A fun year-round family project is worm composting.
How to compost? You simply put some worms in a worm box and feed them with table scraps (no dairy, fat, or meat).
In a couple of weeks, you can drain off the excess liquid for a powerful fertilizer. In a couple of months, you can use the new soil in your garden.
Worms are good for composting, and also in the garden, because their excrement is high in nitrogen, plus they aerate the soil by tunneling.
That improves tilth and allows water and air to get to the plants' roots. Here's how to compost, make a worm compost bin, and put your worms to work:
Here's how to make a worm compost bin and put your worms to work. Get a big plastic tub (not see-through) with a lid. Shoot for a tub 30 gallons or larger.
Drill holes along the sides of the plastic tub about 1/2 inch from the bottom for drainage. Poke some air holes near the top.
Put in about a 4-inch layer of shredded newspapers. Spray the papers with water until they are damp but not soggy.
Now it's time to add some garden soil to the mix. Three or four handfuls should do it.
Mix in about 1 cup of chopped food scraps. (Chopped foods decompose faster than bigger pieces.)
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.)
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 them, be sure to cover scraps with soil. Also, add moe paper and yard scraps each week.
Store your worm compost bin in a shady place, such as a basement or garage.
When you're ready to put your 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 plastic 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 lumpy soil there are small raised areas for the worms to, well, worm their way out.)
Your lovely creation 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.
You now know how to compost like the pros!