Thursday, April 9, 2020

Can I Compost my Potting Soil?

Last year I made a container garden for my herbs. I planted the seeds with store-bought potting soil and enjoyed them for the season. As I cleaned up my container from last year, I headed over to the compost bin and was about to dump the entire container in, when something caught my eye... those little white balls in the soil. I had no idea what these were or if they could go into my compost bin, since they resemble mini balls of Styrofoam.

So I did some digging... These little white balls found in store-bought potting soil are called perlites. Perlites are naturally occurring minerals found in soil, aiding aeration and drainage for plants. And for our use, YES you can compost them along with your potting soil! 
Guest Blogger and Composting Coach, Angela Rivera

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Harvest your VermiCompost

One of the hardest parts about having a DIY vermicompost bin is harvesting. So we created a short video on one method of harvesting the vermicompost. Some quick steps you'll see in the video:
  • At least 1-2 weeks before harvesting, start to put your food scraps on only one side of the bin. This will help encourage the worms to migrate to one side of the bin.
  • Lay out a tarp for a work space outdoors on a sunny, warm day and grab some gloves.
  • From the side without food, grab handfuls of compost and make cone shapes on top of your tarp. 
  • Wait at least 15 minutes after you finish making the cones to come back to harvest the compost. This allows the worms to move to center of the cone. 
  • Start to pull off the top and outside of the cones, sifting through to see if there are any worms, cocoons, produce stickers, or food not fully decomposed. Put worms you find and food back into the worm bin, and discard any inorganic items.  Put finished vermicompost in a container as you go. 

Here is a quick tutorial video to show you how it is done! 

Guest Blogger and Composting Coach, Angela Rivera