There are various worm species with the most common ones being; Eisenia fetida, Eisenia andrei, and Lumbricus rubellus. Eisenia fetida is the best for worm composting. It is also referred to as the red wiggler worm. It has an amazing capability of tolerating high temperatures, high pH, and high moisture. The Eisenia andrei species is a close relative to the red wiggler worm. It is also referred to as the red tiger and does a good job of composting organic waste. In fact, it can co-exist with the red wiggler without causing any problem. The Lumbricus rubellus on the other hand is also referred to as the dung worm or red marsh worm. It loves compost piles and manure. It is an ideal worm for indoor worm composting systems.
Where to Get the Worms
There are various sources of red wiggler worms. Vermiculturists or worm growers are available and most of them can be contacted through online platforms. However, you should exercise caution when placing an order from any supplier. Ensure they sell the right species of the worm, preferably Eisenia fetida. Furthermore, check out their terms of shipment. The surest way to get the right order is by sourcing your red wiggler worms for sale from reputable suppliers.
One other important factor to consider before buying red worms is the supplier’s cultural methods. Find out how the worms are raised and the type of food they consume. Find out also how feeding is done. Customer reviews are also a clear indicator of a supplier’s reliability. Check out whether buyers are happy with their services or not.
Other sources of composting worms are an outdoor manure pile or compost, local gardener’s organizations, neighbor’s composting systems, or local solid waste district. Someone may be tempted to get a common earthworm or the European nightcrawler. However, do not use such creatures for vermicomposting since they are not wired for such a task.
Methods of Adding Worms to the Compost Bins
You can use any of these methods when introducing your red worms into the worm composting system;
- Take the waste material, place them on the composting bin then let it decompose for a few days. Introduce the red wiggler worms into the composting system.
- Bring in the food waste and the worms at the same time.
- Add the worms to some fresh bedding in the composting bin, allow the worms to familiarize themselves with the environment for a few days, then begin feeding the worms.
Irrespective of the method of introduction chosen, it is important to closely monitor the worm behavior when they are being introduced to the worm bin. Their feeding habits should be observed for some weeks and the where necessary corrective action undertaken.
A Final Word
Worms for composting are beneficial for anyone with indoor plants or an outdoor garden. They require no special skills to care for and maintain. However, they need a lot of care and concern. They should be fed within sufficient limits and their environment maintained within desirable temperature and moisture levels.