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Why Your Composting Strategy Needs Worms

If you have taken the step to start a compost pile for your garden, it is time to take one more step and consider vermicomposting, or composting with worms.

Image source: MossGrownStone

Unlike a traditional compost pile, vermicomposting is a wonderful and efficient way to dispose of kitchen waste and turn it into high quality organic compost. You may find that adding wet kitchen waste to your garden compost slows decomposition down. However, it is perfect food for hungry worms, who make quick work of your daily scraps. In fact, vermicomposting can help you reduce your kitchen waste, newspapers and cardboard trash by up to one-third.

Composting with Worms

Vermicompost, the rich end result from the worm’s work, consists of worm casts (feces) and some decayed organic matter. When worms are happiest and conditions just right, they can actually eat their own weight in organic matter daily. They feed off of the micro-organisms that are eating the organic matter and their casts contain about eight times more micro-organisms than what they are consuming. The great news for gardeners is that the casts don’t contain any pathogenic bacteria, as this is all killed in the worm’s gut.

When compared to ordinary garden soil, worm casts contain five times as much nitrogen, seven times more phosphorus, and 11 times more potassium. Casts are perfect soil conditioners because they contain a large amount of humid acids. These acids have a near perfect pH balance and actually contain the same properties as those found in seaweed.

What kind of worms are used in vermicomposting?

You may be familiar with the great big thick earthworms that burrow their way around your garden soil. However, the worms that are used in vermicomposting are actually not these worms but rather worms known as angle worms, manure worms, red wrigglers, river worms or brandlings. They actually live mostly near the surface of the soil where there are large concentrations of organic matter. They are commonly found in compost piles, leaf mold or pastures.

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You can find two different breeds of composting worms at most garden centers — Eisenia foetida or Lumbricus rubellas. In order to start composting with worms like these, you will need at least 1 pound or 1,000 worms which can easily increase to one million worms in a year. By starting with 1,000 worms, you will have an estimated surplus of about 35 pounds of worms in a year — this accounts for eggs that are lost when compost is harvested. You can either let the worms die off as they multiply or you can harvest them to sell, use elsewhere in the garden or start new compost boxes.

What kind of boxes are used when composting with worms?

As composting with worms becomes more and more popular, there are a number of commercial worm boxes available. Many of these, however, are made of plastic which does not breathe well. People who have have been practicing vermicomposting for a very long time suggest that gardeners build their own worm box from wood because wood is porous and allows for better ventilation. Making your own will also save you money in the long run.

Box size: Although you may find recommendations to make bigger boxes, a box that is too large is very difficult to manage. The best thing to do is to make as many boxes that handle 4 pounds of food waste a week as you need. These boxes measure 2-by-2-feet wide and 8-inches deep.

composting with worms

Composting with worms. Image source: ieuawatereducation

Box materials and construction: Use exterior grade 1/2-inch plywood, and be sure that it is not chemically treated. Use a non-toxic wood preservative instead or treat the box with vegetable oil. Use galvanized nails to put your box together and drill about twelve 1/2-inch holes in the bottom for ventilation. When you put your box together, be sure that the two sides are about 1/2-inch deeper so that the bottom of the box is elevated off of the ground a little. It is best to put the box in a tray because it will leak some. Also, be sure to make a lid for your box.

Box bedding

Add about 6 pounds of dry material to each worm box. Worms will eat their bedding as well as the food scraps. Any non-toxic fluffy material that holds moisture works well. Be careful not to use anything that will decompose too rapidly like alfalfa hay or green manure. The easiest and best bedding is composed of two-thirds corrugated cardboard and one-third peat moss. You can also use cardboard and newspaper.

Be sure to cut cardboard into 1-inch wide strips that are about 3 inches long and tear newspaper into 1-inch strips. Other things that make great bedding include aged horse, rabbit or cow manure, coco peat moss, sphagnum peat moss and fall leaves.

