Keep in mind that when using red wigglers, you should maintain a ½ pound of worms for every cubic foot of bin space for optimum composting. Red wiggler worms mature in 3 months, which means they can match up and begin making worm babies to ensure the future of your compost bin.
Consider a bin with 500 worms at the outset, with an average of three cocoons a week and about 3 hatchlings per cocoon, one red wiggler worm can produce up to 468 hatchlings of their own in one year. The equivalent of the skinny guy on the beach with sand kicked in his face.
They can play an important part by helping to decompose waste products. Certain types of worms, like red wigglers, can help speed up the process of decomposition.
Native earthworms generally find their own way into an open bottomed compost bin if conditions are right. Your compost heap is like a mini-ecosystem with a lot of other bugs, microbes, and fungi contributing to the rotting process.
That being said, worms are capable of consuming large amounts of decomposing matter in a relatively short time span, which in theory will make your composting process more efficient. For example, if you decide to dig some up from your garden, they may not hang around if you just drop into an open bin.
This type of worm is well suited to eating rich organic matter and belongs to a group of invertebrates we call “epidemic”. They can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, and if you feed them with plenty of kitchen scraps and garden waste, they can consume large amounts of compo stables.
“ Red wigglers are said to be able to process half their body weight in food every day”! The resulting compost (sometimes referred to as vermicompost) is highly beneficial for your plants.
If you want to give red wigglers a try you can sometimes pick them up from your local nursery, or you can order them online (these on Amazon are great value and come from a well reputed supplier). The microbes feeding on waste vegetation can increase the temperature of the composting mass.
Red wigglers will eat food waste and rotting vegetation, whereas earthworms get their nutrients directly from the soil or from composting material. It’s likely you’ll find worms from your garden inside an open compost heap.
However, in extremes of heat, cold, or moisture, earthworms will prefer to leave the compost pile and bury themselves in the soil. The worms manure (known as casts) actually comes out richer in nitrogen, organic matter, and bacteria than what went in.
Their tunnels allow better air and water circulation within the compost which encourages aerobic bacteria to do their job of decomposition. Effective conditions for composting require a good balance of organic waste, air, and water.
The lack of oxygen and increased humidity will foster anaerobic (oxygen-hating) microbes which give off bad odors. Worms improve both the physical and chemical decomposition of compost.
If you have an open bottomed compost bin, you may well find earthworms roaming around inside. If you want to attract more of this type of useful microorganism you could simply try to replicate the conditions they prefer.
Spreading mulch will help keep the ground cool and prevent moisture from evaporating. The amended soil you create by avoiding chemicals and adding organic compost will naturally attract more worms.
The worm-casts (“vermicastings”) and other decaying organic matter combine to create a highly prized “vermicompost”, which makes an excellent fertilizer and soil amendment for your backyard plants. So long as the worms have food they usually thrive inside the compost pile.
Local backyard earthworms tend to come and go as they please inside an open bottomed compost bin. Vermicomposting is the use of worms for the breakdown of food and other discarded organic waste into compost or liquid fertilizer.
These worm feeds on organic waste materials and passes it through their digestive tract and convert it into a granular form which is known as cocoons that are though vermicompost. The chemical secretion of the earthworm digestive tract will help to breakdown the soil and organic matter and contain more nutrients that are readily available to the plants.
They eat 10 % of soil and 90% of organic waste material and convert into vermicomposting faster than other worms. Scientific research proves that on a small scale they can produce 5-10 tons vermicompost annually while on a large scale they produce more than hundreds of tons of compost annually.
Mostly prefer to live in colonies and can handle high density in a worm bin. Play a role in organic farming: The red worm casting contains a higher concentration of macro and micronutrients than the garden compost.
It also lessens the crusting and other physical damage common to the soil of the arid climate. Eco-friendly: It also benefits the environment by reducing the amount of chemical fertilizer and pesticides and decreasing the number of wastes going into landfills.
By using red worm composting you reduce the production of methane and save our earth from global warming effects. Studies show it contains 4-5% more nitrogen than the average garden soil, but it is slow to release due to mucous secret as they digest the biological waste.
Unlike vermicompost, it also applies to the top of plant foliage, reportedly to enhance the disease suppression. Vermicompost tea is also applied to the soil as a supplement between compost application to extend the biological activity.
Supplemental income: If you can rear red worm properly then you can utilize them to form good quality vermicompost for business purposes. You do not need to worry about end suppliers because it includes nurseries, landscape contractors, greenhouses, garden supply stores, flower shops, and the public.
Economical: Using red worms you can form compost in a short period of time. By using it you can physically implement three R (reducing, reusing and recycling) into your lifecycle through red worm composting.
It will avoid tipping fees for green waste implemented by many landfills' diversion. It should be shallow rather than deep because red worms prefer to live in the top 6” of the soil.
After the selection of a suitable container, next is to create a hospitable environmental condition which is usually known as bedding. Bedding can be formed by using newspaper strips or leaves which hold moisture in the container and also aided with air spaces which are essential for worm growth.
Before placing the bedding material ensure that they retain the moisture properly otherwise if the surrounding environment dries out then worms would not thrive because they respire through the skin. Maintain pH range 7-8 for maximum activity of worms and salt concentration should be less than 0.5%.
Paper products Fruits and vegetables Trimming Grains, beans, and bread Eggshell Fallen leaves Teabags Coffee ground Lawn clipping and weeds Always provide the worms with shredded organic kitchen waste because as we know they do not have teeth, so they take more time for decomposition.
But before we identify which species are suitable, it’s helpful to understand how earthworms can differ from one another. Earthworms fit into one of three classes based on their burrowing capabilities and the environments they inhabit: anemic, Erdoan, and epidemic.
The luxurious terrestrial shown here is big, but isn’t a good composting worm. Anemic worms are strong, vertical and horizontal burrowers who come to the soil’s surface to forage for organic matter to take back their home, capable of pulling whole leaves down into their tunnels which can extend 9 feet below the surface.
Anemic worms like the common nightcrawlers (binomial name luxurious terrestrial) are excellent for your garden soil because they are strong enough to burrow in deep, compact soil, adding to the water distribution network beneath the surface. Erdoan earthworms are horizontal “upper soil” burrowers who also rarely come to the surface, except to forage for food.
They operate at shallower depths in the soil than anemic worms and form less stable burrows. Epidemic earthworms inhabit surface soils, leaf litter, manures, and other loosely-packed environments.
But because they live on or near the surface and tend to swarm microbe-rich organic wastes, they are excellent composters. The Red Wiggler (binomial name arena fetid) is far and away the most common and easily-purchased composting worm in the US and Canada.
Like most epidemic worms, the Red Wiggler is smaller and less muscular, and features a yellowish tail and banding throughout its body. As it reproduces quickly, operates in a wide range of temperatures (55-95 °F), and is cheaper to purchase than other species, the red wiggler is the most appropriate choice for vermicomposters.
The European Nightcrawler (binomial name arena forensic) is the larger cousin of the Red Wiggler. It prefers a slightly cooler temperature, so it should be considered a second choice, but it is also an effective composter.
While the “Euro” is large enough to double as a fishing worm, it also reproduces less quickly. While it is a voracious composting worm, it prefers warmer, more tropical climates.
Now most worm farmers in the US do not culture the Indian Blue intentionally, so it is difficult to purchase them. But “Ants” require much warmer temperatures and may begin dying at 60 °F, making them unsuitable in cooler regions without a climate-controlled environment.
It is a hardy worm and tolerant of the widest range of temperatures, especially in the cold. Some vermicomposters without good climate control have suffered freezing temperatures but are surprised to see thriving populations rebounding in the spring.