Organic Gardener's Worm Composting

Ever wondered how to cultivate the perfect plants? It's time to introduce worm composting into your gardening routine. Despite worms being perceived as creepy and slimy, they can help you establish a thriving garden with plants you can proudly showcase. Read on to discover more.

Worm composting, also known as vermicomposting, is the use of worms or their castings (excrement) as a fancy term for plant food or fertilizer. It's nature's way of working wonders, with seemingly insignificant creatures like worms and bacteria acting as tiny cleaners. They play a crucial role in breaking down our waste, and the end product of this cleansing process is the rich material we can now use as compost. Surprisingly, it can help our plants grow healthily without the aid of fertilizers, which is beneficial for us. Learn how to naturally enhance your soil with the help of worms here.

This handy infographic simplifies the seemingly complex concept of worm composting, making it easier for you to understand. Fortunately, you can do worm composting yourself and receive rich compost from your composting partners, the worms, for your plants.

Common Types of Worms:
While thousands of worm species are known, only a few are suitable for indoor worm composting. Worms that burrow in the shallow layers of soil or compost are highly suitable for worm composting. Here are some commonly used worm types:

Red Worms or Lubricous Rubellus (1 inch to 4 inches): Common in composting circles, they can survive cold winters and may pose a threat to ecosystems if released.
Red Wigglers or Eisenia Foetida/Eisenia Andrei (2 inches to 4 inches): Shallow dwellers, perfect for composting.
Blue Worms or Perionyx Excavatus (1 1/4" to 2 3/4"): Common composting worms in tropical climates.
African Nightcrawlers or Eudrilus Eugeniae (6" to 8+"): Common composting worms in subtropical and tropical climates.
European Nightcrawlers or Eisenia Hortensis (3 inches to 8 inches): Growing in popularity for composting and commonly used as fishing bait.
Choosing the Right Container:
A good compost achieves the perfect balance between moisture and nutrients. Here are four common compost bin materials to help you determine which is convenient for you and allows you to achieve the perfect balance in composting:

Cardboard: Highly absorbent and easily decomposes.
Tip: Monitor the condition closely to ensure the right humidity level.

Plastic/Polystyrene: Doesn't absorb water, easy to clean. Most popular.
Tip: Add more drainage holes to prevent soil from becoming too wet.

Wood: Good water absorption and drainage.
Tip: Choose rot-resistant woods like cedar or Western red cedar to avoid harmful leaching. Avoid using pine and redwood.

Metal: Doesn't absorb water, prone to rust, and releases heavy metals.
Tip: Increase drainage holes to prevent overly wet soil.

Proper Worm Food:
The relationship between bacteria and worms in the compost mix is crucial to obtaining good worm castings. Bacteria feed on compost materials, and in turn, worms feed on bacteria. The end product of this process is compost, which works wonders in your garden plants.

Here are some tips on what waste to use in your compost:

Coffee grounds and filters
Tea bags

Grass clippings (without pesticides)
Garden clippings (without pesticides)
Rinsed eggshells

Dairy products
Glossy paper
Harvesting and Application:
After successfully extracting rich dark compost, you can prepare worms for a new batch and prepare the compost for application. Compost application can be done directly or in the form of compost tea.

Direct Application:
Remove worms (optional).
Freeze the compost.
Test and mix the compost.
Use in the garden or with potted plants.

Compost Tea:
Collect compost with coarse cotton cloth or a T-shirt.
Soak the bundle in a bucket of water overnight.
Filter the liquid and add it to a spray bottle.
Spray on plants and soil.

If you want wallpaper-worthy vegetable images and want them organic and healthy, worm composting will get the job done. You can garden organically and dispose of waste in an eco-friendly way.