Compost From Worms Makes Perfect Starts for Your Garden

Giving your vegetable garden extra advantages helps ensure success. Certain plants thrive if you give them a head start before planting them in your garden. Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and lettuce are examples of plants that can benefit from starting indoors. Did you know that using compost from worms in your starts helps them grow? Composting worms break down organic materials and produce valuable organic fertilizer. More about that later. Let’s start with the seeds. Where to Get Seeds Scope out the health food store and garden supply store for seeds. You will also find plenty of seeds online. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has a selection of heirloom seeds. Generally, smaller seeds are easier to start. Think tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, etc. Root vegetables are more difficult to start.

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Vermicomposting, Hot, or Cold Composting?

Are there differences between vermicomposting, hot composting, and cold composting? Let’s talk about three different types of composting. All these styles of composting break down waste organic matter into natural fertilizer. What are the benefits of each? When is it best to use vermicomposting – composting with worms – versus hot or cold composting?

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7 Ways to Speed Up the Composting Process

Composting is a great way to turn organic waste into valuable fertilizer for your garden. Just save kitchen scraps, such as carrot peelings and cabbage cores, and put them in a composting bin. Composting is usually done outdoors, but if you compost with worms, you can compost outdoors or indoors. If you want to start using the finished compost to fertilize your garden soon, you need to speed up the composting process. Here are 7 ways to speed up the decomposition and make fertilizer faster.

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Get Rid of Dog Poop with a Pet Waste Composter

Did you know that you can actually compost your dog waste and cat litter? It’s not difficult, but you have to use a special composter that extends below the surface of the soil. You can make a pet waste composter yourself or buy a Pet Poo Worm Farm. Whether you make your own pet waste composter or buy one, there is no smell. And the decomposed pet waste and other material you add to your composter will improve the soil below the surface. Why you need a pet waste composter You shouldn’t mix dog droppings or cat litter into your regular compost. Pet waste can contain harmful pathogens, but your home compost doesn’t get hot enough to kill those harmful organisms. Compost that is contaminated with pet waste could spread pathogens to lettuce and other food plants in your garden. Eating that food could make you sick. Picking up pet waste with a plastic bag and throwing the bag into your garbage isn’t a good option, either. Most trash ends up in landfills, and landfills can pollute the surrounding soil, air and water. You could just leave dog waste on your lawn, but that will ruin the grass. Plus, no one wants to step in poo! How a dog poop composter is different from regular composters The goal of each composter is different. With a regular composter, gardeners are trying to make plenty of compost that they can spread on top of their vegetable beds and flower beds. The aim …

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Maximize Your Output with ‘Hybrid Composting’

Most gardeners use one of two kinds of composting: cold composting or vermicomposting. But there’s no reason you can’t combine the two. What we call “hybrid composting” can increase the amount of compost you produce and speed up the process, too. Types of composting Vermicomposting uses worms to break down plant matter and food scraps quickly. You can get finished compost in just a few months.  Cold composting is usually done outside with a compost bin or compost pile. The system relies mainly on microorganisms to break down plant matter and food scraps. Cold composting can take six months to a year to produce usable compost.  In a hybrid composting system, you add worms to your cold composting bin. Advantages of using worms in compost bin More room to create compost. Vermicomposters are small, so you are limited in the amount of material you can compost. If you have large bags of autumn leaves that you want to compost, you’ll need to turn to cold composting in an outdoor bin. An outdoor compost bin will also provide more room for kitchen scraps such as carrot peels and coffee grounds. Note: Don’t use spinner composters with worms.  Speed up the process. Instead of relying on just microbes to break down the plant matter, the worms will be doing their part, too, by eating food scraps and yard waste. How to start hybrid composting Layer your materials in your compost bin. Put the freshest, least composted materials on the bottom. These materials …

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How to Keep Fruit Flies Away from Your Composting

