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Vermicompost is the end product of the breakdown of organic matter by
some species of earthworm. It is a nutrient – rich, natural fertilizer
and soil conditioner.
The most often used for composting is the red earthworm and are commonly found in organic rich soils throughout Europe. They especially prefer the conditions in rotting vegetation, compost and manure piles.
When beginning a vermicomposting bin, moist bedding is put into the bin and worms are added.
Bedding is the living medium and food source for the worms. It is material high in carbon and made to mimic a worms natural habitat. The bedding should be moist and loose to enable the worms to breathe.
A wide variety of bedding materials can be used, including shredded newspaper, sawdust, cardboard, peat moss, aged manure and dried leaves. Magazines and glossy papers, coated cardboard, wax or plastic should not be used as they contain toxins.
Worms prefer temperatures of 55 - 70ºFh.
Kitchen waste suitable as well as rotting fruit and vegetable peel, mouldy
Soft garden wastes such as carrot tops and tomato leaves are suitable foods. An occasional sprinkling of garden soil in the bin gives the worms grit they need to digest food.
Avoid grass clippings or anything that may have had pesticide sprayed on it. High water content materials such as watermelon rinds should be avoided. Bananas skins should not be used as they have been heavily sprayed and could kill everything in the bin.