23 Worms for Vermicomposting

Worms for Vermicomposting

Now that you have decided vermicomposting is for you, you need to get some worms (a
lot of them). For a standard size composting bin you will need two pounds of worms for
every one pound of raw material you add. The earthworms you will need (known as red
wrigglers) do not go very deep underground so your pile or bin should be between 8-10
inches deep.

You may be tempted to go to your backyard and start digging up some worms, but you
really should invest in the proper kind. The worms in your backyard are not the
recommended breed for composting. You will need to buy worms that bear the name of
red wriggler (also known as redworms) or brandling worms.

Redworms or brandling worms can be purchased from a bait shop, some local gardening
centers or by mail order. An average worm can eat its own weight in material in 24
hours; keep this in mind when you are determining the size of your compost bin and the
amount of worms you will need.

With the rate at which the worms consume the food waste, the timeline of getting from
raw organic material to mature compost is relatively short. The same principle applies as
for regular composting - you need a good mix of green food and brown food (this can be
in the form of shredded newspaper). The finished compost is known as worm castings,
worm humus, worm manure, and worm compost.

If you are using a hot or active composting method and it is in the maturing stage, you
can add redworms or brandling worms to speed up this last step. You will most likely see
quite a few more helpful critters in your compost as it matures too - centipedes and
millipedes to name a couple.

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