Few things are as gratifying as a healthy, bountiful garden. The sights, smells, and tastes of fresh fruits and vegetables are a joy to behold. And tending a garden can be a great way to soothe your mind and get some exercise. But in order to have a successful garden, you need more than just sunlight and water. You also need healthy soil. Luckily, worms can help. Worms for vermicomposting consume organic matter and help to aerate the soil, making it more fertile and productive.
There are many different types of worms that can be used for composting, but not all of them are created equal. Here are a few of the best worms for composting, based on their ability to break down organic matter and improve soil health.
Top Worms for Composting
Red wigglers (Eisenia fetida)
One of the most popular types of worms for vermicomposting. They are prolific breeders and can consume up to half their body weight in food per day. Red wigglers also do an excellent job of aerating the soil and improving drainage. They can be found in most garden supply stores.
European nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis)
These worms are slightly larger than red wigglers and are also very good at breaking down organic matter. They are especially good for composting leaves and other high-carbon materials. European nightcrawlers can be found in some garden supply stores or online.
Tiger worms (Perionyx excavatus)
Tiger worms are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. They are very efficient at breaking down organic matter and improving soil fertility. Tiger worms can be difficult to find in the United States, but they are sometimes available online.
Dendrobaena worms (Dendrobaena veneta)
Dendrobaena worms are native to Europe and are similar in size to red wigglers. They are good at breaking down organic matter and aerating the soil. Dendrobaena worms can be found in some garden supply stores or online.
Earthworms (Lumbricus sp.)
There are many different species of earthworms, and all of them can be good for composting. Earthworms consume organic matter and help to aerate the soil. They also improve drainage and increase the amount of oxygen in the soil. Earthworms can be found in most garden supply stores.
How to Get Started with Worm Composting
Worm composting is easy and can be done indoors or outdoors. All you need is a bin, some bedding material, and some food scraps. You can buy a ready-made worm bin, or you can build your own. Once you have your bin set up, add some bedding material, such as shredded newspaper, coco coir, or peat moss. moisture the bedding material until it is damp but not wet. Then add your worms. Red wigglers are a good choice for beginners.
Once you have your worms, start adding food scraps to the bin. Worms will eat just about any type of organic matter, including fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells. Avoid putting meat, dairy, or oily foods in the bin, as these can attract pests or create unpleasant odors. Aim to add about a pound of food scraps per week for every pound of worms.
As the worms consume the food scraps, they will produce castings, which are a rich source of nutrients for plants. You can use worm castings as a fertilizer or soil amendment. They can also be used to make vermicompost tea, which is a liquid fertilizer that is rich in nutrients and beneficial microbes.
Worm composting is a great way to reduce your food waste and give your plants a boost. It’s easy to get started, and it’s a fun project for the whole family.
No matter which type of worm you choose, adding them to your compost pile will give your plants a boost. Worms help to break down organic matter, aerate the soil, and improve drainage. They also add important nutrients to the soil, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. So if you want a healthy, productive garden, don’t forget the worms!