Worm Composting

Basics of Worm Composting

What is worm fertilizing the soil?

Worm fertilizing the soil is utilizing worms to reuse food scraps and other natural material into an important soil change called vermicompost, or worm fertilizer. Worms eat food scraps, which become manure as they go through the worm’s body. Manure leaves the worm through its last part. This fertilizer would then be able to be utilized to develop plants. To comprehend why vermicompost is useful for plants, recollect that the worms are eating supplement rich leafy foods scraps, and transforming them into supplement rich manure.

Materials to utilize (and stay away from) in a homeroom worm canister

For a large number of years, worms have been working diligently separating natural materials and returning supplements to the dirt. By bringing a worm receptacle into the study hall, you are mimicking the worm’s part in nature. In spite of the fact that worms could eat any natural material, certain nourishments are better for the study hall worm receptacle.

We suggest utilizing just crude foods grown from the ground scraps. Avoid meats, oils and dairy items, which are more unpredictable materials than products of the soil. Consequently, they take more time to separate and can draw in bugs. Cooked nourishments are regularly slick or rich, which can likewise draw in bugs.

Dodge orange skins and different citrus natural products, which are excessively acidic, and can pull in natural product flies. Attempt to utilize an assortment of materials. We have discovered the more vegetable issue, the better the worm container. Avoid onions and broccoli which will in general have a solid smell.

Setting up a worm container

Setting up a worm container is simple. All you need is a container, sodden paper strips, and worms. To sort out some way to set up a worm receptacle, first consider what worms need to live. In the event that your canister gives what worms need, at that point it will be fruitful. Worms need dampness, air, food, dimness, and warm (however not hot) temperatures. Bedding, made of paper strips or leaves, will hold dampness and contain air spaces fundamental to worms.

You should utilize red worms or red wigglers in the worm canister, which can be requested from a worm homestead and sent to your school. The logical name for the two regularly utilized red worms are Eisenia foetida and Lumbricus rubellus.

Holders

While picking a holder in which to compost with worms, you should remember the measure of food scraps you wish to compost, and where the container will be found. A decent size container for the homeroom is a 5-to 10-gallon box or roughly 24″ X 18″ X 8″. The container ought to be shallow instead of profound, as red wigglers are surface-occupants and want to live in the main 6″ of the dirt..

Regardless of whether you pick a plastic, wooden or glass compartment to use as a worm canister involves individual inclination dependent on what is accessible. A few educators have extra aquariums accessible. Some have wooden boxes which they might want to reuse. Others may like to purchase or reuse a plastic holder, for example, monetarily made capacity container (for example “Rubbermaid,” “Exhaust,” “Sterilite”).

Regardless of what material you pick, make a point to wash out the holder before utilizing. For wooden canisters, line the base with plastic (for example from a plastic pack or old shower drapery). Spread the receptacle with a baggy cover. This top ought to permit air into the canister.

Collecting

On the off chance that you deal with your worms and establish a good climate for them, they will work indefatigably to eat your “trash” and produce manure. As time advances, you will see less and not so much sheet material but rather more and more manure in your canister. Following 3-5 months, when your canister is loaded up with fertilizer (and almost no bedding), the time has come to reap the receptacle. Collecting implies eliminating the completed fertilizer from the canister. Following a while, worms should be isolated from their castings which, at high focuses, establish an unfortunate climate for them.

To get ready for gathering, don’t add new food to the receptacle for about fourteen days. At that point attempt one of two techniques for reaping:

Push the entirety of the worm container substance to one portion of the receptacle, eliminating any huge bits of undecomposed food or paper. Put crisp sheet material and food scraps in void side of container. Keep covering food scraps just in newly slept with half.

Throughout the following 2-3 weeks, the worms will move over to the new side (where the food is), advantageously deserting their fertilizer in one segment. At the point when this has occurred, eliminate the manure and supplant it with crisp sheet material. To encourage worm movement, spread just the new side of the canister, making the old side dry out and urging the worms to leave the old side.

Active Method:

Dump the whole substance of the worm canister onto a sheet of plastic or paper. Make a few individual cone-formed heaps. Each heap will contain worms, manure and undecomposed food and bedding. As the heaps are presented to light,, the worms will move towards the lower part of the heap. Eliminate the top layer of fertilizer from the heap, isolating out bits of undecomposed food and paper. Subsequent to eliminating the top layer, let heap sit under light for 2-3 minutes as the worms move down. At that point eliminate the following layer of fertilizer. Rehash this cycle until the entirety of the worms are left at the lower part of the heap. Gather the worms, gauge them (for your record keeping) and set them back in their container with crisp sheet material.