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In addition to bedding, add two handfuls of sand or soil to help the worms grind up food in their gizzards. Also, add a little bit of ground limestone or wood ash over the bedding. Mix the bedding together and dampen it thoroughly. Add the worms and allow them to settle into their new home for about 3 days before adding any scraps.

Kitchen scraps

When composting with worms, do not feed the worms metal, plastic, or foil. Use only vegetable and fruit scraps, tea bags, crushed eggshells, coffee grounds with filter, stale bread and small pieces of houseplant trimmings. Be sure that all scraps are cut into chunks and add citrus, onion and garlic sparingly. If adding dairy, meat and fish, do so sparingly at first and spread them out well into the bedding. Small or broken chicken bones are also OK but bigger ones won’t break down.

A good method is to collect kitchen scraps in a bucket with a lid and add to the compost every two days or so. Bury scraps in the bedding in a corner of the box and move to a new spot, close to the first one, next time. A small box can accommodate about nine bury sites.

About every 3 to 6 months, you will need to empty the box.

Harvesting for use

Method One

Dump the material in the box on a large piece of plastic under a bright light or in the sun. Make eight small mounds and wait a few minutes for the worms to bury into the mounds — they do this because they are sensitive to light. Use a hand brush and dustpan to lightly brush the top of each mound until you see worms — wait a bit for them to bury some more. Do this over and over. When you finish, you will have a pile of worms ready for new bedding. Once the worms are in their new bedding, what is left is rich compost. Store the compost for a couple of weeks before using in the garden.

Method Two

Place a piece of nylon mesh window screening that is a bit bigger than the size of the box — lay it flat on the surface of the vermicompost. Add fresh bedding on top of the screen and continue to feed kitchen scraps. The hungry worms will penetrate the screen into the new bedding to find the food.

When the top layer is ready for harvest, lift the screen out from the box and set it aside. Empty the box filled with high quality vermicompost. Dump the material that was on top of the screen back into the box and put the screen on top with fresh bedding. Be sure that the screen does not rot. Replace as needed.

Method Three

This is a super easy harvesting method, although you will not get a lot of extra worms. Feed kitchen scraps to your worms for about four months and start a new bed with fresh bedding. To be sure that the new box has enough worms, add a few each time you feed the first box. Once you start feeding the second box, stop feeding the first box. By the time the second box is full, the first box will contain very high quality castings but very few worms.

Tips and tricks:

  • There should be no flies or foul smells when composting with worms. However, if this happens you are feeding the worms more than they can consume. Stop feeding the worms and add some more dry bedding and lime. Stir the bin with a hand fork. Repeat the process as long as the smell persists.
  • Fruit flies may get into the box and they will not cause any harm; however, too many of them means too much feed. Slow down on the feeding and cover the waste with damp newspaper.
  • Your box may also become home to a number of soldier fly maggots or vinegar fly larvae. Although these maggots help with the compost in process, you can add more bedding and lime or even put a piece of bread soaked in milk on the surface. Once the larvae migrate to the bread, take it out and feed it to your chickens — they will love you.
  • Keep your wormery in a shady area outside, and if you have cold temps in the winter you should consider moving the wormery to a warmer location such as a garage or shed. You can also insulate the box by adding a layer of straw on top. Surrounding your worm bin with heavy plastic sheeting or pieces of old carpet will also keep your worms warm.

Using the worm compost

Mix the organic compost into the topsoil around your plants. You don’t need much because it is very rich. Use vermicompost to start seedlings by mixing about 25 percent into potting soil for best results. You can also make compost tea by mixing two tablespoons of vermicompost in with a liter of water. Let it sit for one day, shaking once in a while and sprinkle under plants. Be sure not to let vermicompost dry out before using it. Keep a fresh batch brewing all the time to keep your plants healthy and happy.

What vermicomposting tips would you add? Leave your comments in the section below:

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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The Ultimate Energizer Review – Does It Really Work?


