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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Vermicomposting: How to Compost with Worms

Composting kitchen and garden scraps using worms is faster than without worms. Adding a bag of composting worms results in richer compost. This dark compost is treasured by gardeners because it contains soil nutrients and living bacteria. Composting with worms is called “vermicomposting.” Vermicomposting is easy, and it’s a fun hobby too! Children and adults embrace their wiggly helpers as working pets. Vermicomposting is also great for the environment. Instead of tossing out scraps vegetation, you create free fertilizer. Let’s find out the benefits of vermicomposting, and how to get started. Why Compost with Worms In nature, worms help break down organic matter into simpler components. They are nature’s recyclers! Worms eat discarded vegetation and excrete a dark material called “humus” (worm poop). Humus contains valuable

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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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The Anatomy of a Red Wiggler Composting Worm – Eisenia fetida

The best type of worms for your composter is the Red Worm (Red Wiggler). Their voracious appetites, medium size, and heartiness make them ideal composting worms. Falling into the genus “anulus,” meaning “ring” in Latin, the Eisenia fetida has up to 120 circular rings. The Red Worm Body On the outside of the red wiggler worm is the cuticle. Below this, the epidermis is skin-like tissue that sends information to the nerve tissue. Sensory information travels from layers of nerve tissue to the nerve cord. Data is processed in the cerebral ganglion, which is the worm equivalent of a brain. Ever notice the rings on a red worm? These rings

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How Vermicomposting Improves Soil Quality

The best fruits, vegetables, and decorative plants come from high-quality soil. Home-made compost is the most cost-effective way to improve soil quality in your garden. Generating your own compost using worms and scrap vegetation costs pennies per day. Let’s find out how vermicomposting improves soil quality. As soon as an apple hits the ground, the decay process begins. Nature’s cleanup crew includes microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria. Worms dig in. Eventually, the apple is gone, completely broken down into organic components that enrich the soil. When we compost kitchen and garden scraps, we are concentrating this process in a compost bin. The resulting finished compost is easy to harvest. We can then apply the compost to the soil, and grow new plants. The Parts of Soil To make plants grow strong, we need

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Indoor Composting with Worms: 4 Tips from Uncle Jim

Vermicomposting is a great way to reduce trash and make free fertilizer. Composting worms will eat most of the inedible scraps from the kitchen, as well as many left-overs. This is better for the environment than tossing it into the trash. The result is dark, rich organic fertilizer. Worm excrement is treasured by gardeners because it helps plants grow. While most composting is done outdoors, you can run a successful composting program indoors. Some worm owners move operations indoors during the winter. Others do indoor composting year-round for convenience or due to lack of suitable outdoor space. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has these four tips for successful indoor composting.

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How to Avoid Over-Feeding Composting Worms

If you are composting with worms, you need to feed them the right quantity of food scraps. How much food is too much? Over-feeding your composting worms can cause problems in the bin, including odors, acidity, excess moisture, pests and sick worms. What should you do to prevent and address these issues? Here are Uncle Jim’s guidelines for feeding the right amount of scraps to composting worms. Quick Check: How Much Food is In There? Dig around in the bin. How much undigested organic material is in there? The worms should start working on a feeding within a few days and finish it within 1 to 2 weeks. If you see large amounts of food, you are probably overfeeding. Under ideal conditions, worms can eat their weight in scraps per day. So if you have 1 pound of worms, you can theoretically feed them 1 pounds of scraps. However, we recommend you play it safe by feeding an amount they can handle every 2 or 3 days. Over-Feeding Causes Odors The most noticeable sign of overfeeding is a foul odor. Worm bins should have an earthy smell. If your nose is offended, your worm bin needs improvement. The worms’ job is to eat the

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