How to Make Vermicompost

-[John White] Welcome to Southwest Yard and Garden. I’m John White. With me today is David Clairemont.
David is a Dona Ana County master gardener and also vermicomposter. David
welcome to the show, and tell us a little bit about vermicompost and what is it? -[David Clairemont] Thank you John. Well vermi means worm. And so that
vermicomposting simply means worm composting. Using worms to help the
composting process. And in dry climates it’s a tremendous help. So that’s what we
have here today is some–the ingredients of–how we put that together. -[John] Are the worms a special type of worm? Or can we just take any earthworm? -[David] No they are a special type of worm. They are called red wigglers, some people
refer to them as manure worms. Their technical name is a Eisenia Fetida and
they just stay where food is, where garbage is. They love to eat garbage. And
they produce a compost that– literature tells us is the best compost
known. So I’ve made it or I’ve helped make it. I’ve used it. I think it’s
great, so I keep making it. -[John] Now if somebody is looking to get some worms, where do
they find worms at? -[David] You can find some addresses in gardening magazines.The internet is a good place. Just go in and put in vermicomposting or worm
composting, you should get plenty of hits. You may have to make a couple of calls
to find out that they can get the product to you quickly. The worms need to
be sent quickly, especially during hot weather. But there are sources that can be found.
Unfortunately, there is none locally at this time. -[John] Okay. We have some ingredients
here in front of us. You want to tell us a little bit about each one of these
ingredients? what do we need to get started? -[John] All that’s needed to get a
composting project started. First of all, I just have some grass clippings.
They probably were cut a couple days ago, so they’ve dried out just a tiny bit. And
I’ll be using–I’ll be putting these things in the order that I’m showing. So
first, I’ll put a layer of this grass clipping. The second layer, I’ll put in is
just some manure (horse manure that’s been cured). Other manures don’t seem to work but there seems to be plenty of horse manure around here. The next layer I’ll put on is–the next thing I’ll put on is the worms. Okay, I have some composting worms in this can. On top of the composting
worms, I’ll place a week’s worth of kitchen garbage, kitchen scraps. (no meat products or dairy products) Although
eggshells are fine. And on top of the garbage, I’ll spread some peat, just to keep the odors down. And there should be no odor with this project. Some people
actually do this inside their kitchens. -[John] David we’re going to do all this in a
plastic container. We got to make sure we have holes in it for drainage and for
air for the worms. Because they’ll die without either one of those. Too much
water and not enough air. Okay, let’s build a pile.
Okay David, what’s our first item? -[David] Okay, first thing in, grass clippings. We put in a
layer of these. It doesn’t have to be too thick. A couple of inches is fine. It’ll compact down
anyway. And the next will be about the same thickness of some cow manure that’s
been cured by our intense sunlight. -[John] Is this horse manure or cow manure? -[David] Horse manure, excuse me. Horse manure, don’t use cow manure please. Although, I think it probably could be used. The next item we’re going to put in is our worms. Our
little worm guys. There’s about four ounces of worms here. And when they are in
there, if they eat like they’re supposed to–they eat twice
their weight a day. That means the first day these guys should eat about a half a
pound. And they’ll be eating these kitchen scraps. Now I see lettuce–some
lettuce scraps, onions. It’s pretty yucky, but there’s some banana
peels, there’s some strip corn, coffee filters, and coffee grounds their
favorite food. Let me use my spoon down in. -[John] And again, no meat scraps? -[David] No meat scraps, no dairy scraps. It doesn’t smell too good right now. But by the time I get
this peat put on top of it, that should take care of the odor and also enhance
the process. That’s just more stuff that they can compost. And we can keep this
bin in a shady area in the summer. And maybe in a little sunny area in the
winter. But they have a wide range of temperature, in which they can survive. -[John] Okay, now we have done this and we don’t need to add water. There was enough moisture in
the food products. -[David] Well this looks a little dry, so I might just wet it down just a little bit. With the water can just put a little–
make it moist–but not wet. -[John] Now as far as adding
future scraps back in, just put them back on top? -[David] Next process when it comes along, when you’ve got more kitchen scraps, layer them on top just like I did. Cover them
with the peat, and let her go. The worms will do the rest. -[John] Okay. Here’s a container next to us that is about a week old. And you can kind of see what this material here is going to look like in about a week. You can see it’s a
very moist, highly organic material, it’s been broken down. This is still in the
process of breaking some of the stuff down. But a very good material and a very
rich material for our plants. David, thank you very much for giving us your
expertise on vermicomposting. We do want to remind viewers that there is a
publication available from the College of Ag and Home Ec, and you can
access this off the website and it is on vermicomposting. So if you a need to refer back to
some of the things we talked about, you can access it again through that
publication. So David, again thank you very much for joining on Southwest Yard
and Garden. -[David] You’re welcome, John. [music]

41 thoughts on “How to Make Vermicompost

  1. i believe the food on the top attracts the worms up to the top of the bin. the holes are also not big enough for the worms to leave. but mostly the food on top attracts the worms upwards and not downwards.