Notwithstanding which technique you pick, the fertilizer you gather will no doubt contain a worm or two, alongside old food scraps and bedding. On the off chance that you are utilizing the fertilizer outside, there is no compelling reason to stress – the worms will locate a glad home and the food scraps and bedding will inevitably decay. In the event that you are utilizing the manure inside, you might need to eliminate old sheet material and food scraps for tasteful purposes and guarantee that there are no worms in the fertilizer. Despite the fact that the worms won’t hurt your plants, the worms dislike living in a little pot.

For the two strategies, you may keep on treating the soil your food scraps in the wake of reaping. Simply include crisp sheet material and food scraps. In the event that, for reasons unknown, you would prefer not to keep treating the soil, if it’s not too much trouble offer the arrangement to another educator or to somebody who will take the worm canister home. Anybody with a nursery will discover the worm manure amazingly significant. If all else fails, on the off chance that you can’t discover any individual who needs great worm fertilizer, you may add the worms to a nursery bed.

Utilizing worm fertilizer

You can utilize your fertilizer quickly, or you can store it and use it during the cultivating season, or at whatever point. The manure can be legitimately blended in with your fertilized soil or nursery soil as a dirt change, which causes make supplements accessible to plants. Or then again, the manure can be utilized as a top dressing for your indoor or outside plants.

You can likewise make “fertilizer tea” with your manure. Basically include 1-2″ of manure to your water can or downpour barrel. Permit fertilizer and water to “steep” for a day, blending incidentally. At that point water plants as you typically would. The subsequent “tea” helps make supplements as of now in the dirt accessible to plants.

Science of worms

Worms can live for around one year in the worm container. On the off chance that a worm passes on in your container, you presumably won’t notice it. Since the worm’s body is about 90% water, it will wither up and turn out to be essential for the fertilizer rather rapidly. New worms are conceived and others pass on constantly.

How find worms? Worms are bisexuals, which implies they are both male and female simultaneously. So as to mate, they actually require two worms. The worms line up in inverse ways close to their band (or clitellum), which contains a portion of the sexual organs. The worms are connected for around 15 minutes while they trade sperm cells. A few days after the fact, eggs interact with the sperm cells and structure a casing, or egg case. The cover isolates from the worm, at that point preparation happens. Inside the casing, 2-5 infant worms might be found.

The infant worms live in the egg case for in any event 3 weeks, now and again longer relying upon the encompassing conditions. For instance, in the winter time, infant worms may remain in the cover for a long time until the temperature heats up once more. At the point when the child worms in the end slither out, they are the thickness of a bit of string and conceivably 1 cm 1/4″ long. Generally the worms seem white, as they have not yet evolved pigmentation, or need more pigmentation (or blood) to be seen.

Effective vermicompost ventures

Numerous schools have been effectively treating the soil with worms in the course of recent years. Some primary school classes keep worm canisters as a component of a natural unit, others for science. By and large, instructors discover an assortment of multidisciplinary approaches to utilize a worm canister. For instance, one class considered their room the “Worm World.” Writing tasks, math exercises and fine art zeroed in on worms as a subject.

Using Compost Soil

Using Compost Soil

Traditionally, it is believed that the compost soil is ready when all the waste is rotted to a dark brown humus that smells like earth. From the moment the compost is laid, it takes 1 – 3 years. Depending on the place of use, the compost can still be used much earlier.

Mulch

From a well-functioning household waste composter, a valuable product can be obtained within 6 to 8 weeks: mulch, which means semi-finished compost. In mulch, the decomposition process has gone so far that household waste and green yard waste has already decomposed. Wood chippings, needles and other harder waste have not yet decomposed. Then the compost has already passed the heating stage. Mulch is a rather coarse, revitalizing soil conditioner.

It still contains a lot of material that needs decomposition and attracts its soil microflora to the garden. When using mulch, it is important to remember that it also needs oxygen for its final decomposition. It should not be buried deep in the ground, for example, at the bottom of a flower bed. The raw compost can also contain substances harmful to plants, so it should not come into contact with the plant roots.

In spring and summer, mulch is an excellent material for application to the soil surface. Apply it, for example, under bushes in a layer several centimeters thick, when the ground warms up. Mulch maintains soil moisture and activates the activity of microorganisms, mainly worms.

In the fall, you can add mulch to the garden and mix it with the ground with a mill.

