Too cold to go out, bring compost in
By Serena Willoughby
Don't let frigid winter temperatures stop you from feeding your
composter and reducing the trash we ship to Michigan.
Although the processes slows down in the winter, food scraps
and other refuse continue to break down in a composter year round,
creating perfect soil for your garden in the spring.
In fact, cold temperatures are actually beneficial; the freezing
action breaks down fibres in organic material, which aids in decomposition
once it thaws out.
But if you're not crazy about trudging through the garden to
dispose of kitchen scraps, you could try vermicomposting, which
works indoors year round.
Vermicomposting involves using worms, red wigglers to be exact,
in a bin. The wigglers eat about half their body weight each day
and produce rich, sweet smelling compost that can be ready for
harvesting in as little as two months.
To set up a vermicomposting bin you need a bin, bedding such
as straw, grass clippings, dried leaves, chopped plants, dampened
peat moss, ground cardboard or shredded paper and, of course,
You can get worms through the mail from. Cathy's Crawly Composters
Once your vermicomposter is set up, you can add vegetable and
fruit wastes, coffee grounds, tea bags, and egg shells.
Vermicomposting bins need to be kept indoors because the worms
will not survive cold temperatures, but a properly managed bin
emits no odours.
One of the main concerns many people have with vermicomposting
is the thought of having worms in the house.
However red wigglers rarely try to escape since they prefer to
stay near their food source. Worms breath through their skin.
so if the conditions become too acidic, the worms will burn and
may try to escape. This can be corrected by adding agricultural
lime or crushed egg shells weekly.
Worms need a moist environment; if they do leave the bin, they
will dry out and die right outside the bin, usually within a foot
Cathy Nesbitt, who operates Cathy's Crawly Composters, says the
most important thing with vermicomposting and regular composting
is to keep adding to it.
She recommends putting outdoor composters closer to the house
to make them easier to use. The composter will also benefit from
heat generated by the house and shelter provided by overhangs.
Composting Candy Stores
You can get outdoor composters and vermicomposting supplies at:
Cathy's Crawly Composters: www.cathyscomposters.com
or call 905-775-9495.
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