Life brings with a plethora of experiences, each with a flavour of its own. I wish to share with all my readers these various experiences and observations that I have made during my time here on this planet. They may be funny, thought-provoking or simple reflections. I do hope you will find these enjoyable and interesting.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Composting Story - Part 3

.....Continued from here

Around this time, I decided to repot my plants and give away the show plants (except some small ones) in order to make place for my vegetable garden.

While repotting, I found some earthworms in some of the pots!  I had never thought of vermicomposting.  That would be stretching my luck too far; but the sight of a few earthworms tempted me.  I just dumped a few of them into a bucket of maturing compost - I had no clue of how this was done.  Unfortunately, when sieving the compost, I found not a trace of earthworms.  The poor creatures had died - that was it!  I would not try vermicomposting again.  I did not want to kill more innocent creatures.

Somewhere at the back of my mind, however, a certain vermicomposting worm was chewing my brain.  I joined some forums on Facebook which talked of organic gardens, terrace gardens, home composting etc.  There I asked where I could procure some worms.  In the meanwhile, I saw a presentation by a lady by name Mrs. Vani Murthy, who gave detailed instructions about vermicomposting.  One of the members of that forum very kindly shared some worms with me.  I sneaked them into my balcony and started vermicomposting them in a bucket.  Although I did not have a bin with a dividing plate nor did my bucket have holes, I decided to monitor it very carefully.

What I have done is this:  Lined the bucket at the bottom with coconut coir, shredded newspaper and shredded cardboard which had been soaked in water and then squeezed out, so that they were wet but not soggy.  I added the worms with some of the compost in which they came.  Added a bit of my home compost too.  I tied the opening of the bucket with a dark bin bag with holes in it for air to enter.

Imagine my horror when after 4-5 days I found a few worms had crawled out and lay stiff on my balcony!  Wondered what had gone wrong.  Checking out the net gave me some comfort when I read that it was not uncommon in the adaptation period and that unless they all started crawling out or bunched up together, it was alright.

Gradually I have been adding some tomato pieces and the remains of musk melon to it.  Also adding maturing compost.  I am still to understand how much feeding constitutes overfeeding and how much underfeeding.  So in the meanwhile, I keep checking the bin and it is heartening to find some new additions to the family!

Vermicompost as it looks today (roughly a couple of weeks since I started).

No comments:

Post a Comment