The Ultimate Vermicomposting Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Worms were described by Aristotle as the intestines of the world. The Chinese called worms the angels of the soil. However you refer to them, it cannot be argued that these insatiable animals are the key to vermicomposting. If you think you know how vermicomposting works, see how you fare in this quiz.

What is vermicomposting?

Vermicomposting is when worms are used to break down organic matter into nutrient-rich fertilizer.


How much can worms eat each day?

Worms can each up to half their body weight in food each day.


What type of worms are the best for vermicomposting?

Red wigglers, known as Eisenia Foetida, are the best type of worms for vermicomposting. These worms live well in highly populated conditions and they don't burrow.


Where should you buy worms from?

It is recommended that you buy your worms online from a reputable worm farm. You can buy worms from bait shops, but they will be expensive. A worm farm will sell you a pound of worms for about $20 a pound plus shipping.


How long will it take for your worm population to double?

It takes about 90 days for a healthy worm population to double in number.


Why do you need to weigh your worms before putting them in your compost bin?

Since it is known that red wiggler worms can eat about half their body weight in food every day, it is important to weigh the worms before you put them in the bin to know how much food you need to put in. To know how many worms you will need, weigh the amount of organic waste you throw away and then calculate the amount of worms you will need to buy in order to consume all of your waste.


What is the ratio of male and female worms required for effective worm reproduction?

Worms are hermaphroditic -- meaning they have both male and female sex organs -- so it doesn't matter how many male or females there are. However, it still takes two worms to reproduce.


How can you tell if a worm is sexually mature?

When you see dark, red bands around the neck of a worm you will know it is sexually mature. The worms will congregate into a single, huge, squiggling ball at the bottom of the bin when it is time to mate.


What type of bin is best for vermicomposting?

A wooden bin is best for accommodating temperature and moisture levels but any material can be used. The requirements for a good worm bin are: a wide and shallow bin that allows for more surface area than depth; air holes in the bottom; and low sides that allow for good ventilation.


What are worms afraid of?

Worms are afraid of light. You will notice that they will dive below the surface if you open the bin during the daytime. This is one of the reasons that you don't have to worry that your worms will escape. Worms are a non-migratory species, so as long as you maintain your bin well with comfortable bedding and food there is no reason that your worms should try to escape.


What can be used for the bedding of a vermicomposting bin?

Shredded paper makes a nice bedding for your worms. Lightly moisten it by dunking it in a bucket of water and then squeezing it out until it is barely dripping. Pull it apart to create air pockets and passageways and throw in a couple handfuls of dirt and leaves to give the worms some grit and good bacteria to digest.


How do worms breathe?

Worms breathe through their skin, so it is important that the bin doesn't get too wet or the worms can drown.


The digestive system of worms is similar to that of:

Worms have gizzards like birds do. They require grit to help them grind their food. This can be found in soil and organic waste such as coffee grounds.


Where do worms get calcium from?

Eggshells are a good source of calcium for worms. However, eggs are bad for worms so make sure you wash out the eggshells before putting them in the bin.


Which of the following foods are bad for worms?

Do not give your worms highly acidic food such as oranges or lemons. Since worms breathe through their skin, an acidic food rubbing against their skin will damage their "lungs." Other foods to avoid putting in your compost bin are fatty or oily foods, salads with dressing, meat, hot peppers, salt, animal waste, plastic, synthetic materials and insecticides.


What does it mean if your compost bin begins to smell?

If the bin begins to smell it is generally a sign that you are feeding the worms more food than they can eat or you have not buried the food well enough under the bedding.


What does it mean if you see tiny white sacks in the compost bin?

Tiny white sacks a good sign -- they are worm egg sacks or even baby worms. If you see other insects in your bin don't get worried. They will help your worms to decompose the food. However, you don't want flies or maggots hanging around. If there are flies or maggots, make sure you are burying the food properly in the bedding.


With reference to vermicomposting, what is black gold?

Worm poop is referred to as the black gold of vermicomposting, as it is known to be the most nutrient-packed fertilizer there is. You can make quite a profit by collecting it and selling it.


How can you separate the worm poop from the rest of the compost?

Feed the worms on one side of the bin and wait for a week. The worms will find their way over to the side where the food is, which will allow you to remove the bedding from the other side while you sift the compost there. Meanwhile, the worms can continue to munch away happily on the side where the food is.


Which of the following stores has a large vermicomposting program?

IKEA, the socially-responsible Swedish furniture company, has a vermicomposting program on a large scale. They compost cafeteria left-overs and office materials in sterile composting bins inside of trucks that move in and out of docks to make way for shipments.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!