Got the Can’t Compost in the City Blues? Time for a New Song…

You are a new-age, eco-minded urban type who takes the time to recycle, to bring cloth bags along to shop. You ride your bike around town to avoid clogging up the ozone layer and use real plates and cloth napkins in lieu of paper. Despite all your great effort – you feel like you aren’t completely green, and despite what Kermit the Frog sang, it really IS easy being green, even in the city.

With all community effort being turned towards composting in the city ( among others) now is the time to take your eco-lifestyle to the next level with a few indoor-composting tips for space or yard-challenged city dwellers.

Buy a Bin
Get one that will fit in a pantry or cupboard and is about two foot high.  Drill holes in the base for drainage. Set it up on top of a dish drainer or plastic tray to catch the excess and you’re ready to add your organic materials. (Check out indoor compost bins)

Worms are Your Friends
The first step to indoor composting is understanding that to be successful, you must compost with worms. Red worms, to be exact, are the key to indoor composting.  This doesn’t mean that you have to go out in your yard with a flashlight and find them. Red wrigglers are grown for composters and can be found here. This hearty breed of worm loves warm temperatures and thrives in indoor bins.

Layer it Up

Fill the bottom twelve inches or so of your bin with damp leaves, sawdust, non-toxic newspaper, glass clipping or shredded leaves.   Make sure these materials are damp with no dry spots – this helps the worms stay moist and healthy.  Add your worms (link to red wrigglers page) at a rate of about 500 worms for every cubic foot of worm bin space. It sounds like a lot of wriggly little guys, but they’ll get along well.

Feed the Tenants

What you out in your worm bin is key to the health of your worms and the quality of your compost. Your kitchen scraps like coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable leavings and grains are a great source for your worms. Do not use meat scraps or bones, garlic or dairy products. Your worms won’t like garlic either, so avoid it in your bin. Throw in a handful of soil during each feeding as a special treat.

Watch and Wait

Within about five months, give or take, you’ll see the bottom your bin fill with rich, loamy soil that you can use to feed your plants, trees, garden and lawn. You need to nothing more than harvest this and continue feeding those hungry little worms.  As with any other “pet”. Keeping an eye on the condition of your worms is necessary. They should breed quickly and thrive in their new home. If you are concerned about the lifespan of condition of your new “room mates”, contact us.

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