A lot of you already know that besides just being a green enthusiast, I am a proud worm compost'er. My friends tease me constantly as they find it entertaining to find me outside "picking worms" on a Friday night for fun. One of my best friends recently called me the worm lady saying she thought of me instantly when her son dug a worm up in the backyard. Weird? Yes, but I am very proud of what my worms can do.
When I first started worm composting a few years ago, I originally made my own bin from a Rubbermaid storage bin. I figured it would work well without having to spend the money on the big fancy ones. However, I quickly learned I was making more work for myself by doing so as I frequently found myself having to spend some serious time picking the worms to move them to a new environment.
I was beyond thrilled to discover a company which shared the same passion for green living as myself. Gardener of Urban is an online shopping place as well as a place to turn to for tips and advice! They carry a wide variety of gardening products with urban living or small spaces in mind. Everything is personal to them! Needless to say when they agreed to send me over the Worm Factory® 360 to review, I was a bit psyched to start sharing with you right away!
The Worm Factory® 360 is a complex yet easy to use system for worm composting. Getting started is really quite simple as this kit provide most of the tools necessary to create a successful worm composting system for any home. First we mix the bedding, grit, dirt and water together to make a moist environment. Then, you easily add from the long list of brown and green products for your worms to eat.
Safe foods/products for your compost include but are not limited to:
shredded newspaper manure
shredded cardboard chopped up straw
shredded fall leaves sawdust
dead plants seaweed
fruit and vegetable peels tea bags
crushed egg shells Hair
coffee grounds bread
pasta or rice potatoes
NO Meats or Dairy Products! These attract pests such as rodents and flies.
Topped with a damp set of newspapers you are now ready to order and add your worms. Believe me when I say even though these little guys may seem gross, they are one of the best "pets" you could ever own. They will settle in on their own are reproduce as frequently as the supply demands. You will notice when your worms are ready for more food and a new bedding area. This can actually take up to 2 months depending on the temperature and amount of food you've added.
You want to have a good 50/50 mixture of brown and green ingredients. I like to use as much of a variety of food and bedding to keep my worms "happy". Worms need lost of moisture and oxygen so make sure to water and gently toss your ingredients frequently. The moisture level should be that of a wrung out sponge.
You can usually collect your food waste in a milk carton or other container for a couple days and then add it to the compost. The worms will not eat fresh leftovers right away anyway. They like to wait a couple days to a week to let the microrganisms begin the break down process, and they actually feed off that "slime". The drainage into the bottom container can be used as a liquid fertilizer.
Prepare your new tray when ready the same way you started the initial tray only putting new food in this tray once it has been added. The worms will gradually move up to the next tray when they are ready to get to the new food. After giving them time to migrate upward, you now will have finished worm compost in the bottom tray.
The dirt when added to plants (potted or planted in ground) will make a world of difference for your plants health and growth! After starting this a few years ago I can tell you I will never go back to gardening without my worms. The supply and health of my plants is like no other fertilizer I've ever tried.
This is by far one of the coolest gadgets ever for someone like me! I seriously feel like a pro using it. The great thing about using the Worm Factory® 360 is that you don't need to have a ton of property or space. Surprisingly, it doesn't smell so it can be kept indoors in an apartment somewhere during the winter months or in the corner of a garage packed as full as mine is!
Available to purchase/Cost: $109.95 Worm Factory® 360 with worms add $30
Recommendation: Get one! Spend the money as it is beyond inexpensive for the amount of money you will save on fertilizer or quality soils. These worms have become my best friends while gardening. I also suggest checking out all the vertical wall planters and other products this company has as everything is reasonably priced and quality made!
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Giveaway: Gardener of Urban is going to give one of A Lucky Ladybug's lucky readers a Worm Factory® 360 to have of their own! Starting 4/22 for Earth Day!!