Thursday, June 5, 2014

Red Worms for Composting

Hello, again, Digger here.  Let's check out some worms, shall we? 

Originally posted 6-18-09
Vermicomposting with redworms

Digger, as a young pup, often ate balls and chairs.
The name "Chewy" was once considered.

(See Digger's "coming out")

Red Worms - the Premier Composting Worm

As promised, we're going to look at different types of composting worms that you can use in your vermicomposting bins.  The first worm that comes to mind is the red worm or red wiggler. These worms are what the majority of folks think of when they think "compost worm".

Here's the boring part:
  • Latin name: Eisenia foetida
  • a.k.a. red wiggler, tiger worm, brandling worm, manure worm
  • Is an "epigeic" worm, i.e. it is adapted to the environment of decaying organic material, thriving in rotting vegetation, compost and manure
  • It is rarely found in soil, preferring conditions other worms cannot survive.
  • When roughly handled, it will exude a pungent liquid (sounds delightful!) as a defense mechanism (wouldn't stop me).
  • It is closely related to Eisenia andrei or e. fetida andrei
  • They live well in crowded conditions
  • They don't burrow
  • They can eat about half their weight in food every day
....excuse me....

                                       .......wag, wag, slurp, crunch, crunch, gulp, wag, wag.....

Sorry, I was interrupted by my "person" giving me an unexpected treat.  Didn't have to sit, roll over, or anything.  I just CANNOT resist those "pup-peronies".

Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah, red worms.....

Red worms are what you call surface feeders.  They stay near the top, all mixed up in their food, munching away (kinda like me).  They can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, preferring what we do - around 75 degrees.

They can thrive in warm temperatures and can survive freezing weather, providing they have adequate bedding depth.

Red worms, like I said earlier, are the composting worm of choice.  But, there are other worms you can use, either alone or mixed together.

Next.... India Blues

Ever hear of these worms?  They're great composting worms and also work well mixed with red worms.

I wonder if that blue color means they contain antioxidants, like blue berries?  I probably got my minimum yearly requirement yesterday when no one was looking (worms and berries).

Worm Composting Resources:

European night crawlers for composting

Red Worms: Nature's premier composting earthworm

European Nightcrawlers: Excellent composting worm and THE best fishing worm

VermaPlex®: Worm composting bedding enhancer

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