Definition of Vermicomposting
“The practice of using earthworms to aerate soil and convert organic matter into compost”
I am sure you already know what composting is all about, so vermicomposting is the practice of adding worms to your compost to speed up the composting cycle of your waste or as it is commonly called worm composting. Composting on its own is not a very efficient process, but by introducing earthworms into the process you speed up the process and make it a more complete process. The earthworms and micro-organisms feed on the organic waste and produce a substance that is full of nutrients and perhaps the finest and most completely organic fertilizer you can find. Not only is the process natural, but it also reduces waste that would usually go into a landfill and it enriches the soil.
Worm Composting Basics
The practice of worm composting or vermicomposting is comprised of a mixture of shredded paper, a small amount of soil, moisture, worms, organic table scraps or waste, peat moss, worm bedding or similar organic matter. They are typically placed in worm composting bins or beds and occasionally fed some of those items that you would usually toss in the garbage.
Then after a couple of months of continuously munching away your earthworms will breakdown all the organic matter into “worm castings” or worm poop (don’t worry it doesn’t stink). These highly desired worm castings can be added to your indoor and outdoor plants, flowers, and vegetables. This is the finest soil amendment you can find and desired by the most particular gardeners. After a couple months you will need to harvest your vermicompost by adding a fresh mix of bedding or by moving your worms to another worm compost bin or bed to start producing your next crop. Check out the Worm Farming secrets book…Here!
Benefits of Vermicomposting and Worm Composting
Vermicompost, like conventional compost, provides many benefits to your soil which includes increased ability to retain moisture, better nutrient quality and holding capacity, higher levels of microbial activity and better soil structure. Worm compost is much better than standard compost in a number of different ways. These vermicomposting benefits are as follows.
Stimulates Plant Growth:
Researchers have discovered that vermicompost stimulates further plant growth even when the plants are already receiving optimal nutrition. When they are used as soil additives they have consistently improved seed germination, enhanced seedling growth and development, and increased plant productivity and yield much more than would be possible from the mere conversion of the existing mineral nutrients.
There has been evidence in recent years that worm compost can plants against various diseases. It is believed that the high levels of beneficial micro-organisms in vermicompost can protect plants by blocking pathogens that can cause disease.
There is strong evidence that worm castings repel hard-bodied insects. It is also believed that vermicompost can be considered as an alternative to pesticides or other toxic pest control.
Higher Plant Nutrients:
The process of vermicomposting results in higher levels of nutrients than conventional composting. Worm composting has shown to be higher in nitrates, which is the more plant-available form of nitrogen that allows plants to thrive.
It has been said a number of times that a vermicompost is much more preferable to conventional compost if you’re going in for plant growth. Much of the work on this subject has been done at Ohio State University, led by Dr. Clive Edwards (Subler et al., 1998). In an interview (Edwards, 1999), he stated that vermicompost may be as much as 1000 times as microbially active as conventional compost.
So you can see that there are many benefits to worm composting that start from how can worm farming improve our fruit and vegetable crops to reducing the amount of waste that gets collected and put in a landfill or incinerated. It’s a great way to enrich our foods and our planet. It a win/win when it comes to worm composting.