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Worm Farming

Vermicomposting With Red Wiggler Worms

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Make your own worm bin. Recycle instead of throwing out – Use your garbage to make plant fertilizer!

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Red Wiggler Composting Worms

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Worm farming is a fun and simple activity. Even if you haven’t been brave enough to hold a worm before, don’t let that stop you from making a whole farm of them! This article will explore some interesting and crazy facts about worms and worm farming.

Worms

Let’s start by discussing the various types of “worms”. Earthworms loosen the soil by digging through it. Compost worms eat the mulch layer of soil. Many “worms” are actually the larva of beetles or moths. Grub worms are the larvae of a variety of beetles, including Japanese beetles, June bugs, European chafer, and Oriental beetle. Catalpa worms are not really worms either. They’re caterpillars from a moth species that are known to infest the Catalpa tree. The catalpa worm is an excellent fishing bait . Tomato hornworms are the larva of sphinx (hummingbird or hawk) moth.

Grub Worm

Vermicomposting is using worms to compost. Worms are great little workers that will turn your household waste into a rich soil. The vermicompost they produce can be used on your plants and flowers and will really make a difference in the plant growth.

You can build a worm bin out of wood, plastic, concrete, an old bucket, or an old bathtub. Make sure that you have a drain in your bin. You can’t let your worm dirt get too soggy. They rise to the top of the ground after a rain for a reason, you know.

The liquid drainage is another benefit of your worm farm-it can be used to create a worm tea. No, you don’t drink it!  Dilute this and some of the vermicompost with water and this makes an excellent, all-natural fertilizer for your plants and flowers.

So to get started you need a worm bin, the worms (red wigglers work the best) and whatever you are going to recycle. Worm farming can be an inexpensive way for you to recycle household waste, create fertilizer and produce a rich soil.

Worm farming is a great way to naturally compost waste and other discarded materials. As a result, nutrient rich soil is produced and can be used in flower beds, crops, and gardens. Regardless of all the reading and research one does, issues may arise and can cause some concern.

Here are a few of the commonly reported questions and issues with worm farms.

Smell

It is often thought by many that a smelly worm farm is normal. In fact, it is not. If worms are kept in an appropriate environment, they will not smell. If the farm has an odor, the most likely cause is overfeeding.

Material to be composted is placed on the top layer of soil for the worms to consume. If too much is given to the worms, it can begin to rot causing a build up of bacteria within the walls of the worm farm. This is the cause of the smell.

To remedy the situation, simply discontinue feeding of the worms until any uneaten material is gone. The soil should also be stirred for aeration and to allow the worms to move more freely.

Bugs and other pests

Using a container with a tight lid can help prevent many pests from infesting the worm farm but some are sneaky enough to make it in regardless. Small vinegar flies are often a complaint among worm farmers. This type of fly is of no harm to the worm farm but typically is a result of overfeeding. Large flies appear when there is an abundance of food.

Ants are also a common issue. If ants are seen in the worm farm, the chances are pretty good that the soil is too dry. Adding water to the soil to increase the moisture can help eliminate ants. If using a worm farm that stands on legs, simply apply some petroleum jelly to the legs to prevent the ants from being able to climb up.

Maggots can be found in worm farms where meat is offered to the worms. The best scenario is to eliminate meat from the diet altogether. If maggots have made their way into the worm farm, they can be eliminated by placing a milk soaked piece of bread into the farm; the maggots will be drawn to it and can simply be removed.

Worms leave the farm

If a worm is leaving, he is unhappy with his environment and is in search of a more suitable one. Worms will escape for reasons such as the soil being too dry or there isn’t enough food. On the other hand, soil that is too wet could also be affecting the worms, causing them to want to leave.

The source of the problem should either be eliminated or fixed. If the soil is too dry, fresh water should be added to the farm. If it is too wet, the excess should be drained and new bedding should replace the old. Locate the cause of the excess moisture and eliminate it.

Ensure that the worms are getting enough food and the farm is in a location where the temperature will remain constant.

Feeding

There may be some confusion on what to feed worms. Appropriate foods to feed include fruits, vegetables, egg shells, greens, tea bags and coffee grounds and filters. Non-food items can also be fed to the worms and include soaked cardboard, paper products, cotton rags, leaves, dirt and hair.

More important are the items that should not be fed. Dairy products, meat, citrus, onions and garden waste that has been treated with chemicals are all things to avoid in a worm farm.

These are just a few of the common topics when it comes to worm farming. Although they are pretty easy to care for, it is important to realize the reason for some of the changes or issues noticed within the worm farm. Problems should be corrected early to prevent the loss of the worms.

Providing a proper environment, correct food, appropriate moisture level and temperature will help ensure a supply of happy and healthy worms.

Worm farming is done for several reasons.  Composting, the production of nutrient rich soil and providing live bait are three of the most common reasons for worm farming.  Some worms do a better job at their duties than others so it is important to know how to choose the right worms for your worm farm.

