Rob_ct
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Farming Earthworms

Hi,

Does anyone have any good links or advice for farming earthworms?

Thanks
Rob

The Helpful Gardener
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Heres some...

[url]https://www.nyworms.com/books.htm[/url]

[url]https://www.composters.com/main.shtml?k=earthwormfarming#vc[/url]

[url]https://www.yelmworms.com/vermiculture/[/url]

[url]https://www.homestead.org/Gardening/RaisingEarthworms.htm[/url]

opabinia51
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I have tonnes of advice and I can tell you about a link as well.


First, the link: https://www.compost.bc.ca/ there should be a plethora of information here. And you can email the staff and they will answer any of your questions.


Also, if you are interested in farming earthworms for composting. The worm that you would want is: The Red Wriggler Worm.

Other earthworms eat soil and not plant matter.

So, to get started you can create a habitat for your worms by either shredding some Black and White Newspaper or leaves, wet them down and add some dirt. Add your worms to this (preferable in some sort of bin, I use a tote box.)

You want to have as much aeration in your worm bins as possible so, if you are going to use a plastic tote box, drill holes in the sides and some on the bottom. Place some bricks beneath each of the corners and a drip tray beneath the holes.

The "compost tea" that you collect can be diluted 4:1 and used as a fertilizer.

Add all your vegetable scraps and garden scraps to your bin(s) being sure to chop it up to increase the surface area. The worms will multiply like you wouldn't believe. If you start off with a handful of worms, in about a month or two you'll have hundreds of them.

The Helpful Gardener
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You can get some bins with a valve on the bottom that let's you drain "juice" out of the compost; add water 10:1 and you have instant compost tea!

opabinia51
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Just fertilized one of my beds with it last week. Works great!!!

Rob_ct
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Thanks..

Hey, Thanks a lot...

Now I just gotta find some red wrigglers :)
Not sure what earthworms we have down here...

opabinia51
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Try your local nursaries. If they don't sell them, they should be able to point you in the correct direction. And see if your local city sponsors a compost education center. They'll definately have them.

The easiest way to find them in the wild is to start up a compost pile. Look underneath it and they'll be there. It's almost like flies to dung.


(They can be really pricey from a grower, REALLY PRICEY :shock: )

grandpasrose
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I just go out to my garden - it's full of them! Or wait til it rains after a hot spell, and they will all come to greet you!
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

Tanya_NB_4B/5A
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grandpasrose wrote:I just go out to my garden - it's full of them! Or wait til it rains after a hot spell, and they will all come to greet you!
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)
How can you tell a red wiggler from a regular earthworm?

The Helpful Gardener
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They're the smaller redder ones (don't get big like nightcrawlers)...

HG

opabinia51
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Yes, they are VERY red. Can't mistake them for another earthworm. And as the name suggests: They really like to wriggle.

Really expensive to buy so, going out into the garden, looking under or in the compost pile and so on is a really good idea. :)

nickolas
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Here is a link to a very good website on bathtub worm farming. Thanks to this website I now have 2 bathtub worm farms which produce 65 letres of worm juice every week.

https://www.ecofilms.com.au/2010/08/08/building-a-worm-farm-in-a-bathtub/

Tomwalked
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I guess my question around earthworm farming and vermicomposting... is...

Is there any danger of non-native earthworms invading and taking over the delicate balance of a local ecology?

history is spattered with seemingly endless stories of well-intentioned folks bringing in some non-native species, that leads to some unforeseeable havoc?

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!potatoes!
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many earthworms are non-native in north america. there are only two genera that are native. most worms of the most-recently-glaciated north are introduced. it definitely has an effect on the ecology/diversity of those areas.

Tomwalked
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[quote="!potatoes!"]many earthworms are non-native in north america. there are only two genera that are native. most worms of the most-recently-glaciated north are introduced. it definitely has an effect on the ecology/diversity of those areas.[/quote]

ok... so it is something that we shouldn't concern ourselves with too much?
or is it a genuine issue?

I am going to be purchasing a bunch soon and plan to let them be "free-range" in my compost area...
are there a better species to choose than another - in regards to this issue?

ie... should I try to buy ONLY native worms?

Tomwalked
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Posting some links:

I wanted to share the links I found useful on the (original) subject

1- Build a DIY worm composting bin:
https://www.ecoyardfarming.com/wormcompost/diy-stackable-worm-composter/

2- REALLY like the visual on this page:
https://www.working-worms.com/

3- Two from our local gov:
https://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/sg/wc.cfm
https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Organics/Worms/default.htm

4-List of local (LA) worm suppliers:
https://www.lacitysan.org/solid_resources/recycling/composting/worm_supplier_list.htm


.

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soil
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try reading this method

https://www.motherearthnews.com/Nature-Community/1972-05-01/Grow-It-Earthworms.aspx
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

john gault
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Tomwalked wrote:
!potatoes! wrote:many earthworms are non-native in north america. there are only two genera that are native. most worms of the most-recently-glaciated north are introduced. it definitely has an effect on the ecology/diversity of those areas.
ok... so it is something that we shouldn't concern ourselves with too much?
or is it a genuine issue?

I am going to be purchasing a bunch soon and plan to let them be "free-range" in my compost area...
are there a better species to choose than another - in regards to this issue?

ie... should I try to buy ONLY native worms?
You don't need to buy them. Just start composting and they'll come in large numbers. I compost using the Heap method https://compostinfo.com/tutorial/methods.htm#heap and all I got to do is brush aside a layer only a couple inches thick and I got redwigglers jumping all around, never bought a single worm.

They may be an invasive / non-native (take your pick), but they're here and firmly established.

FlowerPowerGirl
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What is so good about red wiggler worms? Why are they better than some other kind of worm that I might find in the garden?

john gault
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FlowerPowerGirl wrote:What is so good about red wiggler worms? Why are they better than some other kind of worm that I might find in the garden?
It's just that red wigglers are adapted to working in the compost, unlike earthworm/nightcrawlers that you might find when digging into your garden, redwigglers don't dig into the earth they are the ones you find in the mulch eating the leaf litter.

If you take a red wiggler and throw him in your garden he'd die, becuase they can't dig too deep into the earth. And if you take a nightcrawler and throw him into a worm bin he'd die because they need to dig into the earth. https://www.howtocompost.org/worm_composting.asp

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PunkRotten
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I keep about 1000 red wigglers in an 8 gallon tote. I punched lots of holes in the top. I use newspaper as their bedding and add veg and fruit scraps. I spray wit with water once in awhile to maintain moisture in the bin. About once a week I flip the bedding.


I just cleaned out the whole bin and got a few pounds of the worm poo. Is this the same as manure where you gotta let it break down atleast 90 days before harvesting any veg or fruit?

cynthia_h
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Worm castings can be used immediately, no worries. However, a little goes a long way, so you can help more plants than you'd think! :D

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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PunkRotten
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Nice. I am really glad to have it right now.

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