Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vermicompost

Quoted from Wikipedia-

Vermicompost, also known as worm castings and vermicast, is richer in many nutrients than compost produced by other composting methods. It is also rich in microbial life which helps break down nutrients already present in the soil into plant-available forms. Unlike other compost, worm castings also contain worm mucus which keeps nutrients from washing away with the first watering and holds moisture better than plain soil. For this reason, some fruit and seed pits are reported to germinate in vermicompost easily. Vermicompost made from ordinary kitchen scraps will contain small seeds, especially those of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, that may sprout weeks later.

Vermicompost benefits soil by

  • improving its physical structure;
  • enriching soil in micro-organisms, adding plant hormones such as auxins and gibberellic acid, and adding enzymes such as phosphatase and cellulase;
  • attracting deep-burrowing earthworms already present in the soil;
  • improving water holding capacity;
  • enhancing germination, plant growth, and crop yield; and
  • improving root growth and structure.
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We set up our very own vermicompost bin today! Our regular compost pile is full and ready to be turned nutrient rich soil for our summer planting. However, we still have kitchen waste and paper that we don't want to just send to the land fill when we can use it in a positive way here!
Here is their new nest made of wet, shredded newspaper and used paper. We drilled holes in the bottom so they wouldn't drown.










Here they are in the container from the store.













Ah! Sun!!













An extra layer of dirt for them to nosh on before we can give them scraps starting next week.











Finally! Sealed and ready to eat! I'm glad we got a clear bin so we can watch them and make sure nothing gets moldy, or dried out.











If you want to make your own bin or just want more information I highly recommend wormpoop.com (such a to the point url name)

6 comments:

Kathie said...

I've been vermicomposting for about 6 years now and just love it. Congrats on your bin, I'm sure you'll grow to adore those little worms and all their poop.

Brittney said...

Thanks Kathie :)
I've very excited! I hope they poop tons!!

Martha/All the Dirt said...

We bought our first red wriggler worms about six months ago. They have become pets at our house.

What method is best for harvesting the Vermicompost?

Brittney said...

Hi Martha,
This is the first time I've ever done Vermicompost (well, I did it when I was little, but I don't think that counts :D). I read something about slowly changing where you put their food, so you can harvest from one end without bugging them too much. HTH

agape said...

how cool! i'm interested in starting a garden and i know nada about it. more research to do...thanks for the info. now i have a starting place.

Brittney said...

I'm glad I could give you a starting place! The more the worms eat, the less that goes to the land fills :D