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Composting Worms: The Who, The What, The Where


The world of composting worms is dirty and wiggly, but it is profitable for your soil. There is little investment for a great benefit and you will quickly get a return on that investment.

Worm composting is the science of using worms to make rich soil for your garden. This compost can be used alone or the castings can be added to your soil or garden compost to get a nutrient rich blend.

Who Do You Use?

There are special worms that are used for composting worms. There are two successful types of worms used: the red wiggler (Eisenia Foetida) and the brandling or manure worm (Lumbricus Rubellus). Your typical dew worms or ground worms are not as successful because they cannot live through the process of composting worms. You can purchase these worms or dig through a manure pile for starter worms. There are conflicting ideas on how many worms would be needed to start. Some people believe that you need one pound of worms per square foot of bedding and others say two pounds of worms per each pound of food provided. However, you do not need to worry about the exact number needed because red wigglers are not only prolific in soil producing but also producing composting worm offspring.

What Do You Need?

These little soil wiggling wonders do not need much maintenance to be a successful composting worm farm but a few things to consider would be:

• Feed – Composting worms love the stuff you are going to throw away. Vegetable and fruit peelings, tea bags, and coffee grounds are their favorite. However, meat scraps and the like are not wanted in the worm bed. Just uncover their bedding, spread out their food (your garbage), and cover it back up to cut down on the smell.

• Bedding – Moist paper shreddings are the best option but newspapers that have been ripped can be used too.

• Temperature – Keeping the worms at a temperature of 40-80 degrees Fahrenheit is important. You do not want to freeze or fry your new worm investment.

• Harvest – In 2-3 months you will have a good supply of compost to harvest. Move their food source to one side of the bin, wait a week for the worms to move to it, and then harvest the worm compost from the abandoned side. You will now have a continuous supply of worm compost and composting worms.

Where Do You Find Them?

If you have decided that harvesting your own starter composting worms is not an option for you then purchasing them from a worm dealer will work. You can contact your local farm supply store or hop online to find a reputable worm dealer. Once you have a supply then you can become a supplier of composting worms or you can sell the castings to people to add to their soil.

Worm composting is an easy way to enhance your soil. The benefits definitely outweigh the little work involved.

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