If you follow Your Gardening Friend on Facebook, then you know that about 7 weeks ago, I purchased my very first batch of red wiggler worms for vermicomposting.
“And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25
What is Vermicomposting?
Vermis is latin for worms. Vermicomposting is composting through the use of compost worms.
You’ll usually hear of red wigglers/red worms when you hear someone talking about vermicomposting. These particular worms thrive off of bacteria in organic matter, such as rotten fruits and vegetables. The worm poo is called castings. The castings is/are(?) what vermicomposting is all about.
What About the Common Earthworm?
The common earthworm has some great uses (e.g., soil aeration, fish bait, breakfast for birds, and maybe a little composting), but it’s not able to provide the same garden benefits the red wiggler can provide. It’s like saying all sports are alike. If someone is a pro at basketball, well… they should be equally good at swimming, golfing, and ice-skating. After all, those are sports too, right? The common earthworm is a worm, but a very different type of worm, with a different skill set.
14 Reasons to Have Compost Worms
I’ve come up with a list of 14 reasons why it’s a great idea to have compost worms. This list is a combination of things I’ve recently learned through my research, and additional reasons I think should be considered.
Compost worms will do the following:
- Eat kitchen garbage. This will reduce the amount of waste and weekly garbage pickup.
- Eat junk mail. Similarly, this will reduce the amount in landfills, trips to the recycle facility, or the need/cost for weekly paper recycle pick-ups. (Paper is also used for their bedding.)
- Require no additional expense for feed.
- Be virtually maintenance-free. Did you hear that, all you busy homesteaders?
- Produce nutrient-rich garden fertilizer (castings).
- Cause no foul smell with their poo. This is a very good thing, considering my worms sit next to the kitchen.
- Provide better manure than many/most animals. The worms add beneficial microbes in the castings, providing plants with a strong defense against diseases.
- Cause you to smile as you see the poo build up. That’s not something I can say about my three dogs’ poo.
- Reproduce at an incredible rate, providing you with more compost worms.
- Provide a possibility for earning extra money by selling offspring.
- Not wake up the neighbors with loud crowing, mooing, and whatever you call the noises made by horses, goats, and sheep. This means they’re perfect for those living in the suburbs.
(I still hope to have chickens and goats (or cows) in the future. After all, I can’t get milk, chicken eggs, or meat from worms. And, let’s face it, worms are missing the cute factor.
- Take up VERY little space. They don’t require any land; and they don’t require a fenced area, barn, chicken coop, dog house, or any other outdoor building. My pound of worms is in a 4 gallon plastic container.
- Provide “preppers” with a valuable sustainable resource.
- Provide parents and homeschoolers with a plethora of teaching topics in the subjects of creation, biology, chemistry(?), mathematics, land stewardship, gardening, and sustainable living.
So, there you have it. Seems like a no-brainer.
Future Posts on Compost Worms
With me being a novice at vermicomposting, this was an easy post I could offer some knowledge on. I hope to have more posts in the future about vermicomposting, as I learn more about these worms. For instance, how many pounds of worms does someone need to fertilize a 10’ x 20’ garden? There are a lot of good questions, like that, I hope to answer.
How many of you have compost worms?
Did I overlook any reasons to have compost worms?
If you don’t have compost worms, are you considering it? If so, what’s your reason?