OVERVIEW: The KISS (Keep It Simple & Save)
plan for vermicomposting integrates established farming
methods with new farming technologies to process and
convert large volumes of compost into vermicompost.
The primary focus of the plan uses a proven method
to save farmers both time and money without compromising
the quality of the final end product.
BENEFITS: Both farmers and consumers benefit when
following this proven method to convert organic materials
• Straightforward, simple approach that requires
• Start-up costs are minimal and your existing
equipment can be utilized to begin the process right
• The worm’s process and convert organic
compost to vermicompost naturally in a relatively
short period of time. There’s little or no turning
and no foul odors.
• The end product (vermicompost) is extremely
rich in worm castings. Worm castings are far more
valuable to farmers, landscapers and home gardeners
than raw manure. Vermicompost provides rich organic
matter which conserves water, supports a thriving
ecosystems and ultimately results in faster growth
with higher yields for most types of plants. The market
value for vermicompost ranges from $29-$89 per cubic
STEP 1: PREPARING THE WINDROW
To create a windrow, spread a 1-foot layer of manure
with bedding across one end of the available space
you’re working with. Add (inoculate) high quality
Red Worms to the windrow. We suggest you add 16 oz.
of Red Worms per square foot of windrow surface area.
Add 3” layers of manure every week (up to 5”
during winter months) to increase the depth of the
windrow. All windrows should be big enough to handle
new layers of material every seven days. As you monitor
the windrows, make sure the temperature doesn’t
Keep the following in mind:
• This KISS plan is for processing large-scale
quantities of manure. By using larger volumes, worms
are protected from harsh weather conditions and predators.
If you intend to create vermicompost for your home
or small-scale testing, we recommended using composting
• It’s recommended you use a concrete
surface as opposed to dirt or other materials. During
wet weather, you should have a surface that can easily
divert water runoff, to aid in maintaining an optimal
moisture level for your worm population. Too much
moisture is not good.
• Make sure as you extend the windrow, you
have easy access to the finished castings after you
complete the process.
• The KISS plan minimizes exposure to heat.
This is ideal for both dairy and horse manure. Be
sure to monitor the compost when the weather starts
warming up. Be proactive about controlling pathogens
and/or weed growth with temperatures above 75°F.
STEP 2: INCREASING THE LENGTH OF THE WINDROW
Once the first windrow is established and layered
at least 2 feet thick, the next step is to increase
the length of the windrow. Add new layers of manure
to the sides, next to the first windrow. You’ll
observe the worms in the first pile begin to migrate
to the fresher feed. Every week add additional manure
alongside the first windrow until you’ve formed
a new second windrow. You can replicate these steps
to create however many windrows you want, given the
amount of space available. You’ll observe the
Red Worms migrating from windrow to windrow. As they
do, they’ll leave behind a rich source of high
quality castings called Vermicompost.
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