If you’re looking for a review of the ultimate energizer guide then you have come to the right spot because in this exclusive article we’re going to blow the lid off the ultimate energizer once and for all and reveal weather it is the real deal or not.

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The ultimate energizer review – is it worth it?

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About The Ultimate Energizer guide

The ultimate energizer is your ultimate guide to building your own alternative and portable energy source to power up any of your household appliances including refrigerators and aircon units. It is a very affordable way to having an emergency generator that can help you save more than 50% from your electricity bills without spending too much on other alternative energy source like solar panels or wind turbines which is costly and will also need a lot of space.

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The creator of the complete the ultimate energizer guide is steven perkins. He found the journal of the founder of this technology in his home when his father shifted near quebec city in canada.

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The features of the ultimate energizer guide are as follows:-. This program guide will help you to design a the ultimate energizer generator which will follow the rules of linear induction motor which is built around a track that is orbicular to maintain the smooth motion of rotors that are transportable.

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Use it on any electrical appliances from small clocks to big plasma tv screens, refrigerators, and air conditioners. Power the cabins while hiking to the mountains or camping. Other essential features of this complete the ultimate energizer are that it is easy to assemble and does not require a technical background to master engineering.

Pros and Cons of The Ultimate Energizer

I’ve created this  honest ultimate energizer review to help you make a well-informed decision. I’ve tested it myself and now i’m going to share with you all the key aspects you may be interested in: how does it work? is it really so powerful and effective? what are its pros and cons?.

It is non-polluting. It remains popular the ultimate energizer guide pros & cons because it is both a renewable and clean source of energy. Harnessing solar energy is more than a fine idea it’s currently a reality in thousands of homes in a lot of nations around the world.

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On the review of the ultimate energizer guide, we will be looking into what exactly the program is all about, the details of the energy generator program, the benefits, pros & cons and our conclusion on the program.

Does The Ultimate Energizer really work?

The device is usable during emergencies. It works without fuels and therefore there are no expected fumes. It is weather proof. Cons of the ultimate energizer. You can only download the program from the official website.

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The ultimate energizer guide. The ultimate energizer is said to work for your home and cut electricity by 82%, guaranteed by tomorrow. The ultimate energizer reviews. It can boost any type of electricity by as much as 5 times.

Advantages of The Ultimate Energizer Program

The program can benefit you in many ways. Below we are listing the advantages of using the ultimate energizer program for generating electricity:. This device will help you save up to 60%-70%, without investing money in solar panels which can cost you a lot of money.

There are additional the ultimate energizer guide program advantages too, including advantages at tax time, so do your homework on what you might have for being a solar power pioneer contributed back.

Why The Ultimate Energizer is Useful?

The ultimate energizer is a complete guide and blueprint. With it, you get everything you need to know to build your own free energy generator. This generator can be completed for less than $50 if you have some tools already. But i remember reading another review of the ultimate energizer, and the guy said he took days. Maybe he was crafty. Then, you assemble it and get it to work.

You will be guided step by step, that anybody who can read can build it. You do not need prior building experience or massive strength; it is that easy. Building the ultimate energizer takes under 4 hours if you are slow and definitely a lot less when you have help.

The ultimate energizer has already changed the lives of over 30,000 families who chose to power their homes using this eco-friendly device. This is definitely a good investment that is worth your time and money and if you think it isn’t after trying it out, you can request for a refund.

Is The Ultimate Energizer a Scam?

The ultimate energizer guide really show you how to power your house and save tremendously, or is this just another overhyped scam? this system was created after its owner decided he wanted to have a home power generating system in case of any crises or disasters.

The ultimate energizer pdf. It does not need any conventional electric power. The ultimate energizer scam. In this program, you can also build more generator and sell for profit. This product can also be incorporated into the automobile to power an electric motor.

All you need is an open mind and a desire to try new things to get a life in the field of freedom of energy. So, what are you waiting for? it’s time to say goodbye to major energy companies and start using the ultimate energizer guide today.

Watch this video demonstration of the ultimate energizer guide put into action


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