Fruit flies are annoying little bugs that like to invade the house. The Drosophila melanogaster is attracted to organic matter like fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruit on the counter or in a bowl can attract them. How do they get in the house? Are they preventable? Are there natural methods to get rid of them? For over 40 years, these questions have been bugging Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm customers. Fruit Flies in the House Sometimes a fertile fruit fly comes in through an open door or window. It’s more likely, however, that their eggs, pupae, or larvae have hitched a ride in your produce. Just beneath the surface of fruits and vegetables is where fruit flies like to lay their eggs. Once in your house, they typically stay near sources of food, though they also gather near sinks and other places, like your kitchen scrap bin and composting bin. Composting Whether it’s inside or outside, families who compost tend to collect their wasted organic materials in a bin or pail before moving them to their composting bin. Many families make use of vermicomposting, which means their bin contains worms that break down leftover food scraps into fertilizer. Worms quicken the composting process. The best composting worms are Red Wigglers. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm is #1 when it comes to composting worms and supplies. People like vermicomposting because it provides them with all-natural fertilizer that is more nourishing than regular compost. All composting is great for the environment, but fruit flies will …

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The Ideal Bedding for Your Composting Worms

To have the best vermicomposting experience, your worms need the best bedding. Our Red Worms are the best for composting. They will savor your leftovers and produce the best organic fertilizer. The good news is that there are multiple different beddings to choose from for your worms. Uncle Jim has pre-made bedding that you can buy. You can also make your own worm bedding from objects already in your house! Any bedding should mimic a worm’s natural environment. To do this, the bedding should be: Soft and gentle (nothing that might cut their delicate skin!) Porous enough to allow airflow (worms breathe through their skin) Neutral pH balance of 7 Moist (but not too moist, like a wrung-out sponge) Non-toxic Edible materials Our recommended beddings for your vermicomposting bin are: Fall Leaves are good to use as bedding as long as they have been composted beforehand. Fall leaves are currently very abundant. Rake them into a pile and leave it outside through the winter. They will be ready to use as bedding by the time spring rolls around. Brown Corrugated Cardboard can be found in almost any home. Most stores will also give it to you for free if you ask. Your worms will love this type of bedding in the bin. Just shred it or tear it into pieces. Shredded Paper, so long as it is unbleached or from black-ink only newspapers, can make for some good bedding when mixed with other materials. Avoid any bleached office/printer paper or newspapers with colored ink, junk mail, or envelopes containing plastic because these will …

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Vermicomposting for Beginners

Worm Composting – The Basics What is vermicomposting? “Vermi-” means “relating to worms.” Therefore, vermicomposting means creating compost by using worms. It’s the art of feeding worms your food scraps. The worms turn your food waste into nutrient-rich organic fertilizer, also known as humus, worm castings, worm manure, or worm feces – perfect for gardens, lawns, and potted plants. It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple. All you need are worm bins, some organic waste, bedding materials, worms, and the right attitude to take care of these little creatures. This article addresses several basic materials you will need and where to get the worms, the pros and cons of vermicomposting as well as common mistakes beginners make and how to avoid them! Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has all the knowledge you will need to succeed at vermicomposting. Composting Bins Your worms are going to need a place to call home that’s why the first thing you will need to start vermicomposting is a worm bin. Not all worm bins are created equal. Some materials, like plastic and wood, are better suited to house a worm population.  It’s important to note that they cannot have any antimicrobial properties; since bacteria and other beneficial microbes are needed for the composting process to happen. You can purchase commercial bins or build your own bin.  Whichever you decide to go for, these are the attributes a good worm bin should have:

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Vermicomposting Red Worm Life Cycle

All living organisms go through the same life cycle: birth, development, reproduction, and death. What is the life cycle of the King of Composting, the Red Worm? These worms are hermaphrodites. That means they each have both male and female reproductive organs. Let’s find out how they make new, baby worms! Red Worm Reproduction Red worms’ reproductive organs are in the clitellum, a gland that sticks out from the rest of their body. It looks like the worm is wearing a ring around its body. When the worm becomes fertile, the clitellum becomes more visible and turns orange. The color change is a signal that the worm is ready for reproduction. Worms, even though they are hermaphrodites, do not reproduce alone. At least one additional Red Worm is necessary so they can exchange genetic material.

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Winter is Coming! Get Your Outdoor Vermicomposting Bin Ready for Chilly Temperatures

The leaves are changing colors, which means it’s the time of year to get your vermicomposting bin ready for the colder season. Even though it’s cold outside, you can still compost your kitchen scraps using worms. The worms will produce free, all-natural fertilizer. If you are from a warmer climate that doesn’t dip below 57°F, your composting worms will probably not die, but they will slow down due to lower temperatures. However, if you live in a colder area, then you may want to take precautions so your worms will not die.

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