Composting is one common reason for worm farming.  Worms are used to compost waste and discarded material naturally and without adding to the local landfills.  To do this, the worms eat fruit and vegetable scraps, along with other compostable items such as paper products, leaves, cotton rags and egg shells.

If composting is the primary reason for setting up a worm farm, choices should be made for the appropriate types of worms that are known as being the best for this option.  The Red Wiggler, or Eisenia fetida, is reportedly the best worm for composting.  These worms reproduce easily and are extremely hardy.  The trait that makes them best as compost worms is their ravenous appetites.

Worm

Because of their eagerness to devour anything edible, Red Wigglers produce a high quality substance resulting in a nutrient rich soil that is so desirable with worm farming.

Perhaps raising worms for the purpose of providing live bait is the goal of a worm farm.  Bait can be raised for personal use or even supplied to local fisherman through bait and tackle shops.  The best worms for this purpose are the European Night Crawlers.  These worms can be used for baiting fish in all types of conditions, even in saltwater.

The European Nightcrawler is reported to be one of the hardiest fish available for worm farming.  They can also be used as a live food source for other animals such as birds, reptiles, exotic pets and aquarium fish.  They can be used in a composting type worm farm but work best as live food and bait.  Night Crawlers are readily available and have similar care requirements as the Red Wigglers.

Worms used for garden and lawn farming are typically available in sets of three different varieties of worms.  The Red Wiggler and the Night Crawlers are often two of the types of worms in these sets.  The third worm is usually Pheritema, or Florida Wiggler which are worms that burrow deep into the soil.

Over 3000 varieties of worms exist.  The worms mentioned here are the most commonly used and readily available on the market today.  They can be found at various online distributors.  Local worm farmers can be found through online directories or by looking up the topic in the local telephone book.

Most types of worms are typically made available as adult worms, young worms and egg capsules.  Typically sold by the pound, the number of worms per unit will vary depending on their age and size.  Egg capsules yield a higher number of worms per unit once hatched.

A worm farm will be most successful when the appropriate worm is chosen for the job at hand. While most worms will compost discarded items and waste and act as live bait, make sure you choose the right worm for the job.

Worms

Vermiculture composting, also known as vermicomposting or worm composting, is the procedure of using worms and micro-organisms to recycle food scraps and other household waste into a nutrient-rich black soil.  This rich soil (worm castings) is the product of the worm’s digestion.  Worms are capable of eating between half to their full weight in waste each day. The worm castings are a natural fertilizer that provides a wonderful source of nutrients to plants, flower beds and gardens.  The castings are extremely valuable to the texture and fertility of the soil and can add 10 times the nutrients back into the soil that have been taken out during harvests.  Vermicompost increases the water-holding capacity of the soil and improves the overall soil structure. Your plants will grow stronger and have deeper root systems for better drought tolerance and disease resistance.

Red wigglers, manure worms, tiger worms, blue worms and red hybrid worms are used in  the vermiculture business and the vermicompost process.  These worms can be purchased on the internet, in a bait store or from your local worm farmer.  A pound of worms is all that is needed to start a worm farm.  These worms will reproduce quickly.  They have big appetites so expect them to eat their weight in waste every day.

Vermiculture bins can be basically a box with a lid.  They can be made of wood or plastic.  A loosely fitted lid will allow the worms the proper oxygen they need.  Always have drainage holes in the bottom of the vermiculture bin.  Vermicomposting worms like moist, dark and cool places.  Without the proper conditions and temperature the worms will try to escape the worm bin. Building a worm farm is easy and anyone can set up a worm farm.

Commercial vermiculture is the breeding of worms for re-sale. For many years worms were raised solely to sell in bait stores. Now with the new shift to commercial vermicast composting in the past two decades, the demand for worms has greatly increased.

A vermicomposting business solves two very important problems.  It takes care of organic waste and it produces an enriched soil that is extremely helpful for plants, gardens and lawns. Vermicomposting, through the use of worms, changes organic waste into a product that can be harvested regularly and sold.  The need for more vermicomposting sites around the world will continue to grow.  Schools, institutions, military bases, prisons and other facilities can set-up vermicomposting bins right on their site to recycle food waste.

Vermiculture is an easy way to recycle food waste, help the environment, put nutrients back into the soil and make money, too.  One third of household waste can be recycled through a worm farm.  The environment is helped by keeping tons of waste out of landfills and vermicompost is an all-natural fertilizer that eliminates the need for harmful chemicals.  The worm castings add important nutrients back into the soil. This aids in stimulating healthy root growth, control erosion and enhance soil fertility. Worm composting can even be turned into a business with the right vermiculture technology.

Worm Factory 360

Click to get more information about the Worm Factory 360

Red Wiggler Composting Worms

Go to  Red Wiggler Composting Worms to find out more.