Composting thru earthworms or Vermi composting is a fun activity especially if there are kids involved . You also get the best compost for your plants It is a great way to dispose off ur organic waste and reduce ur garbage,
Most Fresh kitchen waste or manure needs to decompose or age a bit before the worms will touch it. Heat from a compost pile can boil an egg, it will kill worms and fresh food scraps + composting bacteria = heat
You are better off starting with regular composting then feeding the half done 50 to 75 % done compost to your worms so as not to kill them or have a two or 3 bin approach to ensure that u dont kill worms and keep rotating,
Regular composting (Stage 1): Prefer to use earthen pots with small holes to let air in.Plastic mesh baskets are good composters too
Wet kitchen waste (Nitrogen) 1 part to be layered with a composting culture + 3 parts dry items like shredded paper / cardboard / dry leaves / cocopeat.
Composting Culture : U can take a litre of warm water + a bit of yeast + 1 tea spoon molassis + Sour curd and / or Vermiwash / Cow / horse manure/ aged cow dung slurry . mix it well and add a bit to each layer to speed up composting (Readymade ones are also available.
Compost bed is ideally max 1.5 to 2 feet in height and 3 ft width
. In 20 days this compost changes color to dark brown and cools down significantly. Worms can be introduced to it with sufficient bedding . Depending upon quantity of worms u should have vermicompost in another 20 days appx … Thus a 2 or 3 bin method i think is best way of composting.
Worms generally love dark and damp beds , aged cow , goat or horse manure, semi done compost or half done compost , which wont heat up They need grit or egg shell powder or sand to digest .
Earthenware khambas, pots , old large wooden drawers , glass fish tank with hole at the bottom , non rust metal crates and fine mesh bag are great home composters . plastic tubs with ventilation holes will also do the job.
Depending upon where u live you can choose the worms so u have a happy bin. Composting worms are different from regular earthworms as they live in the soil surface rather than deep underground.
Worms most suitable in tropical or hot and humid or sea side areas and grow well at a temperature of 24-30 °C (75-86 °F) and can survive 36°C
Eg Tropical places with temperature of 12 – 38 °C Most of Asian coastline , Indian coastline , Mumbai etc South east Asia = Phillipines, Indonesia, Malaysia etc South Americas Brazil etc
1. African Nightcrawlers (Eudrilus eugeniae)
2. Indian or Malaysian Blueworms (Perionyx excavatus) may be used in the tropics and are available easily during the monsoon
Great worms for cooler places with temperature of 15 – 30 °C
1. Red wiggler or tiger worm (Eisenia fetida or Eisenia andrei) are most used hardy worms that are favourite of most composters .
2. European nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis)
The nightcrawlers which are also used as fish bait and the blueworms are more active and mobile and love to travel while red tigers are lazier. I dont reco using alabama jumpers and other invasive species
Earthworms are hermaphrodites, it has both male and female reproductive organs. Two worms join clitella, the large lighter-colored bands which contain the worms’ reproductive organs, and which are only prominent during the reproduction process. The two worms exchange sperm. Both worms may secrete cocoons size the of mustard seeds which contain an egg each. These cocoons are lemon-shaped and are pale yellow at first, becoming more brownish as the worms inside become mature. These cocoons are clearly visible to the naked eye.
Worm poop or Vermicast (also called worm castings, worm humus, worm manure, or worm feces) and worm tea or compost tea is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by earthworms.
great videos on composting