  2. Worms love horse manure, cow manure, rabbit manure, goat manure, plus the vegetation. No fear on using manure besides horse manure, just be sure the animal has not been wormed lately or it will kill your composting worms. 🙂

  3. @Guzzy30 I tried window screen…the worms went right through it and were congregating in the worm tea collection bin in my DIY worm farm. Found some posts where people used landscape fabric, as it let the tea through but not the worms. I will be trying it in the next day or so.

  4. not really,worms dont have to shower,get a job,get married,eat healthy,exercise,brush teeth,wipe their asses,

    yeah i wish i was a worm

  5. if you are so concerned about complete info. MAKE YOUR OWN VIDEO. theirs hundreds of videos and websites with info on vermiculture and vermicomposting. stop being lazy and do your research.

  6. Actually thats incorrect, worms are unisex, but it takes two worms to reproduce, amoebas can actually reproduce themselves using binary fission.

  7. if it's those long red worms, then i'm lucky because in my raised bed there are alot of them even in my balcony plants. since i learned about the worms, i try not to hurt them when i transplant. i.m teaching my grand daughter about gardening even thou she is 3 years old and i tell her not to hurt the worms. i think it's important to teach our children. iloved your videos.

  8. Doesn't the grass heat up and kill your worms? Coconut coir would be a better choice than grass clippings or peat moss. Use some compost as well as shown on many other videos on the subject.

  9. I'm using coconut coir, but I'm wondering how I'll be able to tell the castings from the coir when it's time to harvest. They both look the same color. Am I supposed to just use the entire mix of coir and castings for tea or for mixing into my flower bed? Thanks!

  10. The coir will break down like peat moss will as fungus and bacteria work on it and the worms eat the fungus/bacteria. Give it plenty of time, based on the amount of worms you are using. A great resource on the subjest is a website called vermicomposters(dot)com. There is a ton of information on that site. Good luck!

  11. You really need to use the species called Eisenia fetida. It is a compost redworm. Regular earthworms live deeper in the soil and will not do as well and will probably die out. There are other species of redworms that will work, but EF is the best, from what I have heard. I have not been able to find any in my backyard compost piles. I think there are some Alabama Jumpers out there though, a different species. Check out the website vermicomposters(dot)com for more info.

  12. Is it ok to feed the worms with neem leaves? Sine neem leaves have medicinal values, vermi castings is likely to have better quality if the worms consume neem leaves (ie; if they eat it). 

  13. Peat moss is super unsustainable! Dont use it folks. There are alternatives that are more eco friendly

  14. Doesn't seem like this guy knows too much at all. Too dry. "Don't use cow manure, please!", then "well, I guess you could use it"….. They eat 1/2 their weight per day, not twice their weight.

  15. Very much useful video.. Thank you! But I think we can use cow manure too as it has equal High Nitrogen content, which is helpful for the steady growth of plants.

  16. can i please start much much much much easier and simpler,, like hey i even started to keep my stuff instead of putting in my garbage,, now wats next and freeer using grass? just taking random dirt maybe and if it doesnt smell start keeping it moist,, ill start putting some random dirt in it and neighbors grass,, im in appartment so no space, balcony,, hey just learning i can let legumes (since im vegan now soo much peels dam,,) and it doesnt smeel if put in bac one by one they have time to dry,, tho other guy told me its best to keep moist,, but dammit its moist dat makes it smell lol, and i wont buy stuff for dat,, just being able to responsibly getting rid of my food would be first step,, i have to toss next to train track cause i cant here,, just hoping it wont stay there forever,, guess im asking for less proffessional video, thx tho but too much stuff and if u gotta pay, its even less apPeaLing 🙂

  17. I think u should wait for 3 to a week before adding the worms, bec the bedding will undergo the hit process and the worms will not like it…hihihi

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