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What is the best composting worm to use for organic gardening?

There are actually two common types of composting worms, and these are the Eisenia fetida (red wiggler worm), and the Eisenia hortensis (European Nightcrawler). But the most favorable composting worm would be the first one, the red wiggler worm.

Red Wiggler Worms

Although nightcrawler worms can also be used for vermicomposting purposes, red wigglers are typically the most preferred as they’re most effective when processing organic scraps. Also known as the brandling or manure worm, this type of earthworm can grow for as long as 1.5 to 2.5 inches; and can also eat as much as half of its weight on a daily basis. These worm composting worms are also able to produce at least 5 cocoons every week (these worms have been considered to be very prolific breeders); and will only start hatching under warmer conditions. Eggs that are incubated under cold temperatures will also take longer to hatch.

Where to find red wiggler worms

Red wiggler worms like to eat off of organic scraps. They thrive and enjoy the very sight of it. They’re also Epigeic worms (surface dwellers). They can be found buried just below the surface of the soil, and won’t be found deeper than 1 foot from the surface (considered as the best soil aerators). You may also be able to find some burrowing within compost heaps or piles of leaves, or even in days old animal manure. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to get a hold of some by buying through the internet or from a local worm farm shop nearby (specifically from bait shops, garden centers, and from worm growers).

A gardener’s best investment

Red wigglers are quite the versatile worms, that’s why they’ve been considered as the most efficient of all composting worms. They can be very productive when it comes to mating; and will be able to bring back your investment by producing double the numbers that you’ve started with. Red worms that are given the proper care and maintenance will be able to develop into healthier and more dynamic soil creatures. Now, these worms also have the capacity to eat organic scraps (naturals wastes that can be collected from the kitchen and yard), and have these turned into a nutrient source of organic fertilizer. The organic compost (also known as worm castings) that these worms produce are rich in nutrients and minerals (rich in Nitrogen, Phosphates, and Potassium). Besides applying their castings on your garden soil and plants (particularly for organic gardening), worm compost can also be sold for a profit.

Make the most out of these earth wonders

Raising and breeding the red composting worm type can be easy, as you won’t have to watch over them 24/7. But what you can do to keep them happy and thriving is to keep them in moist bedding materials (red worms will require to be in damp settings so that their skin will be able to breathe), and to feed them with the right organic scraps. Also place them in a composting bin that is opaque in shade. Make sure that they’re kept in dark surroundings so that they won’t have to be bothered by bright lights. Worms are born with no eyes, so sensing this can actually give them discomfort.

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