If you're interested in vermicomposting, typically referred to
as worm farming, you may have noticed that there are a lot of
worms living in your garden soil. If so, I can't blame you for
wondering why you couldn't just use them in a worm farm and save
the cost of buying special worms, as recommended by most experts.
Actually, you can use common garden worms in a worm farm, but
you may not want to. After all, the whole reason for having a
worm farm is in order to get that finished compost product,
known as castings or vermicast. Any readers not familiar with
the worm farming process may be surprised to learn that these
castings are actually worm excrement - but it's an odorless
'earth-like' product that makes a great fertilizer or soil
amendment. Anyway, It's true that you'll save money initially
with the garden worms, but you'll pay a penalty when it comes to
the amount of castings that they produce.
You see, most worms normally found in garden soil normally live
quite a bit deeper in the soil than the preferred composting
type. These garden worms prefer the nutrients found deep in the
soil, so that's why they like to habitate there. They don't
adapt real well to being enclosed in a worm farm, and since they
don't normally eat the type of waste material you'll be feeding
them, they will process much less of it than the worms typically
used for vermicomposting. Basically, what you'll have is a
poorly perfoming system, which sort of defeats the whole idea of
worm farming, which is to make the composting process much more
The type of worms preferred for worm farming like to live near
the surface of the soil where they can reach the food they
favor, such as leaf litter or other plant debris. The most
popular of these preferred worms is called the red wiggler, or
sometimes just the redworm.
These types of worms are usually available for less than twenty
dollars a pound. Normally, you'll only need a pound or two to
get started, and should never have to add any more, as they will
multiply dramatically in a well-run farm. If you don't have a
supplier near you, just do an internet search for 'worm farm
supplies' in your state or geographical area.
When you purchase worms like this, you remove any question about
whether or not they're suited for the task, since they've been
raised under the very conditions you'll be asking them to live
in, which should allow them to be prolific composters. And
that's what worm farming is all about!
About the author:
If you want to read more about how to get started with worm
farming, and learn about things such as worm
farm designs, head on over to Joe's site.