Composting is a great way to recycle food scraps and other organic material that would otherwise go into the landfill. It can also be an effective way to control garden pests, increase soil fertility, and provide nutrients for plants.
But how do you know if compost is worm compost? And what kind of difference are we talking about? In this blog post, Simple Grow Soil cover all the different types of compost so you can make an informed decision on which one will work best for your gardening needs!
Do all composts contain worms?
This is a bit of a tricky question because the answer is "maybe." The fact of the matter is that worms will likely find their way into your compost. This is especially true if you compost outside and the weather conditions are right, as in not too hot and containing moisture and food to break down. However, if you start compost inside your home, there is less chance of worms finding their way into it. So it is technically possible to create compost without worms. It will depend significantly on if the compost is indoors or outdoors and the type of bin or closure used to compost. Don't be surprised if you take a trip to add more food scraps to your compost and find worms; this is quite common.
Worms in your compost help to break down the food scraps. They produce rich nutrients and are an excellent natural fertilizer for plants, flowers, vegetables, or fruit trees. The worms also create worm eggs that will hatch and become a new earthworm source that you can spread through the soil around kitchen gardens or flowerbeds.
Tips for composting with worms:
-You'll want to start by creating a bed for the worms; this can be done with straw or dry leaves.
-Food scraps should be added into your compost bin in thin layers, which will make it easier for the worms to break down these materials and not suffocate them.
-Worms need moisture, so if you notice that the bedding is dry, you'll want to add some water.
-You may also find yourself needing to add a few leaves or straw as well for the worms to have something else to feed on and keep them happy.
-Worms don't need any light, so if your compost bin doesn't already come with one built-in, then you can use a natural light bulb to provide some illumination.
-It's not uncommon for people to find that their worms reproduce, so you'll want to keep this in mind when adding new food scraps, and space is limited.
Tips for composting without worms:
-If you don't have any worms, use kitchen scraps and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
-Cover the food scraps in layers instead of mixing them up so that each time there is rotting action, new oxygen mixes into the pile better.
-Don't try to add too much material at once, or else you'll end up with a pile that smells bad and is too wet.
-If you're composting food scraps, use as much brown material like leaves or straw as possible to give the piles more of a balance between green and brown.
-Make sure your bin has good drainage, so it doesn't get waterlogged.
How to determine if your compost contains worms?
-If you have worms, the compost pile will be dark and moist.
-Worms can't tolerate direct sunlight, so if your bin is in a sunny spot, then it probably doesn't contain any worms.
How to find out how long food scraps need to decompose before they are worm compost?
-It takes about two months for food scraps to decompose into worm compost.
What is the process for making your worm compost?
-The best way to make a good amount of worm compost is by adding kitchen scraps and some bedding like leaves, straw, or shredded paper towels.
What is the difference between composting food scraps and specifically making worm compost?
-Composting food scraps can be done with a variety of materials. The quickest way to make excellent quality worm compost is by following these instructions:
-Add kitchen scrap, soil from outside (not garden), shredded paper towels, or leaves in an open container.
-Put a lid on the container and let it sit for two to three months. After that, the worms will do all of the work!
How does compost eventually become worm compost?
-All compost starts as organic material like leaves or food scraps, which is then broken down over time by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. Worms are valuable helpers in this process because they aerate the compost, turn it faster, and help to keep a lid on odors.
What are the most common worms to find in your compost?
-Earthworms and nightcrawlers are two common types of compost worms in your backyard.
What is the difference between worm composting food scraps and specifically making worm compost?
-All of the contents will eventually become dirt, but there's a big difference in what you put into it. Worms need some water to stay healthy, so using a moist mixture of food and garden waste (without any peelings or cores) will help.
-If you want more worms, specifically make worm compost by adding bedding like shredded paper or leaves to the mix. And if you have trouble finding nightcrawlers for your backyard bin, introduce some red wigglers as these are a type that thrives in worm compost.
More often than not, a compost bin will contain worms, even if you didn't add them yourself. If the conditions are right, as in a moist environment, cooler temperatures, and food scraps, worms generally will find their way into your composting bin. T
here are many benefits to having worms help out in the decomposition process. Not only do they help aerate the soil, but they also provide castings that are very nutritious and beneficial to plant life. They also help to break down food waste much faster than if they aren't present. So if you find worms in your compost, get excited; these little guys will do a lot of work and benefits for your compost bin.