Why Every Home Needs a Worm Bin--Not Just Gardeners!
Gardeners, farmers, and growers alike know that soil full of worms is ideal for healthy, productive plants. But even if you don’t have a garden, you should still have a worm bin!
Why? Food waste.
The USDA estimates that 30-40% of the food supply is wasted. It gets dumped in landfills and, according to the EPA, embodies 170 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions. Vermicomposting, or using a worm bin, is a simple step you can take to help reduce this waste and be kinder to the environment.
Worm Bin 101
Your worm bin can be as simple or as fancy as you desire, whether you are using a six dollar storage bin with some holes drilled in it, or a more complex tiered system like those found on grower supply sites. Almost any container that keeps worms in and offers drainage and sufficient oxygen can be used. The basic worm box size is one foot high, two feet deep, three feet wide, and has air holes in the bottom. However, a variety of containers will do. Once you have your bin, you can get started with our Live Red Worms, a little bit of bedding, and your kitchen scraps!
Our red worms have been specially raised and groomed to outperform other red worms! One of our secrets is NaturesGoodGuys Soldier Worm Chow. This food additive helps promote fast growth and encourages reproduction. As red worms travel through soil they are consuming and creating air passages which help aerate and amend the soil. Red worms will consume biodegradable matter such as fruits, veggies, coffee grounds, eggshell, tea bags, etc. You do not want to place meat, fish, or dairy into your worm bin. A 12-14 gallon worm bin will hold about 6 lbs. of organic waste per week, but we recommend starting slowly. To encourage decomposition, you may want to finely chop the material before adding it to the bin. Red worms eat their weight in organic matter every 24 hours. As the worms consume all this organic matter, they produce worm castings. Castings make amazing fertilizer for your garden or even houseplants!
When it comes to bedding, we recommend shredded newspapers and compost or good garden soil. Tear regular newsprint only (no colored pages) in strips approximately 1.5” wide. The bedding should be moistened to the “firm ball” stage. When squeezed, water droplets (not streams) will fall and when released it will form a ball. You will need to either put a tight fitting vented lid on your bin or keep a bright light turned on above them to prevent them from escaping. It is normal to have worms crawling up the sides and getting under the lid of a plastic bin. They like to be in the condensation that forms in these bins.
- When cooking dinner, try keeping a bowl, bag, or some kind of container with a lid within reach, you can place all your food scraps inside and then deposit it all in your worm bin when it is full. You can even find kitchen compost containers with charcoal filters to prevent any smell from leaking out, or alternatively, store scraps in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
- Never use water from water softening systems as the salt will kill the worms.
Give vermicomposting a try with our Live Red Worms, and tag us on social media so we can see how you are helping reduce food waste! #NGGWorms