Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A case for earth worm composting

It all started about 2 months ago, I was a skeptic then and not sure how it will all work out and what would it take to accomplish successful vermicomposting system. All my skepticism went away last weekend when I saw this in the compost bin. Rich beautiful and earthy smelling vermicompost. 


It was fun to watch all the greens (veggies,fruits) and browns (paper, cardboard and shredded paper) turn into fine compost. I did use it up in the garden and will have to wait a few weeks before I can assess the impact on the garden. I admit this is the fastest way of generating compost, any other technique or method would have taken a few extra months (minimum 8-12 months).

Previously I used to recycle the news paper (1 or 2 free ones I get in a month), now they are part of my worm bin, same goes to the cardboard cylinder in the center of the paper rolls, last week started to use pizza boxes too.

Having reared them for close to 2 months. I have learnt a thing or two about them and figured it would be a good time to share those insights. 

  • I use the worm factory to keep these worms, the instructions that come with the bins is fairly self guiding 
  • I have the setup in a corner of our garage and that’s where they have been since the day I began.
  • The one thing that would become a common sight in your house will be the fruit fly trap (rice vinegar + few drops of dish soap and nothing else)
  • Never had any bad odor coming out of the bins
  • They prefer a 1:1 ratio of greens to browns, other methods need 1:3 greens to browns 
  • They prefer to work autonomously and don’t like being disturbed by raking around or aerating around”
  • Unless there is a problem (bad smell) don’t go poking around the bin, at least not frequently (once a few days is very frequent)
  • There is a work around to reduce the flies like adding brown to cover the green at the very beginning but trust me they wont go away completely but will surely reduce the flies
  • The worms apparently don’t like the office paper, found it the hard way but they are ok if one combines office paper with brown paper (cardboard boxes and so on)
  • No citrus and no pineapples or anything that is highly acidic in nature.
  • Not much time required for setup or maintenance, most of my time is spent in collecting brown material and keep them shredded 
  • They don’t like too much moisture, but this won’t be a concern if you regimentally follow 1:1 for green and brown  
  • As with many things in nature, patience, patience and more patience