November 23, 2005

Vermiculture isn’t a common practice even among experienced organic gardeners, but it can be a very interesting addition to your gardening activities.

Vermiculture or vermicomposting simply refers to the process of earthworm composting used to recycle yard waste and everyday kitchen scraps.

Benefits of Vermiculture and Vermicomposting

Clean and odorless, vermicomposting is carried out in specially designed worm bins located indoors or outdoors. The great thing about vermiculture is that the worms do all the work and quickly transform your garbage into a valuable organic plant and garden fertilizer.

The laborers that perform this feat aren’t your typical night crawlers, but rather special composting varieties such as red wigglers. They will relish your leftover table scraps and in exchange provide you with rich, dark castings that will do wonders to improve the quality of your garden soil and enhance the growth of your plants.

Earthworm castings are actually much more than just a great organic fertilizer, they provide nutrients, enzymes, trace elements, growth enhancers, and beneficial micro organisms that combine to improve the health and growth of the garden.

Vermiculture Bins and Vermiculture Kits

Organic gardening supply companies sell castings, but if you’re adventurous set up a worm farm and produce your own. The Worm Man’s Worm Farm offers vermiculture supplies including do-it-yourself plans for building a simple bin and prefab worm composters that come complete with composting worms and detailed instructions.

Raising composting worms and encouraging them to transform your food waste into a rich garden fertilizer is simple, but you must take care to provide the proper conditions for their health and survival. The worms won’t tolerate freezing, or excessively hot temperatures, and certain foods such as meats, fats, and greasy foods should not be fed to them.

Kids love vermicomposting and some schools include vermiculture as part of the curriculum. If you’re interested in recycling and organic gardening, try your hand at earthworm composting and share your experiences back here.

Other Related Vegetable Gardening Posts:

  • RYC: Thanks for the info about rhubarb and the need for rich soil. Interesting about the vermiculture. I have a few compost piles going all the time but I’m a lazy composter and do the slow easy method.

  • Pingback: Earthworms help us to make art. A collage. « A Few Queers on the prowl()

  • Hanan

    I am looking into doing vermicomposting on my own. I just don’t see info on how long it takes to transform soil to worm casting ready soil?
    If you can indicate quantities (lbs, gallons) that will be great.
    Thank you.

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