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The Ten Commandments of Vermicomposting

Are you new to the wriggly world of vermicomposting (that’s home composting with a worm farm… if you’re reeaaallly new around here)? Or maybe you’re a seasoned pro, ready to upgrade from your ugly pile of traditional compost or your clunky tumbler compost system?

Welcome to the worm side, where the 150-kilograms of food waste you produce every year no longer emits greenhouse gasses from landfill! Instead, worms and microbes create a delicious and nutritious compost so powerful it’s referred to in hushed tones as ‘black gold’. This is a plant superfood, giving you lush, fruitful vegetable harvests from your kitchen garden.

Now obviously there’s a little bit more to vermicomposting than just tossing your food scraps in the bin. But with a worm farm from Subpod, it doesn’t take much for it to become a part of your everyday life. And as you can see, the rewards are plentiful!

There are a few things you should know about vermicomposting with your Subpod. Our Ten Vermicomposting Commandments will guide you on your journey, keeping your worms happy and your harvests bountiful. Here they are:

Commandment 1: Choose Your Worms Wisely

All worms aren’t created equal when it comes to vermicomposting. There’s a difference between compost worms and earthworms, as you’ll find here. So you need to make sure you choose the right worm to get that black gold in your Subpod. We recommend either:

  • Tiger/Red Wriggler Worms (Eisenia fetida), or
  • Indian Blue Worms (Perionyx excqvatus)

Commandment 2: The Worm Blanket is Your Friend

You and your worms will learn to love the worm blanket in your Subpod, as it helps to maintain optimum composting conditions. Compost worms thrive when moisture levels are at 60-80%, and keeping your worm blanket moist ensures they stay in that range. The moisture levels also help to discourage ants from getting in. Worm blankets decrease the amount of light reaching the worms, so they feel comfortable feeding right up to the top layer of food waste.

Commandment 3: Location is Important

To really integrate home composting into your life, you need to barely notice you’re doing it. If your Subpod is at the other end of your garden, trekking out there every day will become tiresome. Especially if it's raining! Keep your worm farm nice and close to your kitchen. The shorter journey with your food waste will make composting easier.

Commandment 4: Don’t Let Your Worms Overheat or Freeze

People from all over the planet want to get into vermicomposting with a Subpod, and the good news is, they can! If you’re in a place that experiences extreme hot or cold temperatures, it just takes a little bit more attention to keep your worms comfortable. The optimum range for them is between 12° and 32°C, or 55° to 95°F, so you'll have to try to keep the internal temperature within that. We have a couple of resources for you to help you prevent your worms from getting too cold or too hot. Read about how to keep them warm in winter or keep them cool in summer.

Commandment 5: Carbon is King

The secret weapon to creating a productive home composting system is… drum roll… carbon! You should add some carbon everytime you add food waste to your Subpod. If moisture levels are too high, add carbon to dry things up. If you’ve added too much food waste, balance it out with carbon. If things are getting a bit stinky in your wormery, dry carbon will neutralise those odours. It really is an essential ingredient!

Carbon can be any brown, dry, organic material. Examples are sawdust, shredded paper, cardboard, or even dry leaves.

Commandment 6: Aerate

Everytime you feed your food waste and carbon into your Subpod, you need to aerate it. This mixes the food waste in so that it can be accessed by the worms and microbes at all levels. It also provides them with the oxygen necessary for creating the compost. If your Subpod is getting a bit smelly, aeration will also help. You can use your hands or a trowel, or the especially designed Subpod Compost Aerator.

Commandment 7: Feed Them the Right Amount

Overfeeding your worms can lead to a build up of food waste that could get a bit smelly. Underfeed them and their numbers will reduce. You need to strike a bit of a balance, which is determined by the size of your worm population. Subpod has a handy inbuilt guide indicating how much food waste you can add as your worm population increases. It looks like this:

Commandment 8: Feed them the Right Stuff

They’re not the fussiest creatures around, but if it ain’t organic the worms won’t touch it. Don’t go putting things like tin cans, plastics, cigarettes and so on in there. They’ll devour all your food straps, from fruit and veg to grains, egg shells and tea bags! You’ll need to be careful with the amounts of chili or spicy stuff, meat, dairy and citrus you put in. For a very in-depth list of what can and can’t be put in there, have a look at this Growhub article.

Commandment 9: Macerate for Faster Results

If you want to speed up the composting process in your wormery, simply macerate your food waste. This gives the worms and microbes a greater surface area to work with, generating more efficiency in your Subpod. There are macerating machines available, or you can simply chop up the food waste into finer pieces manually before feeding.

Commandment 10: Share the Love

Home composting is a way of giving back to the planet. It’s an easy and effective way to manage organic waste, feed the earth and feed our families. If you’re on the home composting train, we urge you to share the love around! Tell your friends, work colleagues and family about vermicomposting and the good it does. Share your compost with them and share your produce with them! The more people on board fighting food waste, the bigger our positive impact will be.

Start Composting at Home

Ready to reduce your carbon footprint and start producing wonderful black gold compost to enrich your kitchen garden? Congratulations! You're at the start of a fulfilling, educational journey that reduces food waste in landfill and the harmful methane gas it produces. You’re also going to make thousands of new friends, because that’s exactly what your worms will become.

Subpod worm farms are easily-assembled home composting systems that integrate into your daily lives with very little effort at all. Whether you live in an apartment or on a large suburban block, we have a Subpod to suit your space. Have a browse our range of products below, and if you need a bit of guidance have a read of this article on choosing the perfect Subpod for your situation.

Starting your own kitchen garden?

Our beginner friendly worm farms are your perfect partner!

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