Anyone can go to a local nursery and pick up a bag of soil for their burgeoning garden, but composting is another matter. If you’ve been following this blog at all, you know that this is the year that I’ve decided to start my first container garden. Because I only decided a month ago to start up my garden, I didn’t have compost for the first Spring plant, however, that hasn’t stopped me from starting one for the winter months!
Indoor composting is a heck of a lot easier than you might think. Compost piles get such a bad wrap because of their potential to smell like something died! And it’s true. When I used to live in the Burbs, if you walked within a few steps of my compost pile, your hair would curl. But wow, did it produce some amazing fruits and veggies! The decomposition of organic matter is not going to smell like a rose garden, we’re talking dead things here. It of course all depends on what you throwing into the mix. If you’re tossing out bones and bits of meat, not only is your pile going to smell, but you’re going to end up with the entire cast of the Jungle Book (minus a half clothed orphan) in your back yard.
There are several indoor composting methods, but my absolute favourite, and the one that creates the best soil for me is by way of Vermicomposting, using worms. Oh, don’t squirm, worms are cool! If you’ve ever gone digging around in your back yard and come across red worms, you were probably working with some incredibly fertile soil and just didn’t know it! So, now we know that we need red worms for a compost success story, what’s next?
First, you’ll want to work out how many people you’re providing for (don’t worry, this post will not require you to eat the worms, that’s next week!). There’s a loose formula that I’ve always sort of followed. Again, stop panicking, there’s no math involved, and figuring out how much compost you’ll need is not nearly as complicated as learning how to become a Federal air marshall. If you’re composting for 1-3 people, a lb of red worms is sufficient. If you’ve got a family of 4-6, than you’ll want 2-3lbs of red worms. As far as container size goes, you’re looking at something that’s got dimensions in or around about 15″x2″x3.5″, conveniently, small enough to fit under your kitchen sink if you so wished.
Okay. Container? Check. Now, it’s time to find some bedding for your worms. You can’t just toss them into a bucket and expect miracles to happen, so head outside and find some organic material like leaves, or even bits of recyclable paper for the worms to feed on. It’s their waste that creates the fertile soil that you will use later to plant your garden! There’s a little more to the process, but that should be enough to get you started. Check back next week, and we’ll go into a little bit more detail about why vermicomposting is the best method, and how it works!