Speed up worm bin compost process

frequently asked questions about compost worms
frequently asked questions about compost worms

How do you get your compost worms to process more waste?

Many people have a worm bin because it is a quick way of composting. Worm composting is a compost method that also takes up little space due to its speed. Sometimes the working pace of the compost worms is unfortunately a bit disappointing. I list four possible solutions for you.

5 ways to process waste faster in your worm bin

1: Cut your waste nice and small before feeding it to the compost worms

Compost worms begin the digestion process even before the food is in their intestines. They do this by crawling over the waste with their bodies and thus leaving a trail of enzymes on the waste. These enzymes begin with the breakdown of the food. After a few days, the surface of the food has softened, and the worms return to eat well. After all, they have no teeth to bite the waste into pieces.

Simple mathematics teaches you that the smaller the waste you feed, the larger the surface area that the enzymes can process. Your art even going so far as to throw your waste in the blender first and feed your worms with smoothies. That is something that I sometimes do in the winter, when I already make a smoothie and the blender is already dirty. Because especially in winter, the work pace of the worms can drop quite a bit. Add extra cardboard because in this finely ground waste the moisture is released much faster.

2: Keep the temperature in your worm bin above 15 degrees

Make sure your worm bin doesn’t cool down too much. At temperatures below 10 to 15 degrees, the compost worms hardly digest waste. If you cannot put the worm bin indoors in the winter, at least make sure you have a spot out of the wind and in the sun. Or keep the box in which you got your worm bin and put it upside down over your worm bin. Old blankets or bubble wrap can also keep the temperature high.

Remember that compost worms themselves produce a lot of heat, so if you make sure that heat stays inside, composting can continue outside even in the winter. Even in very long harsh winters, your compost worms can survive in your worm bin.

3: Give your compost worms a caffeine shot

Like humans, worms become active from caffeine. And active worms are more hungry. According to some worm experts, you should not give compost worms too much coffee pulp. Because it stresses them out. Others swear by coffee grounds precisely because it would stimulate reproduction: Also in the sex field, the worms seem to become more active from caffeine.

There are professional worm farms that allow worms to live almost entirely on coffee grounds. This is possible because the ratio of carbon to nitrogen is almost ideal. Coffee is part of the green ghroep, but you have to add relatively less brown material. Having said all this, for the average worm bin owner I think it’s just a fun fact. Above all, put your coffee grind in your worm bin. Perhaps it increases the composting rate and the size of your colony. In addition, the grain structure is good for the intestines and therefore for digestion. But a diet of just coffee grounds seems a bit one-sided to me.

4: Take care of family expansion

Get more compost worms in your worm bin. A worm colony can double in three months. And can therefore digest double the amount of waste. If you have little patience, you can try to encourage reproduction by adding some extra coffee grounds.

Under good conditions, a kilogram of worms can digest 1 kilogram of waste per day. Incidentally, the colony reaches a balance at a certain moment: if there is not enough food or space, reproduction goes back to a lower level. So make sure that there is always enough food and space available.

5: Buy more compost worms

That is of course possible in the webshop

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