Vermicomposting (from the Latin word vermis meaning worm) is an efficient and effective method for turning kitchen waste into a rich compost. Some of the benefits of keeping a worm farm include:
Red worms, known also as red wigglers or manure worms, are the most effective worms to use for worm composting. They are capable of consuming their own weight each day in raw organic matter.
Where are they found? - Red worms feed on dead plants and animals and are commonly found in leaf litter, manure piles or from a local bait shop.
What do they look like? - Red worms are two to four inches in length and red in color.
How long do they live? – They have a life span of about one year and reproduce quickly. Light colored cocoons are produced continuously that yield two to three baby worms in three weeks time.
Bedding provides the red worms with the cool, moist environment they need to thrive. The red worms will tunnel through and digest the bedding along with the food scraps to produce vermicompost. They will not crawl out of their bin unless the bin becomes too dry or too wet.
Red worms are most efficient at consuming organic matter and reproducing when they are kept moist and well ventilated in a temperature range of 55º – 75º F. Keep the worm farm covered and out of direct sunlight because red worms are sensitive to light. Basements, cool garages and kitchens are all good locations.
Feed your worms two to three times each week by burying appropriate food scraps under the bedding. The smaller the food scraps, the quicker they will be digested by the red worms.
For more information, contact The Waste Diversion and Utilization Program at 410-537-3314.
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230