What About Worm Composting?
Most traditional composting methods rely on the balanced ratio of carbon to nitrogen and the action of microorganisms to carry out the decomposition process. How about worm composting would be detailed.
Worm composting is the best means for transforming solid waste materials into beneficial soil for plant growth. Many beneficial organisms act as chemical decomposers in forming a stable organic end-product which is compost. During this composting process usually, decomposers like earthworms play an essential role. They improve nutrient value while quickening the process. It is one of the most accessible techniques that transform agricultural wastes and produce nutrient-rich compost.
Worm composting also known as vermicomposting uses worms to decompose food scraps and other organic matter into a healthy soil amendment called worm compost. Basically, Worms eat through food scraps, which become compost as they pass through the worm’s digestive tract. Compost usually leaves the worm through its tail end. Organic wastes feed worms, and then worms convert them to nutrient-rich compost.
Worm composting is a process that needs oxygen and stabilization of this process depends upon the earthworm’s ability to break down, mix, and then aerate the organic matter and promote the activity of microbes. Earthworms act physically by crushing, mixing, and aerating waste products excreted as worm manure after undergoing digestion. Worm compost is also called black gold.
What Are The Methods Of Worm Composting?
Worm composting in a bin
The bin method is accepted by small-scale, backyard composting and home composting in the kitchen or the garage. The bin is of various materials, but the wooden and plastic become mostly used because of their lightweight preference in home composting. Most gardeners choose their preferred height and shape of the bin. They drilled a few holes around it for ventilation. It is necessary to make the bedding for worms before feeding them; the bedding makes up of mature compost, shredded newspaper, and horse or cow manure.
A healthy worm bin should always be moderately damp but never dry or too wet. Worms need air because they breathe through their skin. Ensure to turn the bed weekly to break up bigger particles and for aeration before adding new wastes or bedding materials. Beneficial microbes enjoy an aerated environment. When you notice your worm bin seems stinky, you add more shredded newspaper, leaves, or other fresh brown material to the container to help absorb the moisture.
Worm composting in a pile
The pile method is for vermicomposting on a larger scale. Where the vermicompost is employed to produce large amounts of waste, pile application is cost-helpful. The composter can make the piles in greenhouses or on a floor with drainage facilities.
Factors To Consider
- Type of worm
Not every species of earthworm can be helpful for worm composting. The species suitable for worm composting are the epigeic species. The species most commonly used are the Eisenia fetida, widely known as ‘red wiggler.’
Earthworms will consume about one-fourth of their body weight per day. You should ensure to food to the worm bin after the food you put has been exhausted
The bedding must hold sufficient moisture if the worms are to have a conducive environment. They breathe through their skins. Except for extreme heat or cold, nothing kills worms faster than a lack of adequate moisture.
Benefits Of Worm Composting
- It Produces Finished Compost Within a Short Time
When the composter adds worms to composting, compost should be mature and ready for use within eight to twelve-week
- It Increases Microbial Population
Worms grow and multiply during the composting process when given the right environment. The population multiples within three months.
- Location doesn’t matter.
The composter can do worm compost either inside or outside. Worm compost could be done in your home or garden provided that the conditions for the worms are suitable such as giving organic matter, bedding, aeration, balanced moisture retention, etc.
- Pest and pathogen suppression
It helps suppress pests and pathogens; although it might not kill them off, their activities will be significantly reduced. Worm compost keeps pathogens from attacking your plants after it’s applied to them.
- Nutrient Supply
Worm compost typically contains a high level of nutrients needed by plants, most especially potassium and phosphorus.
- Water Retention
Adding worm compost to the soil helps conserve water in the ground due to its water retention capabilities.
- It Regulates Plant Growth and Produces Higher Yields
The application of worm compost increases soil porosity, and texture, and reduces erosion, thereby producing a higher yield for crops. It produces hormones that regulate and promotes their growth.
- It encourages pathogens because of the conditions in the bin.
- There is the stress of separating the worms from the compost before applying them to the soil.
- Worms are sensitive to pH, temperature, and moisture content which the composter must monitor during the composting process.
- It does not kill weed seeds.
- Worm composting may produce some harmful greenhouse gases such as methane gas.
- It is not easy to manage more significant amounts of waste.
The composter can apply worm compost to most plants to help their nutrition and growth. The simple method of using vermicompost is adding to it a thin layer to the soil around the plant and in it with it. Once applied moderately, it will not result in burning the roots of the plant. Worm composting involves earthworm culture, with the domestication of earthworms for the breakdown of organic waste. The amount of worms depends on the size of your bin. Worms reproduce and multiply with time in the compost bin under the right conditions.
Do you consider worm composting to be of significance? Submit a remark and your ideas below.