What Are Compost Worms

Worm used for vermicomposting is:
1) The Eisenia Foetida, known as the Red Wriggler, Kariba worm, Tiger worm. (COMPOST / TIGER/ KARIBA / RED WRIGGLER WORM)
Vermes = Latin for Worms – hence vermiculture. Two worms can potentially make 192 worms within 6 months!! A small red/pink worm about 3-4 cm in length. THE most common composting worm. A natural Endogeic worm (top feeder) that eats 90%+ organic matter, and/or very rich soil.

SPECIAL COMPOST WORM – EISENIA FOETIDA

The “Red Wiggler”, “Red” or “Tiger” is used world-wide as “the” premier composting worm – known for its ability to munch through vast quantities of organic matter, to be resilient, and easy to manage. This small, yet special worm is used for home, commercial, industrial and bio-remediation applications.

So Why use Vermiculture?

PH neutral, enhances microbial activity, and allows for slow stable release of stable plant nutrients. It amounts to cost saving and labour reduction, as much less compost needed, and gets watered into soil. The granules get trapped in the soil, and act where it is needed most – the roots of plants. Vermicompost prevents water/nutrients from leaching out of the soil, thus saving water and money.
Plant growth, “taste” and yield are increased, as the plant is optimally fed and cared for. Vermiganic products suppress plant diseases, as they facilitate a balanced microbial environment. There are 3 ways of home vermicompost harvesting: (NB: harvested worms to start new worm bed)

  • 1)HAND SORTING:
    Tip out contents of worm bed onto newspaper, and hand sort worms, and place in dish with a little compost to cover them. Separate the vermicompost and use in garden.
  • 2) DOME SORTING:
    Tip out contents of worm bed onto newspaper, and create pyramid “domes” +- 15 cm high. Allow to stand for 20 – 30 minutes. Then scoop off the top 80% of the dome. As the worms do NOT like light, they will burrow to the bottom of the dome, and can then be separated
  • .
  • 3) ONION SACK:
    Stop feeding your worms for +- 7 days. Then bury the onion sack full of yummy treats (eg. pumpkin. melon) IN the bedding, and leave for +- 3 – 7 days. Almost 90% of your worms will crawl into the sack. Gently remove and start new bed

  • Vermicompost is far more concentrated than most other composts, as worms add and amend the organic matter they eat to multiply the basic NPK mix, increase enzymes, and provide plant nutrients in a stable, readily absorbed state – a colloidal humus.
    “Less is more” in vermicomposting, and small regular “dosing” of your garden will provide year-round pleasure. Having your own wormery will save costs, is sustainable, and simply makes sense, given the amount of GOOD organic “waste” usually disposed of. Vermiculture recreates the “full cycle” that nature intended.

    HOW WORM CASTINGS IMPROVE ALL SOIL TYPES

    :
    Soil structure depicts how the soil particles are formulated (eg. sandy, loamy, clay soils), and reflect the biological activity, particularly the MICROLIFE of the soil. Thus soil composition and fertility are closely related.
    Ideal soil is granular and friable in nature, allows good drainage, has high nutrient value and retains water consistently, thus preventing leaching. The humus content (a colloidal, bonding, stabilizing elements) determines the usability and value of the soil. It helps micro-organisms to bond to roots, and captures water for longer periods, as well as allowing air flow and nutrient absorption.
    Calcium, nitrogen and potassium are key elements that determine how well nutrients are absorbed, and protozoa, actinomycetes and fungal mycelia are present.
    Mother Earth Worm Vermicast, assists in humification and stability of the soil, neutralizes PH, and feeds directly to the nutrient absorbing roots of the plant, thus optimizing photosynthesis – hence better flavour and aroma to plants.

    WORM CASTINGS VS. WORM COMPOST:


    VERMICAST:
    98% pure sieved worm “poos”, are manually double sifted to extract the purest form of stable micro-nutrients for your soil. Vermicast is VERY rich, and only small amounts are needed to meet and/or match much larger volumes of regular compost. Contains very high humus content, is organically safe to use, and is Mother Nature’s BEST soil amendment you can possibly get Meet the Worm – Your New Best Friend
    The Eisenia Fetida, better known as the red wriggler, tiger or kariba worm, is a specialized composting worm that thrives on decaying organic matter as a primary food source. Increasing uses and benefits of this little worm are being realized for waste management, organic farming and even bio-remediation.
    Vermiculture (the farming and processing of worms and byproducts) has grown tremendously, with most worms and wormeries being mail ordered and small to large clients – all of whom draw benefits in different ways, such as:
  • home made FREE vermicompost/ vermiliquid for gardening
  • organic vegetable and herb growing
  • improving poor soil conditions
  • water saving – due to the casts’ (poos) absorbent properties
  • a logical and cheap way to process kitchen scraps…

  • These worms act as “soil catalysts”, by “potentising” the nutrient, enzyme, cellulose, humus and microbial components – creating “Red Bull, or is it Red Worm” for soils. The Red Wriggler, is a humble and small worm (+-5 cm), but can eat it’s own body weight daily, produce a cocoon every 7-10 days, and mates for up to 12 hours

    What do worms eat?

