The weather was warm enough last week to harvest some worm casings and do a quick check on my red wigglers. I thought I would share how easy this is for anyone who might be tempted to get started vermicomposting (composting with the help of worms).
Step 1: Dump out worms and compost in an area where the worms won’t all escape. I dumped them out on my small back porch. I would advise against dumping them out on your kitchen table.
Step 2: Wait untilthe worms all crawl to the bottom of the pile. While you are waiting, check out the compost bucket you are using and make sure that the holes are all clear. (I used a free 5 gallon bucket that I picked up from the Sam’s bakery. I had to clean out a little bit of frosting, but it was worth it!)
Step 3: After the worms crawl to the bottom of your pile, scoop off the top layer of compost and put the worms and everything else back in their bucket. Give them some food. My worms love to eat bananas peels, coffee grounds, garden weeds, and rabbit poop. On this day, I fed them a nice big scoop of rabbit poo.
Step 4: Mist the remaining dirt with a little water. You want the soil to be nice and moist, but not waterlogged, and not too dry. I put cardboard on top of our worms, to help block out the light, to absorb extra water, and to give them extra food if I forget to feed them one day.
Step 5: Put the lid back on. I usually just stomp on it to get it back into place. See all the lovely boot prints?
Step 6: Put your worms in an inconspicuous spot and leave them alone for a few days, or a week, or until you remember to check on them. They are pretty easy going. Our worms hang out under these chairs in the backyard. What do you think our neighbors would say if they knew we had a pile of worms in that bucket? Actually, I don’t think it would surprise them.
After the worms are safetly back in their home, I take the compost that I harvested and put it around my favorite plants in the garden. Sometimes, I make compost tea out of it. I never get much, but the plants always seem to thrive when they get a little helping of it every now and then.
The worms have already quadrupled in numbers, so I hope that I can move them up to a larger container this time next year. I’m also hoping that we can use some of them as bait once they stock the local catfish pond. Trading a few pieces of rabbit poop for a giant catfish sounds like a good deal to me.