How to Incorporate Vermiculture Into an Organic Lawn

While some people characterize worms as slimy, useless creatures, others are aware of the benefits they possess. By housing and feeding scraps to worms, like paper, fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, and tea bags, these creatures can provide nutrient rich worm compost. Vermiculture, also known as worm farming, is an easy, affordable, and effective way to fertilize one's lawn.

Worm Farming and Lawn Care

Your lawn can benefit from vermiculture in two ways. First, worm castings are an excellent source of fertilizer. To fertilize your lawn with these castings, you simply spread the castings (poop) on the lawn and then water your lawn. In addition to using actual castings, property owners can also make compost tea by diluting four parts water to one part liquid. You will then use this compost tea to fertilize the lawn.

How to Farm Worms

You can either buy a worm composting apparatus or make one yourself. To successfully build a homemade composting device, you will need a Tupperware container, a window screen, shredded office paper, a drill, and either glue or tape. When making the container, follow these steps:

  1. Start by drilling holes around the container, including the lid.
  2. To allow the worms to breath, place a piece of screen over each hole. Remember to use either waterproof tape or glue to secure the screen.
  3. Following this, wet the paper shreds until they are about as moist as a wrung-out sponge. Then fill the container ¾ full with the bedding.
  4. After you've done the previous steps, you're ready to put the worms in.

It's important to note that red wrigglers are the most commonly used worms for vermiculture. Since these worms cannot withstand cold temperatures, they have to either be brought into the garage or heated during the winter. In addition to being kept warm, worms like to be moist; however, they do not enjoy being drenched in water. Also keep in mind that two pounds of worms are needed for every pound of food waste you compost. One square foot of space is needed for every pound of food you compost.

How to Get Worm Compost Tea

If you'd prefer worm compost tea, you can put a hole with a screen at the bottom of the container. Using cement blocks, you then elevate the container, putting another collection container beneath the hole. After you've done this, gravity will do the rest.

How to Separate Worms and Castings

Once you've accumulated enough castings, you will need to separate the worms from the castings. You may experience difficulty convincing the worms to move; however, you can get them to follow directions by placing worm food in a garden flat with holes. Set the flat in the container and let the worms crawl into it. With the worms separated, you can easily collect the castings. Once you've fertilized your lawn using the castings, you will need to place the existing worms in new bedding. At this point, you may find some worms wearing away.

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