Less Noise, More Green: Vermiculture - a composting solution for the urban garden

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Vermiculture - a composting solution for the urban garden


Vermiculture: a compost solution for urban gardens
One of the biggest gardening challenges I have in my urban setting is maintaining a compost pile. This year I hope will be different. I have a plan that should address my compost problems and also benefit my container gardens. Part of my plan involves my new vermicomposting system.



My compost bin sits under a pine tree and is covered in sap and needles.

 My compost woes stem from this one fact: I don't have enough browns. Greens I have in abundance but as a healthy compost pile composition consists of three parts browns to one part greens, I need a lot of the one thing I don't have. Browns are the carbon additions to the pile such as dead leaves, twigs and debris. These can be supplemented with sawdust, cardboard and newspaper and I am working on creating a stock pile to use during the summer when my green additions are at their peak. I don't have a lot of woody perennial trees or shrubs on my property, plus several hurricanes in recent years took down two trees, leaving access to browns challenging. Last fall I had to use ten huge leaf bags acquired from my neighbors to mulch my beds for the winter.

Vermiculture: a compost solution for urban gardens
Worm food: apple core, tea bag, coffee, stale bread and ripped up egg carton - yum!
The other part of this equation is reducing the amount of greens I put into the pile and this is where my new worm friends come into play. The worms eat a portion of my fruit and vegetable scraps, creating highly concentrated compost and reducing the amount of greens going into my traditional compost bin.

Vermiculture: a compost solution for urban gardens
These are the worms when they first arrived: stressed, hungry and cold.
The resulting vermicompost will be used in my containers, which need replenishing of nutrients through out the growing season, as well as being mixed in with the potting soil for my indoor seedlings.

Vermiculture: a compost solution for urban gardens
This is the system I chose called The Worm Factory.

As I can use the vemiculture system all year round, I can continue to recycle my greens in the winter and create a reserve of compost to use in the spring.

I have high hopes for my plan. It would be nice to not be swearing over my compost pile this year!

Sue

Related Posts:
Compost Green and Brown Ingredients with Graphics
Using fall leaves as mulch

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