how to compost 

Worm composting is a fun, year-round family project. How to compost? It's a simple process. You put some worms in a backyard or patio worm box, and feed them with table scraps (no dairy, fat, or meat) regularly. 

In a couple of weeks, you can drain off the excess liquid for a powerful fertilizer for your yard and garden. In a couple of months, you can use the new soil in your garden.

Here's how to compost in eight steps.

1. How to Compost: Getting Started

Here's how to create your own compost bin. Get a big plastic tub (not see-through) with a lid. Shoot for a tub 30 gallons or larger.

2.  Drill Drainage Holes

Drill or poke holes along the sides of the plastic tub about 1/2 inch from the bottom for drainage. Poke some air holes near the top.

3.  Layer With Newspaper

Put in about a 4-inch layer of shredded newspapers. Spray the papers with water until they are damp but not soggy.

4.  Add Garden Soil

Add about three or four handfuls of garden soil. 

5.  Mix in Kitchen Scraps

Mix in about 1 cup of chopped food scraps. (Chopped foods decompose faster than bigger pieces.)

6. Add Worms

Now add the worms. Red wigglers are the best. You can usually buy them at garden centers. (Don't use nightcrawlers, the worms sold for bait.)

Worms are good for composting, and also in the garden, because their excrement is high in nitrogen, plus they aerate soil by tunneling. That improves tilth and allows water and air to get to plants' roots. If you're too squeamish, check out composting without worms.

7. Add Kitchen Scraps Weekly

Add more table scraps every week and keep the soil moist but not wet. (If it starts to smell, it's too wet.) To keep flies from laying eggs on your compost pile, be sure to cover scraps with soil. Also add more paper and yard scraps such as grass clippings each week.

8.  Store the Compost Bin in a Shady Space

Store your worm compost bin in a shady place, such as a basement or garage.

Readying Finished Compost For the Garden

When you're ready to put your finished compost in the garden, separate the worms out first so they can continue to compost for you.

The easiest way is to spread the contents of the bin on a plastic garbage bag on the driveway on a sunny day. Cover half the soil with a box to shade it. The worms will crawl to the shady part. (Because your box is sitting on the lumpyground there are small raised areas for the worms to, well, worm their way out.)

Your finished compost is now food for your garden. It will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels, and keep your garden soil's pH balance in check.

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