Cold composting with worms
Cold composting is usually done outdoors, using micro-organisms to break down the plant matter, i.e autumn leaves, grass cuttings, kitchen scraps, etc. This process takes between 6 and 12 months to convert the plant matter to a good quality compost. Cold composting can be started at any time of the year.
The process can be speeded up by adding worms. Please make sure that no chemical fertilizers and pest control products were used in the items added to the compost heap, as they would kill the worms. The worms can also not be used in a spinner compost maker.
To get the best results, the materials should be layered as follows:
Layer 1: Start with the freshest material at the bottom of the compost heap. These would include grass clippings, leaves, plant trimmings, fresh cow, horse, rabbit or sheep manure and other garden scraps.
Layer 2: Fruit and vegetable scraps, peels, apple cores, etc.
Layer 3: Worm bedding. Use a variety of bedding materials, like torn up cardboard boxes, shredded newspaper (black print only), coconut coir, peat moss and fully mature compost. Add crushed egg shells and coffee grounds, as well as fruit and vegetable scraps to this layer as well.
Layer 4: Add the worms. They will work their way down the layers, turning the composting materials into valuable, nutrient-rich compost.
After approximately 3 months the pile can be separated into mature compost and plant materials that have not been broken down yet. Take out the worms. Remove the compost for use in the garden. Start a new pile of compost, layering the materials as before.
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