Blog Category:

Pros and Cons of Composting with Worms

If you are thinking about composting with worms, you will need to weigh the pros and cons first. Some folks start composting to reduce trash and help save the environment. Others are motivated by the end product: nutrient-rich compost for gardens, indoor plants, and lawns. Parents and teachers engage youngsters with a vermicomposting project. Whatever your reason, composting worms have both pluses and minuses. The most common concerns are waste reduction, odor, time, and cost. Reduces Waste Composting diverts organic waste from landfills and incinerators. You can compost food trimmings, leftovers, spoiled food, coffee grounds, compostable napkins, compostable takeout containers and utensils, garden trimmings, and certain agricultural waste. Pros: Composting requires sorting out organic matter from the trash. Sorting is easily accomplished by tossing vegetation into a container. Unsorted trash develops a terrible odor, due to anaerobic decomposition of organic matter. Foul odors attract pests. Collecting trash requires time, fuel, trucks, and expense. Landfills lack enough oxygen for proper composting. They are prone to buildup of flammable methane gas. Garbage is essentially entombed for eternity. Burning mixed trash is an utter waste of valuable organic matter. Incineration creates air pollution and toxic ash. Cons: Participants need instructions on what can be composted and how to separate it. Unlike recyclables, compostables start to break down quickly. Collection is highly time-sensitive at room temperature. Stored compostables should be refrigerated or frozen. Organic matter that has already been mixed in with other trash is difficult to separate. Composting Worms’ Odor You might be …

Read More

Best Ways to Dry Out a Wet Worm Bin

When your worm bin is too wet, what are the best way to dry it out? At Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we have heard this question many times. The vermicomposting bin’s moisture level is crucial to worm health. We have been raising worms on our farm in rural Pennsylvania for more than 40 years. In that time, we’ve developed a simple protocol for drying out a wet worm bin. Let’s start with the primary question: is the worm bin too wet?

Read More

Worm Composting Bin Troubleshooting Guide

When something goes wrong with your worm composting bin, this Troubleshooting Guide can help! Bookmark this page and return whenever you think something is amiss with your worm bin. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm is the #1 supplier of composting worms in the USA. We’ve been growing and selling worms for more than 40 years. Click on the problem to see solutions.

Read More

Vermicomposting with Worms Grows More Food

Simply by doing what comes naturally, worms are helping humans. These small invertebrates eat organic matter and excrete fertilizer. This process improves soil quality and increases crop yields. Farmers, institutions, and householders have learned how to harness the power of composting with worms. Vermicomposting is cooler and faster than composting without worms. How is composting with worms helping smaller farmers grow more food for less money? Vermicomposting is gaining popularity among smaller commercial farmers worldwide. These farmers have healthier soil, and healthier crops, and produce more food per acre. Better crops mean more produce to trade or sell. Small farmers become more self-sufficient when worms help them. Cost of fertilizer goes down. Since worms replenish themselves, overhead is lower. Vermicomposting has become especially important in third world countries, pulling farmers out of poverty. Vermicomposting Scale How does vermicomposting scale up? A small worm bin

Read More

Composting Worms Promote STEM in the School Classroom

A composting worms project at school provides many opportunities to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in the classroom. The school curriculum often covers the lifecycle of the earthworm. Students will retain more if they have hands-on experiences with the worms. A composting bin allows students to compost organic food waste generated at school. The composting process results in worm castings, a fertilizer for growing new plants. The project can easily pay for itself if the worm castings are put up for sale. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm shows you how to get started with a classroom composting project. Customize the Project Teachers can pick-and-choose the scope of the project and which STEM elements to include. A minimal project would involve setting up a worm bin and depositing classroom waste. Many STEM elements can be included such as measuring trash volume before and during the project (math); worm anatomy;

Read More

Composting Worms and Freezing Cold Weather

When the weather outside is frightful, you may worry about how composting worms survive the freezing weather. Winter temperatures can fall below freezing in most parts of the continental United States. What happens to composting worms in low temperatures? Is it important to prevent Red Worms or European Night Crawlers from freezing? How does temperature affect the composting process? When It Is Cold When temperatures plummet and stay low for a long time, everything

Read More

Foods That Can Hurt Composting Worms

Composting worms make food scraps break down quickly, but some foods can hurt them. Vermicomposting with worms is increasingly popular with people who want to reduce trash, produce free fertilizer, and save resources. Therefore, vermicomposting fans have a vested interest in keeping their Red Worms or European Night Crawlers healthy. Worms can break down a wide variety of organic materials, with a few exceptions. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm explains which foods can hurt composting worms. In a Tight Space In the wild, worms will wiggle to a suitable food source. They have an entire smorgasbord outdoors. A composting bin is a tight space. We set up this

Read More

Why Add European Night Crawlers to Your Garden and Lawn? Worm Power!

Does it make sense to buy worms and release them into your garden or lawn? When you buy something, you usually keep it. However, European Night Crawlers are a type of worm that stays where the food is. Like free farmhands, these worms will hang around your property and improve the soil. Good soil leads to nutritious vegetables and fruits, blooming flowers, and green lawns. How does a lowly earthworm improve the soil? Why buy worms when wild worms live in the soil? How is releasing worms different from composting in a bin? And how can you encourage the worms to stick around? How Worms Improve the Soil Worms have been digging into the earth for more than 500 million years. Humans are just 200,000 years old, and we started

Read More

Can I Feed Cardboard to Composting Worms?

Cardboard is readily available, but can you feed cardboard to composting worms? Vermicomposting enthusiasts turn trash into valuable organic compost with the help of Red Worms. Obviously, fruit and vegetable scraps are an ideal food to bury in the composting bin. However, most of our household consumables come packaged in cardboard. Can you compost cardboard? Which types of cardboard are best for worms? Can worms live exclusively on cardboard? Properties of Good Worm Bedding When you start a composting bin, you need material for the worms to live in. This is called “bedding.” Bedding is typically made from a mixture of coconut coir, pure peat moss, shredded black ink newspaper, partially-decomposed leaves, and/or small amounts of untreated wood chips. Additionally, certain types of cardboard make good bedding. Bedding needs to contain cellulose. Cellulose gives structure to plants. When worms eat cellulose, they acquire some nutrition. However, worms will also need regular feedings of fruit and vegetable scraps to stay healthy. The best bedding retains the right amount of moisture. Ideal bedding should feel like a wrung-out sponge when squeezed. The pH of bedding should be neutral — not alkaline and not acidic. And it should be light and fluffy enough to allow air flow and worm movement.

Read More

How to Feed Composting Worms Indoors

Indoor composting worms gobble up kitchen scraps, but what is the best way to feed them? Which foods are best? How is feeding indoor worms different from outdoor worms? Feed them well and you will get nutrient-rich fertilizer, perfect for helping plants grow. You will also reduce trash and virtually eliminate garbage odors. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm offers these tips for feeding composting worms indoors. Why Compost Indoors? Composting inside your house is almost impossible without worms. Composting worms break down the scraps quickly. This helps prevent odor and pests. Hot composting without worms takes too long inside the home. Adding a bag of Red Worms to a suitable indoor composter makes the scraps

Read More