Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

Worms: A Confession

I have a confession to make…I love my worms.  This relationship began years ago, when I thought it would be fun for my kids to get a pound of red wrigglers (Eisenia fetida) in the mail and begin learning about composting.  Fourteen years later, I’m still going strong.  I love my worms because they’re easy, odor-free, and need little attention.  As long as the bedding remains moist, worms can survive for weeks without any fresh scraps.  Worms are the ultimate recyclers, eating all my kitchen scraps and leaving “black gold” (a nutrient-rich compost), made in about 60 days. The worm castings are much higher in available nitrogen, phosphates, and potash than your average topsoil.  Just this weekend, I used the castings to: top dress my houseplants; potting medium for transplanting; added to planting holes for young seedlings; and brewed some “compost tea” to use as a liquid fertilizer.  Every time I water, organic fertilizer is delivered to the roots without any danger of over fertilizing or burning.

Worm compost (photo by Mary Gabbard)

If you want to learn more about worm composting, I suggest reading, “Worms Eat My Garbage” by Mary Appelhof.  This book is very informative and a great place to start learning about vermicomposting (worm composting).  An Internet search on ‘red wrigglers for composting’ you will find many informative sites with will information ranging from where one can buy red wrigglers as well as instructions for building and maintaining a worm bin.

I can say with great confidence, if you give worm composting a try, you too, will develop a strange fondness for these amazing composters!

Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 4:54 PM
Tags: composting (4), Eisenia fetida (1), garbage (1), scraps (1), vermicomposting (2), worms (3)

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