Durham Garden Forum – Vermicomposting

The June Durham Garden Forum meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 17 from 6:30 – 8:00 PM at the Doris Duke Center, Sarah P. Duke Gardens.  There is no charge for parking.

Rhonda Sherman, NC State Dept. of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, will talk to us about Vermicomposting.  Rhonda spoke to the Forum about backyard composting a couple years ago and touched on vermicomposting.  Many of you asked that we bring Rhonda back to speak specifically about vermicomposting.  She is back by popular demand.  Don’t miss this session.

This lecture is free for Durham Garden Forum members, all others can attend for a fee of $10.00 ($5.00 for students).

 

Classes and Lectures, week of June 2 – 8, 2014

Tantalize Your Senses – Grow Herbs!
June 7, 10 – 11am, Durham Garden Center

Hot and dry or cool and moist; sun or shade; containers or beds; annuals or perennials: there is something for everyone. This program includes growing tips, culinary uses, companion planting, preserving and a bit of folk lore. Presenters: Faye McNaull and Lynne Nelson, Durham County Master Gardeners.

Summer Southern Favorites: Worms in My Garden – Vermicomposting
June 8, 3 – 4pm, North Regional Library, 221 Milton Rd.

Vermicomposting uses worms to recycle organic materials into valuable soil amendments for plants and crops. Class is free, registration is required. Contact: Shelley Geyer (919)560-0237

Turn Kitchen Scraps into Plant Food

by Rhonda Sherman, NCSU Extension Specialist

Vermicomposting converts kitchen discards into a nutritious soil for plants called vermicompost. When mixed with soil, vermicompost improves its structure, moisture-holding capacity, pH, and drainage. Teeming with beneficial microorganisms and enzymes, vermicompost also contains plant growth hormones and humic acids which can increase rates of germination, growth, flowering and fruiting in crops, usually independent of the availability of nutrients. Numerous studies show that vermicompost can also decrease attacks by plant diseases, parasitic nematodes, and insect pests.

It’s easy and inexpensive to set up a vermicomposting system. All you need are a worm bin, bedding, composting earthworms, and food scraps. You can buy a manufactured worm bin or make one out of wood or a plastic storage container with a lid. Drill holes in the upper sides of the bin for air flow and in the bottom for drainage. Do not drill holes in the lid. Your worm bin can be placed indoors or outside. Popular indoor spots are the kitchen, pantry, mudroom, bathroom, laundry room or basement. Outdoor worm bins should be in a shaded spot that will not get flooded. The worms need temperatures above 55°F and below 85°F, so protect them from cold weather with blankets, hay, insulation or heat tape. Fill the bin half way with moist, fluffy bedding such as shredded paper, brown leaves, or coconut coir. Put in at least one pound of Eisenia fetida earthworms (commonly called red wigglers) that you bought from a worm grower (see http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/topic/vermicomposting/vermiculture/nc.html); just gently empty the earthworms on top of your bedding and they will move downward away from the light. Place a small portion of kitchen scraps in the bin and always cover the food completely with a couple inches of bedding. Don’t ever stir the contents of the worm bin. After three or four months, harvest the vermicompost that has accumulated on the bottom of the worm bin. For instructions on how to do this and more details about setting up and maintaining a worm bin, go to http://worms.ncsu.edu and click on “For Households.”

 

Vermicomposting Presentation

**Worms in my Garden: Vermicomposting**
South Regional Library, 4505 South Alston Ave.
Sunday, November 10, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Come learn how worms can recycle your garbage, make compost, and improve your soil. The speaker is Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, Rhonda Sherman who is also the NC Waste Management Extension Specialist.

**Registration is required**FREE** Call 919-560-7409

Note:  Due to a new policy, the library needs at least 7 people signed up or the program will be canceled.