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How to Compost

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Composting Basics                                                               

Producing Worm Castings for Your Garden

First and foremost determine the size of the garden you wish to work. This will determine the size and number of worm composting bin(s) you will need.  The more bins you use the more castings you will produce. Over a period of two to six months 1 -2 pounds of composting worms for use in flower pots or a small garden area of 4 ft x 8 ft can be furnished with worm castings and compost using a converted plastic tub, barrels cut in half lengthwise or one of many commercial worm bins for sale. 
   
These bins should be set up with bedding of any combination of peat moss, soil, shredded organic kitchen scraps (no meat or dairy products), paper, cardboard, essentially any biodegradable material can be composted using worms. The smaller the bin, the more time you will have to spend monitoring and maintaining the bed, being especially aware of the food & moisture levels as well as quantity of worms appropriate for the space provided. (If you crowd the worms they will not grow and reproduce well.) 
 
Larger gardens will require much larger worm beds to be maintained. We recommend building 4X4 or 4x8 beds using inexpensive and easily obtained materials such as landscaping timbers, cement blocks, metal siding, old bathtubs, wood pallets or refrigerators; essentially any material that can “contain” the worms. Ideally you want your bed to be at least 12” deep. If you have your beds on the ground you do not need to line the bottom. However, if your area is prone to nuisance critters like moles or armadillos, you may wish to use a plastic or metal screen on the bottom of your beds. 
 
The bed should be started with any materials readily available like composted yard waste (that has cooled down), leaves, small branches, shredded paper and/or peat moss; halving with an access to animal manures – sheep, rabbit, cow, horse is ideal. The moisture level should be 70 – 80%. This is especially important to monitor on outside beds. An easy test is to pick up a handful and squeeze with the strength of a good firm handshake – ONE drop of water should come out.
 
We suggest you use at least 3-4 separate bins. You will have a “spare” to work from should you be invaded with ants or have other problems with a bed. Four bins work well, allowing 1 each for: “new waste” to allow it to break down; the second bin for it to break down 3-6 months introducing an additional 3-5#’s worms and allow another few months to let the worms create the soil you want; the third bin then becomes the first bin with new material and yard waste. As the worms work the compost you can transfer from one bin to another to start the process over again. 
 
We are often asked “how many worms do I need?”
The best answer is “When do you want to begin using the composted soil ?”  
 
·       The more worms you start with the quicker the process will work.
 
·       Worms will double or triple their population in 90-120 days if all the conditions are RIGHT.
 
·       The bigger the garden area you have the bigger the worm beds need to be to support it.
 
·       All worms will compost, but the larger the worms, the more they will (EAT) compost. 
 
*************If your worms are crawling out of your beds or dying off, there is something wrong with your beds. The most common errors are: over feeding (inviting ants and/or flies), moisture levels too high or low, bed is over populated, temperatures are extreme hot or cold. 
 
Should you have any questions we are always happy to help.

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Dave's Garden.com 2011 Award

Mike & Dee Blaha

16362 Wilson Blvd.

Masaryktown, FL 34604-7335

NEW FARM HOURS

Wednesday - Saturday 12 -5 

CALL HOURS Wednesday _ Saturday 12 - 7

352.796.0459

info@bestbuyworms.com