Composting worms turn fruit and vegetable scraps into rich, fertilised soil, and in turn, reduce the waste in landfills. An environmentally sound investment, it requires knowledge of which worm varieties best suit the purpose. To start a worm composting system, purchase red wiggle worms or European Nightcrawlers.
The amount of veggie food waste produced determines the amount of worms necessary. Red wiggle worms, a subspecies of earthworms, eat about half their weight in food every day; therefore, if you produce a daily food waste average of 1 kg, you need 2 kg of composting worms. Keep in mind that composting worms quickly multiply, so it may be wise to limit your initial investment. Still, ensure that the compost bin features adequate living space for the number of composting worms being purchased.
Red worms, also known as red wigglers, brandling worms, manure worms, trout worms, and tiger worms, are the most commonly used composting worm. Unmatched in their vermicomposting abilities, these worms thrive in a wide array of temperature settings and can process organic waste at a quick rate. When living conditions are ideal and adequate space is provided, red worms multiply rapidly. Besides composting, red worms are widely used as live worm bait for fishing; you can sell them as fishing worms in case of overproduction.
European Nightcrawlers, although not as popular as red worms, are also used for composting. These composting worms are larger, very hardy, and able to withstand a wide range of temperature variants. Despite their slower breeding and ineffectiveness when it comes to processing organic wastes, they are still widely used for composting purposes.
Worm Compost Bins
Worm compost bins are generally designed for indoor use, as composting worms may freeze outdoors during the colder months. With proper management, composting bins remain odour- and insect-free. Most are constructed of plastic or rubber, although you can also use galvanised metal tubs and wooden compost bins. Choose ones at least 40 litres in size; these compost bins can comfortably house 500 g of red worms to process 250 g of food daily. Since red worms tend to live near the surface of soil, avoid garden compost bins more than 60 cm deep. It should have a lid to keep its interior dark and adequate ventilation; consider drilling small holes in the bottom and along the sides.