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Composting: worm composting

Worm composting is a fun alternative for people who have little room outdoors to compost. A typical starter bin with one pound of worms can compost the kitchen scraps of a family of four.

Worm compostTo construct a worm bin, use a plastic container with a lid. Fill the bin with a bedding material such as shredded newspapers, then add a pint of peat moss or garden soil, and water to moisten the bedding until damp but not wet. Add the worms, and be sure to use red angler worms, not the earthworms found outdoors.

To feed your worms, add kitchen scraps such as apple peels and lettuce. Avoid dairy and meat products, because they attract flies to the bin. Citrus peels are a healthy addition to the worms' diet, but they might attract fruit flies. Periodically drain the water from the bin to keep the worms from drowning. Use the drainage water to fertilize your plants.

Remove castings and change the bedding monthly by adding scraps to only one side of the bin for two weeks. The worms will migrate to that half, leaving the remaining area clear for cleanup.

You can use the worm compost and castings as a soil amendment in the garden.

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Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014