What are the Differences Between Vermicomposting with Worms and Hot Composting?

Many of our customers ask, “What’s the difference between vermicomposting with worms and regular composting?” Here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we are experts on composting with worms. Let’s explore how these processes are similar, and how they differ. Which method is more convenient? How can you produce high-quality organic fertilizer for your garden and lawn? Which is fastest? How to Set Up Vermicomposting vs. Hot Composting Vermicomposting harnesses the power of worms to break down organic matter quickly. Regular “hot” composting may attract a few wild worms. However, “hot” composting produces more heat than vermicomposting. Temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit will kill Red Worms. Both methods break down organic waste into fertilizer. Most kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and yard waste are suitable for composting. The main difference is in the setup of the composting bin or pile. Regular “hot” composting involves throwing organic waste into a bin or pile. The material starts to break down using an aerobic process. The compost pile heats up. The ideal temperature for hot composting is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. At 200+ degrees, it can even produce steam! However, temperatures high enough to steam will kill beneficial microorganisms. Therefore, this type of compost needs to be turned and lightly moistened on a regular basis. This means you lift the organic matter and introduce air with pitchfork or shovel on a regular basis. You need some strength to do this. Or get a tumbler-style composter that you can turn using a crank. Vermicomposting is usually done …

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What are the Benefits of Composting?

Composting is the natural process of breaking down organic materials into fertilizer. In our modern world, unwanted items go into the trash by default. Trash is stored in a landfill or incinerated. This process is an utter waste of resources. Composting has many benefits for the household and the earth. Finished compost also creates free fertilizer for the garden. Let’s find out the benefits of composting and, more specifically, composting with worms. Household Composting Benefits You know how household trash has a bad

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Composting Beverage Waste, Coffee Grounds, and Tea Bags Using Red Worms

Vegetable scraps are obviously compostable, but some beverage waste is also perfect for composting with red worms. Composting worms speed up the process, breaking down inedibles and left-overs into a dark, rich organic fertilizer. This is called vermicomposting. Red worms are the best for vermicomposting. People who compost may overlook their compostable beverage waste. However, certain types of left-over beverage-making material is safe for the worm composting bin. How to Compost Solid Beverage Waste Preparing popular drinks results in left-over organic materials: Coffee Grounds: Half of the US population drinks at least 1 cup of coffee or equivalent each day. Where do all those coffee grounds go? Instead of filling up landfills or burning up in an incinerator, they could be composted. Worms love them! Coffee filters are also fine. Use a spoon to scoop out K-cups. However, coffee grounds are acidic. Therefore, rinse some eggshells and let them dry. Crush them up. Mix some crushed eggshells with cooled coffee grounds, then add them to your vermicomposting bin. Eggshells reduce acidity and provide “grit” for the worms’ digestion. No, caffeine will not make them jittery! Note: Loose coffee grounds can get stuck to the inside of the compost collection pail. If this bothers you, keep them in the coffee filter and use a separate container that is easy to clean. Loose Tea: Perfect! Add cooled loose tea to the worm bin. Tea Bags: Yes! The tea bags will start to break down in the worm bin, and the worms will …

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Vermicomposting Bedding Guide by Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm

In a vermicomposting bin, bedding is the material that composting worms live in. When you set up a worm bin, you will need to add bedding before putting the worms on top. What is the purpose of bedding? Which types of bedding are best? How do you prepare the bedding, and when should you add more bedding? Read Uncle Jim’s Vermicomposting Bedding Guide and find out! Why Composting Worms Need Bedding Bedding is meant to simulate the worm’s natural environment. The best type of composting worm is the Red Worm. These hearty, medium-sized worms have a ravenous appetite for

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How to Compost with Worms in the Summer

