Vermicomposting, or worm composting, is a fun and easy way to compost food waste.
Vermicomposting utilizes worms to convert organic matter into nutrient rich vermicast (compost). The worm castings (worm poop) contains highly-concentrated nutrients that are valuable to garden and house plants. Vermicomposting can be achieved both indoors or out. With vermicomposting, a yard or a compost pile are not even necessary.
When added to soil, vermicompost has many benefits that include:
- enriching the physical structure of soil
- enhancing crop yeid, germination, and plant growth
- increasing nutrients associated with the higher presence of micro-organisms found in worm castings
- retaining water so that the soil holds moisture efficently
- improving soil aeration, drainage, and stability
- preventing nutrients to be washed due to the presence of residual worm mucus
- reducing pathogenic bacteria which is harmful to humans and animals/pets
- elevating antibiotic properties and natural plant growth hormones
The most common worms for vermicomposting are red wigglers (Eisenia fotida). These worms can double their population in three months; however, they can self-regulate as to not over populate the area, but can also be successful in a slightly over-populated environment. Red wigglers are able to eat about ½ of their weight per day. One pound of worms can eat ½ pound of food per day. In addition, red wigglers love the dark (and hate the light)...so escapees are a rare occurrence.