Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Ins and Outs of Worm Composting

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  Worm composting is the process of using worms to recycle scraps of food and other organic material to create worm compost, also known as vermicompost. Food scraps are converted to compost as they are digested by the worm. The compost then leaves the worm through its tail end. The fruit and vegetable scraps which are eaten by these worms is very rich in nutrients, making it very good for the growth of plant life.
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  <b>What Materials to Use</b>
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  Although worms can eat any organic material, certain foods are better for compost than others. It's best if you use only raw fruit and vegetable scraps. These foods are best for plant growth.
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  <b>What Materials Not to Use</b>
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  Meats, daily products, and various oils are more complex than fruits and vegetables, therefore they take longer to break down. They can also attract insects. The oils or buttery substances in cooked foods can also attract insects and should also be avoided.
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  Citrus fruits, such as limes or oranges, are too acidic for worm bins, and can also attract fruit flies. The more vegetable matter you can include in your worm bin, the better. Onions and broccoli often have a strong odor and should not be included in your bin.
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  <b>What is a Worm Bin?</b>
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  It's easy to create a worm bin of your own. As long as you have what worms need to live included in your bin, you will have a successful result. Worms require warm temperatures, moisture, air, food, and darkness. Bedding made out of leaves or strips of newspaper will create a moist environment and give the worms essential air space.
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  Red worms or red wigglers work best for worm bins. These can be ordered from worm farms and mailed to the area you would like to use them.
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  <b>How to Use Your Compost</b>
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  Your compost can be used immediately, or it can be stored for future use. You can mix your compost with potting soil or garden soil to give plants greater access to nutrients.
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  You can also use your compost to make "compost tea". Add one or two inches of compost to a watering can or a rain barrel. Allow the compost to "steep" in the water for a day, mixing it on occasion. Then use this "tea" to water your plants. The end result is a product that makes the nutrients in the soil more readily available to plants.
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  Worm composting is very good for the environment and making a worm bin is simple and effective. With a few spare materials and a little bit of know-how, you will be able to create a compost rich in nutrients for future gardening endeavors.
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  Source:
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  Cornell
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  <a href="http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/basics.html" target="_blank">http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/basics.html</a>
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