While we love all earthworms, we are specifically talking about red wrigglers when it comes to earthworm farming. These guys live on food scraps while the other earthworms live off decaying plant matter.
Earthworms are the pioneers of soil building. These humble creatures process decaying matter and create rich, living soil. Farming with earthworms is so easy, you can do it on pretty much any scale. When we lived in an upstairs compartment and only had plants in pots, we gave our kitchen scraps to our worms who lived in a medium sized plastic container with holes we drilled into it, and we had the happiest little container garden. In our current 20sqm plot, we have our worms in a 100L barrel. Our new 170sqm plot, will be serviced by 2 baths of worms! We will be posting our progress and tutorials soon, so keep an eye out for updates.
In this post we want to share the reasons why we have grown to love our worms so much (so much so in fact that we cannot bare the thought of feeding even one to the chickens!)
Feel free to comment and tell us about your love affair with worms – and if you have yet to have one, we hope this post encourages you to even just think about it.
1. Reduces Waste
Most of your kitchen scraps can be given to your worms to process. We add our scraps to enamel containers with a lid and a handle for easy carrying. If you keep your worm habitat covered it shouldn’t attract flies or rodents.
TIP: chop your scraps into small bits to accelerate decomposition and reduce the chances of things becoming smelly. Earthworms especially like coffee grinds, egg shells and butternut.
2.Increases Soil Fertility
Worm castings/vermicasts (the fancy name for earthworm poop) is a vital soil conditioner. The earthworms attract beneficial microbes that destroy bad microbes and together they create a rich, living fertilizer. This is great news for seed germination.
3. Increases Air Circulation
Air is a vital component of healthy soil. Animals that live in the soil (like worms) and many types of bacteria that are necessary for other plants and animals need air to breathe. Plants need air to breathe too. One of the ways that plants get air is by absorbing it through their roots. Adding worms to your pots and beds ensures continued aeration and healthy plants.
4. Increases Yield
There sure is a lot of increasing going on here! Vermicompost is superfood for plants: they grow, flower and fruit better. Many people have documented experiments in which they have some plants vermicompost and not others and the results spoke for themselves. I can just tell you that we have noticed how our plants thrive with vermicompost.
5. Decreases Diseases
Ok so here we have some decreasing, but whose complaining? We mentioned soil fertility earlier. Vermicompost boosts nutritional levels in the soil – and just like us – plants are what they eat. I like to think of vermicompost boosting the plants immune systems. They become less prone to diseases and stronger plants produce stronger fruits. By creating healthy soil we create healthy plants.
6. Saves Water
Worm Castings help the soil retain water which means you can save water as they need less water less often.
TIP: when adding castings to beds and pots, cover them with mulch to avoid the sun leaching out all the goodness.
7. Encourages Sharing
In the right conditions, earthworms reproduce very quickly. Soon you will have more than enough, which means you can share the worm love with friends and family. Win Win.
Speaking of friends, thanks for stopping by ~ we hope this post has been helpful to you. Comment below if you’d like to add anything or if you have any questions.
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