You may be tempted to cringe at the thought…but adding composting worms is probably one of the best things you could do for your compost pile and vegetable garden. Adding composting worms, or Vermicompost, to your garden is beneficial in almost every aspect. When composting worms eat food scraps, they pass through the body of the worm as nutrient compost. This process is even known by some as “nature’s garbage disposal.” Worms speed up the composting process by creating their own dark, nutrient-rich compost that can be added to any vegetable or flower garden.
Before you begin, it’s important that I point out that composting worms are different than the night crawlers you might find in the soil outside. When looking to add composting worms to your pile, you will want to add a mixture of redworms and manure worms to your soil. Unlike the night crawler, who survives by only eating dirt, red and manure worms can live on vegetable scraps. Who knew that worms were so cool? Those interested can buy redworms on Amazon for $20.00 or, as an alternative, I would recommend contacting a nearby nursery for local options!
When adding redworms to your compost pile, it is recommended that you purchase 2,000 worms per pound, per day of food waste produced by your family. Additionally, keep in mind that composting worms are capable of reproducing every 90 days, so be sure to only buy as many as you need to keep up with your family’s waste production.
Dissuaded by the thought of a smelly pile? Compost piles should only smell when there is too much waste and the worms cannot keep up. To keep your compost pile from smelling, keep your worm-to-waste ratio in check. If your pile starts to smell, consider adding more worms to the pile or cutting down on the amount of waste fed to the worms.
You will need a container for your worms, and I personally recommend this Worm Factory for $119.15 on Amazon.
Here’s what composting worms will do for your garden:
-When the composting worms chew up the vegetable waste, they digest and expel it as “worm castings.” These casings are known for being incredibly rich in nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, and tons of other rich nutrients.
-You can buy these nutrient-rich worm castings at any local nursery for prices ranging anywhere from $5-$13 per pound. Instead of spending so much on soil like this, you can produce your own with composting worms. Composting worms might seem like an investment up front but you’ll save thousands of dollars in soil costs over the lifespan of your garden.
-The decision to invest in composting worms can help save space in county landfills. Who doesn’t like a small decision that helps to save the Earth as well as your garden?