Snowgoose
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Types of Worms

Hi, I am new here and want to ask what types of worms should I use to make vermicompost. there are many different types of worms but I do not now which is best. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

rosietheriviter
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Re: Types of Worms

I am wondering too. I have a tumbling composter and am putting in stray garden worms that I dig up. Is this ok?

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applestar
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Re: Types of Worms

Vermicomposter is best stocked with surface worms that prefer mulch and manure. There are different species I believe but most often recommended is red wigglers. Key is they prefer to eat and extract nutrients from the raw and semi-decomposed stuff. You can find them by pushing aside leaf piles and lifting aside garden objects in the daytime. These worms are good for putting in containers of soil-less potting mix if you remember to feed them once in a while with coffee grounds and keep the surface mulched with organic matter like used tea leaves and snipped leaves.

Night Crawler is another kind of earthworm and NOT suitable for vermicomposting -- deep delivers that usually prefer to extract minerals from clay and sub-soils. They generally only come to the surface at night or if they are somehow disturbed to rise out of the ground -- like heavy rain and flooding, ground vibration from digging/pounding, or electric shock. In my outside vermicomposter, I put entire lumps of clay with night crawlers in one of the trays, however. When I dig down to the clay subsoil and break them up, I carefully break open lumps of clay and usually find one. Rarely two. I don't think they congregate like the mulch worms. My subsoil clay is blue-green, and these worms look sickly grey-blue-green from the clay they've ingested and visible in their digestive tract. I put these in my big containers that have soil and clay nuggets blended into the soil mix, and they will be happy to live at the bottom of the pot.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Types of Worms

I have had a worm compost bin a couple times. Since I always have a regular compost pile, I have stocked my worm bin from all the worms in the compost pile. I figure if they are there breaking down the stuff in the compost pile, they shouldn't have trouble doing the same thing in the worm bin. It has worked for me....
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tomc
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Re: Types of Worms

My latin stinks. The common worm for vermi-composting is a "red Wiggler, something-something foetida.

All composting worm set ups are quite temperature sensitive. so colder than 40F or warmer than about 85F and your workers are freezing or braising.

Back in NH I kept a pair of 4 foot, by 4 foot, by 4 foot bins under cover and fed them a monthly ration of leaves and goat poop. So that the core stayed above 70F. Even with all that care they were largely torpid December to March.

In the south your going to just about need a spring-house to keep them cool enough May through September.

In my opinion how you keep them is a much bigger deal than the model of the ones you keep.
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JohnGCS
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Re: Types of Worms

I was at a meetup last night where a young lady was talking about her latest project of creating worm composting bins. She went really deep into the benefits of the process and how it was highly popular in Cuba - I found it fascinating and didn't know that worms don't like citrus!

We were just about to buy another composting bin for our garden but I like the idea of exploring this.

One thing I forgot to ask was whether you need to turn this like you do with normal compost - does anyone know whether it needs moving around every couple of weeks?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Types of Worms

No, the worms do the turning. You just have to keep adding fresh kitchen scraps to feed them.
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JohnGCS
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Re: Types of Worms

Ok that's great thank you!

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JohnGCS
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Re: Types of Worms

Rainbowgardner I'm guessing you have used this type of composting before?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Types of Worms

Yes, a couple times. I just made worm bins in the fall to have through the winter, so that I wouldn't have to trek all the kitchen scraps through the snow to the compost pile (that was before I moved south! :) ). I just kept them going until spring. Once it was warm enough, I dumped the worms back in the compost pile and used the castings in the garden.

In the meantime though, the bin gives off liquid leachate, which is moisture from the decomposition going on, enriched with worm pee, which I collected and used for my winter indoor seed starting operation.
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