I've been using worm castings (otherwise known as worm compost or worm manure) for a long time, but I've never had much success with raising compost worms. So I've asked Pauly "The Worm Whisperer" Piccirillo of Worm Farming Revealed to come by and tell us more about it.
Imagine having a pet that ate your kitchen scraps, mail, and yard waste. Now imagine it "casting" wonderful plant fertilizer all in one little box, secretly when no one was watching ... AWESOME!
These are one of nature's fastest composters. To all you people who think pets should be NOT seen and NOT heard ... well, try worm farming!
I love worm composting so much because it does so much for me and my plants. Regular compost is good, but composting with worms is a whole new world.
Worm compost is richer in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. It provides better quality and quantity of microbes for plant food, and more complex microorganisms. And your soil will have better water retention than with regular compost.
With worms, your compost ingredients compost faster, and you can compost all-year-round.
I've been vermicomposting for 3 years now and it only took one year to see my world turn upside down.
In those three years I have failed and succeeded at things and will some more. I won't say that worm castings is a magic potion, but with worm castings you CAN get away with almost too much, unlike synthetic fertilizers which will burn your plants.
After working with worms and seeing the results for myself I knew I had to tell others about this natural way of composting.
You can't just go in the backyard and use any worm you find under a rock or in the garden or after a rain storm. I want to be very clear. It takes a special kind of worm and they are known as composting worms.
The worm of choice to use is the red wiggler (Eisenia Fetida).
They consume mass amounts of decaying vegetation on a daily basis, are very prolific, and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. You are not likely to find these unless you live near lots of decaying plant matter or live on a farm. Yes, the red wiggler even loves manure.
Worms practically take care of themselves. I can't imagine anything easier to raise than red wigglers. If you love edible landscaping, digging in the dirt, or anything having to do with plants, then rest assured, you'll fall in love with every squishy, wet, slimy, wiggly, creepy worm the second you look into their little puppy dog eyes.
You can use red wigglers for other things, too, like fishing bait and feeding them to your chickens and reptiles.
Kids have a lot of fun raising red worms, and this is a wonderful family activity or school project. A woman in New Zealand wrote me who is teaching her school about worm farming. Getting her kids interested at an early age is fantastic.
They don't read my free worm farming guide. (Just kidding!)
I would probably say the biggest mistake would be over-zealous feeding. You will find people all over the Internet telling you that red wigglers will eat their entire weight in food everyday, but only under an extremely ideal environment is this likely. Unless you are experienced and know exactly what, how, and when to feed your red wigglers don't automatically assume that your worms will take home the next trophy from Coney Island.
Many newbies need to understand that a worm has no teeth. It depends on bacteria to first break down the food then the worm slurps up the bacteria. So, worms don't actually eat the food, they eat the tiny microorganisms that eat the food.
Worms couldn't keep up with all of your trash unless you had tens of thousands, but it's good to keep as much trash as you can out of the landfills and back into the environment.
There are a lot of places on the net to learn how to raise worms. So please, don't make the mistake I did when I first started. Read just a little (especially you guys) before you dive into your worm compost bin and go swimming with disaster or a bunch of dead worms.
I'm so glad you asked.
I recommend reading the FREE Worm Farming Guide at Worm Farming Revealed.com, start your own worm bin or buy one, and order 1 or 2 thousand worms to start your vermicomposting. We have worms for sale!
Thanks so much for talking with us, Pauly ... best of luck and many happy worms!
Visit Pauly "The Worm Whisperer" at http://www.wormfarmingrevealed.com to learn more about worms, worm compost and red worm composting.
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