Compost in soil

The compost used in the soil must be very mature. Mature compost is dark, homogeneous, and smells good. At this stage, there may still be differences in the compost, for example, eggshells and pieces of branches. They do not interfere with the use of compost. If you want a clean compost, for example for distribution over the surface of the lawn, sift the bulky parts of the compost using a sieve with a mesh size of about 10 mm and put the sifted waste back into the compost.

Even ready-made compost is not suitable as a pure soil. You can improve its quality by mixing, for example, 3 parts Horticultural peat with mineral fertilizers with 1 part mature compost. It is convenient to mix it immediately on the spot, for example, in a vegetable garden or in a flower bed, at least with a garden cultivator. Biolan Natural Fertilizer can be added as a basic nitrogen fertilizer according to the instructions on the package.

If you want to get the most out of your compost soil, don’t let it mature for too long. The humic substances of the compost continue their work all the time. So, compost does not improve with age, but rather loses its vitality and nutrients.

Compost as fertilizer

The impact of compost as fertilizer depends on the raw material from which the compost is made. The nutrient content of compost made from household and garden waste is usually very low. The nutrients in compost are slow and have a long effect on the ground. Compost is just right for long-term soil improvement and as a slowly dissolving nutrient reserve for perennial plants such as trees, shrubs and ornamental perennials. In addition, take care of the main feeding, which is required depending on each specific plant.

Many garden plants such as cabbage, cucumber, tomato, leek, etc. need strong and fast-acting fertilizer for their growth and yield. These plants can be fed with, for example, Biolan Natural Fertilizer, which is rich in nutrients. The use of compost soil enhances the benefits of Biolan Natural Fertilizer by revitalizing the activity of microorganisms. Then the plants are able to effectively use the reserves of nutrients from the soil and organic fertilizers during the growth period.

In order to achieve a good effect of the soil improver, compost is best applied to the soil during the spring tillage period. Then the nutrients of the compost will not be lost and will not be washed off in the autumn and spring rains. Compost applied to the ground in spring must be mature so as not to interfere with seed germination. At a time, you can make compost at the rate of 30 to 50 liters per sq. meter, i.e. layer 3 – 5 cm thick.

What Can I Compost

What Can I Compost?

As a general rule, if it is a plant or used to be a plant, then it’s compostable but composting diverts more than just food scraps!

Here’s the short list of waste goods that you could keep out of the landfill and put back into healthy soils when you join Santa Cruz Community Compost Co.

And just in case you forget what to put in, a groovy laminated compostables list will be attached to your collection bucket for easy reference.

If the list below doesn’t answer your question, join us at our Compostables Q&A.

We accept:

  • Vegetable and fruit scraps and peels
  • Tea bags and coffee filters
  • Egg shells
  • Any other non-meat food scraps
  • Any non-glossy paper products including cardboard (torn up or shredded)
  • Fireplace ashes
  • Hair (from you or your pets)
  • Leaves

We do NOT accept:

  • Glossy Paper
  • Meat and Bones
  • Large amounts of dairy or oil
  • “Compostable” plastic utensils and dishes
  • Urine or feces of any kind

 

Why Compost

Why Compost?

Full Plates vs. Full Garbage Dumps

In 2009, a waste study report showed that 10,000 tons of food scraps head to our local landfill every year. These scraps if composted could produce more than 12 tons of nutrient rich fertilizer for local farms. Instead, trapped in landfills, they are releasing more than 15 tons of methane into the atmosphere. The local government is aware of the growing need for residential compost collection–as reported in this recent Goodtimes article: Compost: Recycling’s Last Frontier)–but the article claims that the county is still years away from finding a solution and states that “…the more locally you can close the cycle the better…” Santa Cruz Compost Co. can get you started NOW! We believe that compostables are a valuable resource and that our local, small-scale operation is the first step towards a more sustainable food system in Santa Cruz. By taking your compostables directly from table to farm, our bike-powered compost collection service transforms a wasteful, resource-consuming system into a sustainable, closed-loop system.

How Easy is It?

It’s so easy! Many loving, caring people who want to compost don’t have time, energy, or space to maintain a healthy compost pile at their home. Others, esp. condo and apartment dwellers have nowhere to do it at all. For those who have tried it, it may seem like more trouble than it’s worth. That’s where Santa Cruz Community Compost Co. comes in! When you sign up, you get a streamlined solution that helps you protect a valuable resource, reduce your household’s waste footprint, keep your trashcan cleaner, and support a local farm that can put food right back on your plate.