Composting food scraps with red wiggler worms, also known as vermicomposting, is an excellent way to reduce household waste and create nutrient-rich soil for plants. However, if you live in Toronto without a yard or outdoor space, you may be wondering how to get started. Here are some tips for managing food scraps with red wiggler worms in Toronto without a yard:
- Choose a worm bin: The first step in vermicomposting is to choose a suitable worm bin. There are many different types of worm bins available, including plastic bins, wooden boxes, and stackable trays. Look for a bin that is large enough to accommodate your household’s food scraps but small enough to fit in your living space.
- Prepare bedding: Worms need a source of carbon to thrive. You can make bedding by shredding paper or cardboard, collecting fallen leaves, or purchasing coconut coir. Shredded office paper is fine.
- Store your bin indoors: Since you don’t have a yard, you’ll need to store your worm bin indoors. Choose a cool, dark spot in your home, such as a basement or pantry. Worms don’t like light and they will suffer if it’s too hot. Make sure the bin is placed on a sturdy surface and that there is good airflow around it.
- Feed your worms: Red wiggler worms love fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, and shredded paper. Avoid feeding them meat, dairy, or oily foods, as these can attract pests and create odors. Chop up your food scraps into small pieces before adding them to the bin, and bury them under a layer of bedding material to help control odors and fruit flies.
- Maintain the moisture level: Red wiggler worms need a moist environment to thrive, so it’s important to keep the bedding material in your bin damp but not soggy. If the bin becomes too wet, add more bedding material to absorb the excess moisture.
- Harvest the compost: Once your worms have processed the food scraps and bedding material, you can harvest the compost by separating the worms from the compost using a process called “worm migration.” Place a fresh bin filled with bedding material next to the full bin, and add food scraps to the new bin. The worms will migrate to the new bin, leaving the compost behind. You can then use this “black gold” in your garden, or give to friends!
In short, managing food scraps with red wiggler worms in Toronto without a yard is possible with a little bit of planning and effort. Choose a suitable worm bin, store it indoors, feed your worms a balanced diet, maintain the moisture level, and harvest the compost when it’s ready. By following these simple steps, you can reduce your household waste and create nutrient-rich soil for indoor plants or community gardens.