drainage holes.
- Fill your worm bin with moist bedding - brown leaves, shredded paper or cardboard, straw or peat moss -work well. Add a handful of dirt.
- Add about one pound of-red wriggler composting worms (will consume about 1/2 pound of food a day)- check in friend's compost pile or call a worm supplier
- Rotate the burial location of food scraps throughout the bin.
- Every 3 to 6 months push the old bedding and decomposing scraps to one side of the bin, re-bed the empty side and start burying food waste in the fresh bedding
- After allowing the older scraps to finish for another month or so, remove the compost and add more fresh bedding

Another idea from my brother who has done this before, was to put 4-bales of straw in a square, put in the moistened bedding and previously rotted food scraps or composted manure. As the worms multiply they will move into the straw bales.

As the bales collapse, put two of them onto the garden and use the other two to start the next round.

By the way, compost worms cannot survive in the garden where earthworms thrive.

2 comments:

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I tried worm composting. I had redworms. I wasn't very good at it. I think I gave them too much food, and then the box got yucky with fruit knats. Like I said, I didn't know what I was doing.

Martha said...

Well, I woried about the bug and gnat problem, too, Dee.
My brother has done compost worm growing at the compost center where he has worked for 12-years.
I'll keep posting info on the blog about successes, failures, resources, etc.
Yesterday, Jim's called back and took my order for 1,000 compost worms for $20.
The adventure begins.