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Earthworm Farms

Essential Facts about Earthworm Farms

Although cultivating earthworm farms might sound similar to owning a pet rock or investing in a flea circus, there are actually some very good benefits to raising and fostering earthworms. In fact, you might be surprised at how useful these creatures really are.

There are many reasons to nurture earthworm farms. Some people use the earthworms for fishing purposes and even sell the worms for this reason. Others like to use them to create good quality soil. Still, others raise earthworms to use in compost piles, since earthworms can help get rid of kitchen scraps. Raising earthworms can also be a good way to teach children about responsibility, ecology, and biology.

When operating earthworm farms, Red Wigglers are usually the preferred earthworms of choice. They need to be fed, which means that they won’t wander off very far, and they reproduce quickly. Red Wigglers can be purchased in bait stores and pet shops and can be bought by the hundreds.

Earthworms can also be purchased by the pound. Although you might get more earthworms this way, you will also have to wait for them to arrive since most of the time the ordering is done by mail.

People who raise their earthworms in compost piles do not generally need containers. However, for those who are raising earthworms for bait or other reasons, containers are desired. There are a variety of containers that can be used for this purpose. Some ideas include ice cream cartons, shoe boxes, wooden boxes, and even old plastic swimming pools, depending on the kind of farm that you wish to cultivate.

If you are placing your container outside, you should ensure that it has drainage so that the excess water can get out. Although earthworms desire moisture, it is also possible to make them too wet.

All earthworm farms need to try to recreate the natural habitat of the earthworms. Peat Moss is sometimes used in the containers because it is lightweight and the worms are able to swim around in it. However, some people also use leaves, dirt, and even shredded paper.  Whatever you use for bedding, it should be mixed with anywhere from 25% to 50% manure. Water should be added as well so that the mixture is moist, although you don’t want it to get too wet. You do not want to add the earthworms right away, as the mixture will be too hot at first. It is better to wait around 2 weeks and then add them.

After adding the earthworms, you can start adding kitchen garbage. You don’t want to put out more garbage than they are able to handle, but you should also figure that earthworms are able to eat their weight in kitchen leavings every day. The more earthworms you have, the more garbage you can add. However, if you put out too much garbage the earthworm farms can become acidic which can actually kill the worms.

Earthworms have a large diet. They like paper, vegetables, egg shells, leaves, grass, and a variety of other things.  Some people add cornmeal to their farms in order to encourage the earthworms to get the nutrients that they need so that they can multiply faster.

Because earthworms can multiply quickly and even double their population in 3 months’ time, eventually you will want to redistribute them. This might mean having several earthworm farms. Adding earthworms to your flower bed or starting another compost pile are two ideas that people implement.

Earthworms should smell earthy. If they begin emitting a foul or strong odor that is not very pleasant then you should stop feeding them. It is possible that you have supplied them with too much food. Add more bedding to the pile in order to help even out the bedding to food ratio. You should also turn the bedding over every couple of weeks in order to help the ammonia escape from the bedding.


 

 


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