By Vanessa Richins
Hopefully the thought of worms under your sink doesn’t make you cringe.
One of the easiest ways for an urban gardener to compost is with a worm compost bin under the kitchen sink.
It can also be kept in the basement or cellar. Since it is indoors, worm compost can be made at any time of the year, regardless of cold and snow outside. The optimum temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can still work down to about 40 degrees if necessary.
Worm composting – properly known as vermiculture – is a way you can get compost faster than traditional composting. You can use regular earthworms and redworms, though there are special composting worms available for sale. The same ingredients are used – a mixture of carbon based materials (such as leaves and shredded newspaper) , and a mixture of nitrogen based materials (such as grass clippings, fruit and vegetable wastes, and coffee grounds) Do not use meat or dairy products.
Storing your bin under the kitchen sink is especially efficient since that is where you usually process food scraps. The worms take about 2-3 months to make the first batch of compost.
One problem to watch out for is fruit flies. These can be prevented by burying food scraps under a layer of newspaper. If you do get fruit flies, stop feeding the bin for a few days and let it dry out a little. Sometimes chamomile tea or bowls of vinegar placed nearby help also. Once the fruit flies have left, you can resume feeding and moistening your worm bin.
You can find instructions on constructing your own bin.
I plan to have a worm composting bin in my new house. Does anyone already use this method?
Instructions provided by wormmainea.