Many composting enthusiasts worry about their composting worms dying in the summer heat. This is a rational fear. The worms are trapped in an enclosed bin, at the sun’s mercy. However, there are several easy ways to protect the worms from the heat. It’s Not Just the Heat The main problem with warm weather is not directly the heat. The primary problem is dryness. Worms breathe through their skin. If their skin dries out, they suffocate and die. Composting worms must remain moist. A worm laid out in the direct sun can die of suffocation in just three minutes. Worms get their moisture from their bedding. Heat causes evaporation. When the bedding gets dry, the worms cannot breathe as well. They may try

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How to Add Compost to Your Spring Garden

Composting worms make a dark, rich organic fertilizer that gardeners love. Getting the garden ready for spring planting means building soil fertility and loosening the soil. These instructions will teach you how to efficiently dig worm castings into the garden. You can start a few weeks before planting time. Start with Worm Casting Fertilizer If you do not have a ready supply of worm casings, you can order finished compost from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. These packets contain worm castings made directly on the farm. If spring is at least a few months away, you can start a worm bin. Red Worms are excellent for making all-natural fertilizer. Buy or build a composting bin — Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has specialty composting bins that can be

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How Much to Feed Composting Worms?

Everyone who composts with worms has asked themselves, “How much should I feed composting worms?” Red Worms are ideal composting worms. They need regular feedings of kitchen scraps and gardening waste. Composting worms quickly convert these scraps into valuable organic fertilizer. Feed composting worms too little, and they starve. Feed them too much, and they can’t keep up. Too much rotting organic matter can cause odors, mold growth, excess moisture, and damage to the bin’s ecosystem. Find out how much food is just enough for your worms. In theory, red worms can eat half their weight each day. This number applies to a settled worm population under ideal conditions. Since worm bin owners start out with new composting bins, we will also start there. New Arrivals If the worms just arrived in the bin, they will need time to adjust. New composting enthusiasts tend to over-fill the bin with excess scraps. Like anxious new pet owners, they don’t want their new worms to starve. Worms shipped from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm arrive somewhat dehydrated. They have not eaten in a few days. Packed in peat moss, the worms had little to eat. The worms slow down and go into a partially dormant state. They need a little time in their new worm bin to dig in and get comfy. They are also starting to eat the bedding. When adding new worms to a new composting bin: Follow instructions for preparing the bedding. Usually this is, some combination of coconut coir, …

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Organic Lawn Fertilizing with Worm Castings & Worm Tea

Fertilizing your lawn using worm castings is non-toxic and money-saving. Keeping a vermicomposting bin results in free organic worm castings. By feeding your kitchen and garden scraps to Red Worms, you will develop a supply of dark, organic fertilizer. You can make Worm Tea or apply castings directly. Using worm castings on your lawn is easy, economical, and good for the environment. In just one day, you can turn the castings into Worm Tea and spray them on the lawn. Applying raw worm castings directly treats and feeds the lawn in a slower time-released way. Worm castings cannot chemically “burn” your lawn. Over-using an organic

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Earth Day Workplace Composting Program

A workplace composting program could turn trash into treasure. Earth Day is the best day to start a workplace composting program. Ever thought about how much food scrap trash your workplace generates? The break room generates coffee grounds and tea bags. Left-overs and spoiled food from meals and snacks stink up the trash bins. And food service workplaces generate mountains of wasted organic matter. Human resources departments are often looking for projects for Earth Day, which falls on April 22 each year. A workplace composting program is an ideal Earth Day project. Some workplaces calculate that separating trash saves

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Spring Cleaning for Your Composting Bin

With warmer weather coming, people who compost with worms are anticipating the planting season! Gardeners are making lists and garden layouts on graph paper or computers. Lawn owners are contemplating whether to sow more seed and when to fertilize. Meanwhile, the composting worms are munching away, making compost from kitchen scraps. It’s nearly time for spring cleaning at the vermicomposting bin! The composter’s location has an impact on harvesting. The composter is either indoors or outdoors. Outdoor Composters In cold winter climates, outdoor composters have been

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