Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What's So Great About Worm Composting?

I already compost in my back yard.....
I already have worms in my soil.......
Worms are icky.........

Tonight I was going to write more content about constructing worm bins, however I have had a lot of questions about the benefits of composting with worms and I felt it was more important to write a little about that first. We will get back to the bin construction shortly.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports the United States produces approximately 220 million tons of garbage each year. This is equivalent to burying more than 82,000 football fields six feet deep in compacted garbage. There are no statistics readily available for the entire planet, but considering the United States makes up about 4% of the world's population, this is a LOT. I would personally estimate the entire planet's yearly production of garbage to be somewhere in the vicinity of 4 to 5 BILLION tons.

Of this, sixty percent is compostable material. If this isn't reason enough to compost with worms, their are several other benefits as well.

  • Worm compost can be made either indoors or outdoors. So if you don't have a yard, or have a small yard, this method may work best for you.
  • Worms speed up the regular composting time line.
  • This is a natural process in the circle of life creating healthy, organic, nutrient rich material from waste.
  • Vermicast is a rich organic fertilizer.
  • Bacteria in vermicast convert existing soil nutrients into plant-soluble form.
  • Worm eggs in vermicast will hatch by the thousands in your garden and…

The benefits of worms in your garden are:

  • Worms produce more vermicast.
  • Worms move through the soil creating channels that greatly improve moisture retention, aeration and soil structure.
  • Worms constantly turn the soil evenly distributing nutrients and preventing matted roots.
  • Worms produce natural antibiotics which help fight plant diseases.
  • Worm castings on tomato crops have shown a 33% increase in productivity.
  • Vermicompost has been shown to be richer in many nutrients than compost produced by other composting methods.
  • It is rich in microbial life which converts nutrients already present in the soil into plant-available forms.
  • Unlike other compost, worm castings also contain worm mucus which helps prevent nutrients from washing away with the first watering and holds moisture better than plain soil.
Worm Castings are naturally organic, odor free, will not burn your plants, improves soil structure, contains beneficial nutrients, microbes, trace minerals and natural plant growth hormones.

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