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how to compost 

Composting at home is a fun, year-round family project.

How to compost? You put some worms in a 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 potent fertilizer. In a couple of months, you can use the new soil created in your garden. 

Worms are good for composting, and also the garden in general 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 a step-by-step guide on how to compost, how to make a worm bin, and put your worms to work:

  1  How to Compost: Start by Making a Worm Compost Bin

Here's how to make a worm bin and put your worms to work. Get a big plastic tub (not see-through) with a lid. Shoot for a container 30 gallons or larger.

  2   Drill Side Holes

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.

  3   Add Shredded Newspapers

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 

Now it's time to add some garden soil to the mix. Three or four handfuls should do it.

  5   Mix in Chopped Food Scraps

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

  6   Now Add the 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.)

 7   Add More Table Scraps Every Week

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 more paper and yard scraps each week.

  8   Store Your Worm Bin in a Shady Place

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

How to Ready Your Compost For the Garden

When you're ready to put your compost in the garden, separate the worms 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 the uneven ground 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.

› How to Compost