[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Composting with earthworms, or vermi­composting, is an excellent way to turn food scraps into nutrient-dense fertilizer that can boost plant health and increase flower and fruit production. Vermicom­posting is similar to the conventional method of composting, but it requires less space and can be done indoors. And of course, you get to tell your friends and family that you have worms.

Red wigglers are the typical species used in vermicomposting and can be pur­chased online by the pound. To get started, you will need bedding, food scraps, and a bin for the worms to live in. The size of the bin depends on the amount of food scraps your household generates. A plastic box that is 2 to 3 feet wide and 12 inches deep is good for most families. Drill several small holes in the bottom of the bin, and place a second box underneath to capture any liquid that seeps out.

Add 6 inches of damp shredded news­paper bedding, a handful of garden soil, and a pound of worms to the bin. After one week, add a 1-inch layer of food scraps and cover with another 1-inch layer of dampened shredded newspaper. Store the bin out of direct sunlight and where it will not freeze.

Avoid feeding your worms meat, greasy or oily foods, onions, garlic, bones, and acidic foods such as citrus peels. Before adding waste to your bin, chop food scraps into smaller pieces to make them easily di­gestible. Bury scraps in the bedding to pre­vent odor. Learn more here: http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/topic/vermicomposting/

— Sam Marshall[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]worm composting [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]