This year I decided to do two types of composting, a worm bin and a vegetable tumbler so I could see which would suit my needs better. I really thought it would be a clear choice in the end, but I was wrong. They are two very different methods, at least in my opinion. One is super simple, you put the vegetables, grass clippings, etc. in the barrel, give it a spin and that’s it. The worms, that’s like having a damn pet!! You have to feed them, make sure they don’t get too hot, too cold, too crowded….yeesh!!! But man can those suckers eat! The worm castings are like gold, and worm “tea” is liquid gold.
After one summer of doing both I have decided that they each have their pros and cons (doesn’t everything?). One of the big pros for the worms is how quickly you get usable product. I was getting a bucket of “tea” weekly and castings every few weeks. The composting tumbler, well, that’s still doing it’s thing… I know in the end it will be some great compost for my garden, but I do like the quicker results.
A big con for the worms…it’s really messy. I bought bin from the Worm Factory (http://www.wormfactory.us/) and really like it, but you still have to rotate the trays when you get the casting out. I have mine outside so I get slugs and fruit flies even though I’ve tried all the tips on how to remedy that problem. I deal with all the mentioned issues by wearing gloves and removing the lid at arms length before working with it. The composting tumbler did have the fly issue, but you could just give it a good spin and those little suckers dispersed rather quickly. But again, the con, results not as quick.
I thought at the end of the season using both I would have a clear decision as to which I preferred…..nopes. I like them both!! I will continue to do both and hopefully find better ways to deal with the cons. If not, that’s ok because what I get out of it is some pretty great stuff for my garden and totally worth dealing with the cons.
I think a more detailed post on the worm composting will be in the future. It’s a really great way to get compost for your garden, and even though I did do a lot of research on how to set it up, what you can and cannot feed the worms etc, there were a few things that I figured out on my own that they really didn’t explain or even mention. So for the novice worm composter, like myself, it might be helpful….