Does your parent compost food scraps? In some areas, laws are changing and food scraps no longer go into the trash. If your mom or dad is considering composting, they may find vermicomposting is easier.
What is Vermicomposting?
With traditional composting, you put compostable items like vegetable and fruit trimmings, grass, leaves, cardboard, and ashes into a bin. The items sit and deteriorate over time and with the heat of the sun. Every now and then, a shovel is needed to turn the composting material over. This ensures the sun and heat reach all items.
Vermicomposting takes less work. You set up a composting bin and fill it with red worms. The worms live in the soil that starts off the composting bin. When you add compostable items, the worms eat the item. The resulting castings, or worm manure if you will, get added to the garden soil.
While composting can smell as items break down, worm composting is odor-free. You can bring the composting bin inside during the winter. Move it back outside when the weather warms up to 50 to 55 degrees. Place it in the shade outside and try to keep the soil from going over 80.
How Do You Get Started?
You need two things to start. First, you need a home for the worms. You can buy them online. If you’d rather make one, aim for a container that is a foot deep. It should be water resistant as worms need damp soil. It also must block sunlight.
Soak a mix of paper towels, shredded paper, and torn up newspaper overnight. Squeeze it so that it’s not dripping. Place that into the bottom third of the container. Mix in some play sand or sawdust. Add red worms. You can buy them online. Let the worms acclimate to their new home for a week with the lid on the container.
When the week is up, start laying compostable items on the surface. Vegetable and fruit scraps are popular options. Crushed egg shells are also beneficial. Don’t place too much in at once. See how much the worms eat each day.
When the material in the bin looks brown with no bedding that you can see, you can move the worm castings to the garden. This usually takes three months when you’re starting out. Separate the worms into another container for the next batch.
Once the vermicomposting bin is going strong, your parent will have plenty of nutrients to add to garden beds. Make sure they don’t overdo it. If you can’t be there to monitor time spent in the sun, hire an elder care aide.
Elder care services provide a range of home care services. They offer companionship, help with household chores, and meal preparation. The elder care services provider can set aside scraps while peeling and cutting vegetables. Learn more about services caregivers offer. Call our elder home care agency today.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Rochester NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.
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