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Worms

image of nightcrawler in compost

Worm Systems: what bin style do we offer?

There are many different types of worms that will compost your food scraps, however in this Central Texas climate, Red Wigglers are the best. Red Wigglers (Eisenia foetida), a.k.a. red worms, tiger worms, brandling worms, manure worms and many others, are the "work horses" when it comes to vermicomposting!  Unlike nightcrawlers and common earthworms, they do not tend to wander and will multiply easily when given proper care.  They are surface/sub-surface dwellers, found in the top 8-12" of soil. 

An established colony will consume from half, up to their full body weight in scraps, daily!  Their castings contain up to eight times as many microbes as what they consume.worm binThey are very versatile, preferring temperatures from 40-85 degrees, but will survive Texas extremes, with simple techniques (rule of 24's.)  For more details, click here.

Why use worms?

Worms turn food scraps into high quality compost that you can use on your plants right away.

  • A worm bin is a great way to teach children about compost.
  • Pathogenic bacteria are killed by the worms' gut.
  • Compost food scraps indoors (no meat, dairy or citrus).
  • Produce a worm tea to feed your plants (depending on the system).

How to use worms in your compost

Worms like very high moisture, but will not survive in standing water.  Because they are true hermaphrodites, worms are prolific breeders, and under ideal conditions, they will produce 10 young per mature adult, each week.

This species is well suited for bins as well as outdoor composting. When you receive your worms, gently empty the box into your bin or compost pile, then unfold it. Place the unfolded box over the worms. This will hide them from the light and hungry birds. theo holding a large leaf of chardThe box will also have beneficial microbes and organisms on and in it. The wigglers will make their way into the bin or pile within the hour. If you are releasing them outdoors, it is less stressful if they are released just before sunrise. If you are putting the worms in a worm tower or worm bin, add newspaper, coconut core or another carbon source as the worms' bedding. You may want to mist the worms with a water bottle to make sure that have enough moisture.