Posts Tagged ‘organic fertilizer’

wb27The best method of harvesting varies depending on the type of bin you are using. Some bins, such as the Wriggly Wranch Worm Bin, are designed with two tiers so the worms climb to the next level. This tends to work really well but for bins without an extra tier or for bins with worms that just won’t migrate here are a couple of harvesting methods our Master Composters suggest:

1. Fruit Method: Worms go crazy over avocado and melons. Place the food on one side of your bin. Within a couple of days the worms will swarm over to the food. Then, you can either collect the castings behind them or physically move them to another tier. This method is especially helpful if you want to start another bin.

2. Relocation Method: Move all of the contents of your bin to one side. Add a new layer of bedding on the far side of the bin and begin feeding in only that area. See photo above.

3. Cone Method: Place a tarp on the ground in a sunny area. Dump the contents of your bin onto the tarp. Build cones with the contents of the bin. Because worms do not like the sun, they will move towards the ground and you can collect the tops of the cones. You can continue creating cones until you have the amount of vermicompost you desire.

4. Slurry Method: Dump the contents of your bin into a bucket filled half way with water. The water will help separate the worms from the vermicompost and you can reach in and go worm fishing!

5. Screen Method: Use a 1/4 inch screen to sift the vermicompost. The vermicompost will fall through the screen and the worms will remain on top.

Can’t get all of the worms out of your finished vermicompost? Don’t worry. Worms reproduce very quickly (8 redworms can produce up to 1,500 babies in just six months!).


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There are many reasons why everyone should compost. Here are a few that we find most important.

1. Saves you money. Not only does using compost help conserve water but it reduces the need to purchase fertilizers and soil amendments.

2. Benefits your yard and garden. Compost improves soil health and fertility. It can also help prevent erosion. Compost is also great because it can be used instead of harmful chemicals that often run off into our waterways.

3. Conserves water. Compost helps the soil hold more water and reduces the need for frequent watering.

4. Helps the environment! Not only do organic materials take up an unnecessary amount of space in landfills but they also decompose extremely slow. When organic materials decompose in a landfill, they decompose anerobically (without air) which creates methane, a greenhouse gas. By recycling our organic materials, we reclaim them as a resource and greatly minimize the amount of trash we send to the landfill every week.

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Want to do more with your compost? Brewing your compost to make compost tea and adding it to your garden offers a number of benefits. It is easy to make and can replace the use of chemical-based fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides. It increases the amount of nutrients available to plants and soil and helps to prevent foliar diseases. Compost tea has even been found to increase the nutritional quality and improve flavor in vegetables.

Supplies Needed:compost-tea

2- 5 gallon bucket

1 gallon mature compost (worm or traditional)

1 aquarium valve

1 gang valve (divides air supply into several streams)

4 gallons of water

3+ feet of aquarium hose

1 ounce unsulfured molasses

Cheesecloth, nylon, or old pillow case

**Aeration equipment is especially important because the organisms use up of the oxygen quickly. Without extra oxygen the organisms will become anaerobic and the tea will begin to smell and will harm plants when added to soil.

Where to Start:

  1. Attach 3 pieces of aquarium hose (each about 12” long) to the gang valve. Place the gang valve on the outside of the bucket, making sure the hoses reach the bottom of the bucket.
  2. Add your finished compost to the bucket. Ensure the hoses are completely
  3. Fill the bucket with water up to six inches from the top. If you are using city water be sure to aerate it first by running it through the pump for at least an hour. Chlorine will kill organisms needed in the tea.
  4. Add the unsulfered molasses. Stir vigorously to aerate the tea.
  5. Turn on the pump and let the mixture brew for 2-3 days, stirring occasionally. Your tea should smell earthy. Add a second pump and aerate more if your tea smells bad.
  6. Brew you compost tea! Let the tea sit for about ten to twenty minutes after turning off the pump. Strain the tea through cheesecloth, a nylon stocking, or old pillow case into the other bucket. Spray on plants immediately

Brewing Compost Tea from Taunton Press


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