Plants, whether they are grown outdoors or potted indoors, need a few ingredients to ensure smooth growth. While adequate water and ample sunlight are basic prerequisites for all plant, another important catalyst are fertilisers. And the best fertiliser is organic compost.
Now, not everyone has enough space in their back garden to make a composting pit. Ergo, we will look at vermicomposting and how it can be a vital additive to your soil. Creating pure-grade organic compost while not taking up much space is a unique feature. And it can be made possible using a vermicompost bin.
Act I: Setting up the Bin
Step 1 – Choose the perfect Slot for your worm bin.
- Worm bins work best at consistent moisture and temperature levels.
- Do not place near living areas like bedrooms or living rooms.
- Keep away from hot or cold areas like close to ovens, heaters, blowers, and ACs.
- Storage Cupboards, Laundry Rooms, Basements, or corners in a large kitchen work best.
Step 2 – Purchase a worm bin
- Custom-made vermicompost containers.
- Easily available at gardening/organic supply stores/online.
- In case of non-availability, use a 90-100 litre, opaque container.
Step 3 – Check the holes to ensure smooth air passage
- Custom bins come with holes already drilled into them.
- If using a container, drill around 20-odd holes across the bin.
- Evenly spaced, half-inch holes in the base, sides and top work fine.
Step 4 – Set up the Bin
- Spread out a large sheet of plastic in the designated area.
- Place two large blocks (wooden or stone) on the sheet.
- Place the bin onto the blocks.
Step 5 – Get the worms
- For the finale, buy some worms for your pit.
- Available at local gardening/organic supply stores/online.
Act II: Setting up the Worm Ecosystem
Step 1 – Prepare the bedding
- Worms need moist beddings or ones that can hold moisture.
- Newspapers or corrugated cardboard pieces work best.
- Shred ample paper to make the base at least 10-12 inches high.
Step 2 – Soak the bedding
- Worms thrive in damp conditions.
- Sprinkle adequate water on the paper bedding.
- Ensure that the whole bed is wet, erasing all dry parts.
Step 3 – Set the bedding
- Wait until the paper soaks the water in.
- Spread the bedding evenly across the base.
- The wet base should be at least 8 inches tall for the worms to settle in.
Step 4 – Top it off with mud
- Soil is the worms’ natural habitat.
- Adding soil to the bin will add a genuine feel to the bin.
- Regular potting soil or plain, pebble-free mud works fine.
- Spread the soil evenly across the bed.
Step 5 – Add a layer of food waste to the soil layer
- Evenly spread organic food waste across the layer.
- Leaves, fruits and vegetables, and peels work best.
- Crushed eggshells, ground coffee, and leftover tea leaves or tea bags are also good choices.
Step 6 – The waiting game
- Close off the bin properly.
- Wait for at least a week.
- Open the bin up after 7-10 days.
Act III: Let the composting Begin
Step 1 – Place worms into the bedding
- Uncover the bin
- Make a hole in the centre of the bedding.
- Slowly, spill the worms into the hole.
- Do not spread them across the top.
Step 2 – Feed the worms
- On average, 1000 worms consume 225-250g of food a day.
- Worms prefer fruits and vegetables, in addition to organic food waste.
- If you are adding more waste to the pit, add more worms too.
Step 3 – Harvesting your compost
- Maintain a regular, weekly check on your bin.
- Keep checking the bedding level.
- Once all bedding is converted to compost, it’s time to harvest it.
- Carefully, push all the compost to one side.
- Keep adding new wet bedding from the other side.
- Gradually, dig out the compost.
- Make sure the worms are unharmed.
- Tada! Your compost is ready to use.
Vermicomposting is a safe, easy and efficient way to grow your own compost and use it in your plants, plant beds, and pots. Although a vermicomposting pit is a proven method, in case of less space, a composting bin can also do the job equally well.
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