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Five Key Benefits Of Vermicomposting

The average American throws out 4.5 pounds of trash every single day. It may not seem all that much, but with over 300 million people in the United States. That is roughly 728,000 tons of daily garbage.What makes this really bad is according to the Solano Center for Environmental Innovation over 70% of what goes into landfills could be recycled or used for compost.

Composting is the speeding up of the natural process of decomposition. The goal is to improve soil composition by returning useful waste back to your garden

One of the most significant contributors for composting is kitchen waste. Scraps from meal preparations as well as cooking supplies can be added to a compost bin and, in turn, contribute to your soil and mulch. Vermicomposting is a compliment to the process by increasing the value of nutrients returned to the soil.

Vermicomposting instead of composting gives gardeners five key benefits.

  • 1. Diverting waste from landfills is excellent, and vermicomposting also produces nutrient-rich castings for your garden.

    Worm castings contain five times more nitrogen, seven times more phosphorus and 11 times more potassium than ordinary soil.To learn more about the benefits of worm castings click here.

  • 2. Compared to traditional composting less space is needed.

    A bin with a couple square feet of surface area 8 -16 inches deep works well. So do five-gallon buckets buried in the ground.

  • 3. Less strength is needed.

    The worms do the work, so you don't have to measure temperature and turn the pile.
  • 4. Faster production of compost.

    This depends on the temperature of your compost pile, but 3 months to a year is a typical time period for a compost pile to be ready. Vermicomposting should be ready around every three months.
  • 5. Red wiggler worms eat half their weight in food waste daily.

    Imagine if a 200-pound man could eat 100 pounds of garbage every day?

Vermicomposting has some challenges as well. You need to make sure you don’t let your worm beds dry out or keep them to wet. Worms like fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds, and pasta. Don’t feed them meat scraps because it will smell and attract unwanted pests. You should harvest about every three months. Your mileage will vary depending on temperatures, moisture and how much you feed your worms. Soil makes one of the most significant differences in how your landscape looks and how much food your garden produces. Vermicomposting won't solve all the problems in your garden, but it will give you the opportunity to reduce waste while improving the look and production of your garden.

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Richard Restuccia

Richard is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. Richard is a spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees. He served on the Irrigation Association's Board of Directors and is a University of California Master Gardener. Richard also writes for other publications and is an award winning contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine. In 2014 his efforts were recognized with a “Leadership in Landscape” award. He has a great interest in the supply of clean water for people in developing countries and as an outdoorsman, spends his free time running, swimming and surfing.


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