How Do Composting Worms Survive the Cold Winter?

Composting worms help break down food scraps, but how do they survive the cold winter? Any vermicomposting bin set up in a northern state is likely to freeze. Will all the worms die? Should you try to save them? If the worms die, will there still be worm castings for fertilizer in the Spring? Should you bring them indoors?

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Worm Bin Acidity: Best pH for Composting with Worms

Successful composting with worms involves keeping the worm bin low-odor and safe for the worms. One crucial factor is worm bin acidity. The worm bin bedding needs a pH level within a specific range. Too acidic, and the worms can get sick or even die. Composting worms thrive in a neutral pH. How can you help maintain a neutral pH in the composting bin? Is it necessary to measure bin acidity? Which food scraps raise bin acidity?

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How Composting Worms Fight Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Humble composting worms are unknowingly fighting greenhouse gas emissions. When food rots in a landfill, it produces methane. Food put into a worm composter does not. In fact, aerobic composting results in organic fertilizer that helps green things grow. How big an impact would composting have on greenhouse gas emissions? What are the benefits of composting? And what can a household do to make their trash better for the environment?

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How to Feed Left-Over Holiday Food to Composting Worms

When the holiday season is underway, feasting is inevitable. So are left-overs! When the big day is over, what can you do with left-over holiday food? Start by making new meals using left-over ingredients. Eventually, some of the food may be too old or too small to keep anymore. That’s when you can feed left-over holiday food to your composting worms. What are the best ways to compost food after the holidays? How can your worms comfortably convert holiday food scraps into valuable fertilizer?

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How Can I Re-use Coffee Grounds?

coffee grounds

While dumping coffee grounds into the trash, you might wonder, “Can I re-use coffee grounds?” Fancy coffee blends and pods are expensive. Is there a way to brew an additional cup or pot from used coffee grounds? Where should you put used coffee grounds? If you can’t re-use them, can someone or something else use them? The Economics of Coffee Grounds Coffee brewed at home has become increasingly diverse. In the past, only a few factors distinguished one coffee from another. Roast and brand name were the main attributes setting ground coffee or coffee beans apart. However, in the past 25 years, Americans have become fussier about their coffee. Is it organic? Fairtrade? Where was it grown? What is the strength? The acidity? Flavored? The coffee aisle at the grocery store has a dizzying array of choices. Specialty coffees from the health food store, coffee and tea boutiques, online mail order, and coffee shop chains mean even more selection.

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Where Do Composting Worm Babies Come From?

Ever noticed a band around some of your composting worms? This band shows that the worm is mature enough to reproduce. How do composting worms make babies? How long does it to make worm babies? And how can you encourage the worms to breed? The red worm, Eisenia fetida, is a champion composting worm. Nestled in the confines of a composting bin, red worms happily eat your kitchen scraps. In return for these tasty morsels, they excrete valuable compost. The resulting “black gold” is the best compost for your garden and indoor plants. It Takes Two Red Worms to Tango On the one hand, red worms have both male and female characteristics. Botanists call them “hermaphrodites”. On the other hand, they need a partner to make babies. They cannot reproduce all on their own. Having DNA from two parents helps keep the offspring strong. When the conditions are right, two red worms line up against each other, facing opposite directions.  Their bands, called clitellum, secrete a mucus film that envelops both worms. Each worm receives sperm, which they store for later. After several hours, the worms go their separate ways. The clitellum then secretes albumin, a chemical that makes the clitellum start to harden. The worm starts to wriggle out of the clitellum. On the way, the worm deposits its own eggs and its partner’s sperm in the clitellum. The resulting lemon-shaped sac is called a cocoon. Sperm from one mating session can fertilize several cocoons. Waiting for the Eggs …

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Best Ways to Protect Composting Worms in the Winter

snow in the winter

Are sub-freezing temperatures on their way? Composting with worms does not have to stop in the winter! If you live in a cold climate, your composting worms can continue working when winter approaches. You need to make some decisions. Here are your choices: Do nothing. Insulate. Move the worms to a sheltered location. Move the worms to a heated location (such as in the house, heated outbuilding or basement). Wild worms fend for themselves during freezing temperatures.

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Rabbit Hutch Worm Farms

rabbit hutch wormfarm

A rabbit hutch is a mess unless you can automatically dispose of the waste. Rabbit poop, urine, spilled food and water, and bedding need to be cleaned out of the hutch regularly. Did you know that a rabbit hutch wormfarm cleans itself? Waste falls through the floor of the bunny hutch, straight into a composter populated by worms. The results are a clean hutch and valuable organic fertilizer. How do you make a Rabbit Hutch Worm Farm?

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Composting with Worms: Don’t Make These Five Mistakes

compost mistake banana peel

Composting worms speeds up the composting process. New worm bin owners tend to make mistakes. Once you get the hang of vermicomposting, you will love it! Reducing trash, saving the earth, and creating free fertilizer makes worm composting worthwhile. Your household might even adopt the worms as members of the family! Watch out for these five common mistakes. Mistake #1: Overfeeding Enthusiastic worm bin owners toss every available scrap into the bin. The worms cannot keep up. The bin starts to smell terrible! In theory, worms can eat their weight in scraps per day. However, that number might be lower, depending on air temperature and other factors. A fool-proof method is to feed them every 2 to 3 days. Be conservative in the quantity. Soon, you will get a feeling for how much food they can handle.

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Keeping Worm Composting Bins Cool in the Summer

Worm Composting Bin in the Summer

If you are feeling hot in the summer, so are your composting worms! Unless they are snuggled indoors in air conditioning, your wiggly composting helpers need help staying cool. A few precautions will keep your worms operational. What natural cooling techniques do worms have? Where should your worm bin go? When should you intervene? What’s the worst that can happen? Natural Worm Cooling Worm in the wild knows what to do when they feel too hot. They dig down deeper in the earth or bedding

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