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A Beginner’s Guide To Vermicomposting

If you’re delving into the world of eco-friendly gardening, you’ve probably come across the term ‘vermicomposting’. In this article, we’ll talk about what this means, why it’s good for the environment, and how you can start your own vermicompost system.

What is Vermicomposting?

Vermicomposting is a method of composting that turns your food scraps into a well-balanced, nutrient-rich soil. This method reduces down organic waste faster than normal composting.

The Importance of Worms in Vermicomposting

Worms are the key component that separates vermicomposting from regular composting. They are responsible for breaking down the food scraps that you supply, which releases all the key nutrients that make vermicompost so good for your plants.

While you may assume that any worms from your garden could be used for this, there are actualy specific worm species required for a vermicomposting system. Earthworms found in your garden are soil-dwelling, and can’t process lots of food waste. They also struggle to reproduce in confined spaces.

There are a few species that can be used, including Red Wigglers (Eisenia fetida) and European Nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis).

Benefits of Vermicomposting

Benefits for your plants

Using vermicompost in your soil has a huge list of benefits for your plants. Here are some examples:

  • It adds lots of nutrients to the soil.
  • It improves the soil’s ability to hold onto nutrients in a form that the plants can use.
  • It improves soil structure – providing aeration and drainage in heavy clay soils, and water retention for sandy soils.
  • It adds beneficial bacteria to the soil.

Benefits for the environment

Not only does it work wonders for your plants, but there are also environmental benefits to vermicomposting. The main benefit is the reduction of food waste. Rather than sending your food waste to landfill – where it can be very difficult for it to decompose – it’ll be in the ground, helping your plants thrive.

An added benefit of using nutrient-rich vermicompost is that you won’t need to use as much chemical fertiliser. Natural fertilisers like vermicompost are much more eco-friendly and better for all the little creatures in and around your soil.

Creating Your Own Vermicomposting System

If you’re interested in creating your own vermicompost at home, read this step-by-step guide to get you started:

1. Choose your container

The first step is to pick out the container you’ll use for your system. Your options here are to either buy a ready-to-use vermicomposting container or to make your own.

2. Choose your bedding material

Shredded paper is often recommended as vermicomposting bedding, but there are other options such as:

  • Compost
  • Coco coir
  • Straw or hay
  • Shredded brown cardboard

3. Add worms and food scraps

Once their environment is ready, add in your worms and some food scraps for them to start working on. Remember that worms need moisture and warmth to maintain their activity rates, so don’t let the system dry out or become too cold. You should also manually turn the bedding in order to aerate it.

Conclusion

We hope that now you’ve been introduced to the world of vermicomposting, it will give your garden an incredible boost. Remember to check out our other articles for more gardening tips and knowledge.

Updated on May 31, 2024

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