Composting with worms is a method to recycle your unused food that would normally be thrown away. Recycling unused food garbage by composting with worms yields an earth scented soil conditioner that is rich in nutrients. This method of composting can be done year round either indoors or outdoors. In addition, composting with worms provides people in the confines of an apartment a way to recycle their food waste into rich compost.
To perform composting with worms you will need a container that equals about one square foot of surface area per weekly pound of food waste. Your container should be made of either plastic or wood. Wood seems to be absorbent of the excess liquids created by the fermenting process combined with the worms digestive process. Your container needs to have holes drilled into the bottom for aeration, venting and moisture drainage. You container must also have a cover to help provide cool, dark conditions for the worms.
After you have acquired a container, you will need to furnish the container with a layer of bedding. This is where the worms will live and to bury food waste. For bedding, you may use shredded newspaper or cardboard, sawdust, seaweed, chopped straw, dead plant material, shredded aged and dry leaves or even mature compost or aged manure. You must moisten any dry bedding materials used before adding them to the container. The bedding should be moist like a wrung out sponge, filling about three quarters of the container and loosely packed with air pockets for odour control and ease of movement for the worms.
Next, you will need worms. The two types of earthworms that work best for composting with worms are Eisenia foetida, also known as red, red wiggler, brandling or manure worms and Lumbricus rubellus, which are often found in mature compost and aged manure.
Finally, if you keep your bin for composting with worms indoors you will want to store your compost bin in the basement, under the sink or any other warm dry and dark spare space that is between 40-80 degrees F in temperature. If you decide to store your bin for composting with worms outdoors, you will want to store it on the patio or balcony, in the shed or garage or even in the yard out of the hot sun or pouring rains. Anytime the temperature drops below 40 degrees F where your bin is stored, it must be moved inside or insulated well.
If your bin for composting with worms is set up correctly, there will be little or no maintenance beyond dumping the composted contents every 2-3 months.