    Rich, healthy compost will always attract an array of other creatures, all which help in breaking down compost into rich organic food for your plants. Thus seeing spiders, beetles, ants, fungi, mould, white mites and diptera (fungus gnats) are all good. Anaerobic, acidic and ‘stinky’ compost all point to a severe imbalance within the compost heap, and can attract very unwelcome compost guests, such as rats, snakes, mice, red mites, rove beetles and infestations of ants. Good compost management and pH balance restores the equilibrium soon, so be sure to add lime to your compost heap to keep the pH neutral as possible, and allow for good drainage, which prevents the build-up of acidity, as well as fermentation.

    Our Food Dislikes

    Processed foods which contain salts, or other additives and these acidic foods, such as chillies, onions, garlic, citrus fruits, pineapple and tomatoes. Also avoid feeding us meat, dairy and pet faeces!

    Food We Love

    Us compost worms will eat almost any organic matter that is in the process of breaking down, or ‘rotting’. We primarily eat the microbes, bacteria and minute particles of food. Some of our favourite foods to eat are pumpkin, butternut, mango, and of course good old filter coffee grinds, as these boost our metabolism.

    Caring for your ECO Worm Farm

    First and foremost, a worm farm is an investment and will pay for itself over and over again.
    We have a wide and varied range of clientele from the North to South, and East to West in South Africa. Eco Worm Farms has been operating for about 9 years and pride ourselves on our excellent after sales service. We are always willing to help anyone with worms and are extremely passionate about our worms, regarding them as an extension of the family household.
    To date, we have not had one complaint or claim that a worm farm is not fully effective or that anybody is fed up with their worms. They work tirelessly 24 hours a day eating our kitchen waste etc. and in turn give us worm castings and tea. No sand is added to the worm farms which is quite contrary to what people think. People are always amazed by these incredible creatures. As we are more aware in todays society of the benefits of recycling — having a worm farm is ideal, as worms are artists at this technique. Eisenia Fetida also commonly known as the Red Wriggler were first noticed by Charles Darwin in about 1832 and only in more recent years have been afforded the respect they so richly deserve. Although many people think that all worms are earthworms, there are in fact, many thousands of species of worms.
    Eco Worm Farms only deals with EISENIA FETIDA (Red Wigglers – compost worms) which are surface worms and have a totally different habitat to other Earthworms. Although we do refer the term “earthworms” here and there, so as to make it more relatable to everyone.The main difference between the two worms – Earthworms are grey and live underground from depths ranging from a few centimeters to up to 2 metres. Their nutrition comes from burrowed decaying roots, leaves and living organism.

    Quirky Facts

    Reproduction Earthworms are hermaphrodites, meaning each worm possesses both male and female reproductive organs. Some earthworm species worms1 be self fertile, meaning they can fertilize their own ova to produce young, and some species are parthenogenic, meaning fertilization of the ova by sperm is not necessary to produce young. Most earthworm species, however, require that two worms exchange sperm in order to produce young. When worms mate they lay side by side with their heads pointed in opposite directions, making close contact along the upper segments of their bodies. They excrete a mucous that coats both worms and binds them together, preventing them from being easily pulled apart and ensuring environmental conditions like rain or dew do not interfere with the exchange of sperm. The worms exchange sperm, storing the received seed in a pore on the skin surface just above the clitellum (the differently colored or thickened band that encircles the worm body). Once they exchange sperm, a process that may take hours, the worms move apart and eject their own ova into a pore on their skin surface near the sperm pore. They secrete a thick mucous around the clitellum, which hardens on the outside but remains sticky underneath, forming a band out of which the worm backs, drawing the band over its head. As the band passes over the pores holding sperm and ova they are picked up and held on the sticky underside. Once the worm has backed completely out of the hardened mucous band the ends close forming a cocoon with sperm and ova inside where fertilization takes place. Each worm will continue to produce cocoons until they have used all of the sperm received from their mate. The length of time it takes for the baby worms inside the cocoon to mature and “hatch” out, and the number of young in each cocoon depend on the worm species and environmental conditions. Contrary to popular belief, worms are a closed species, meaning they can produce viable young only with sperm from members of their own species. They cannot be hybridized . In those rare circumstances when two worms from differing species have attempted to mate, the result was either no young being produced or, in rare circumstances, babies that were always sterile. The worm cocoon is an incredibly tough structure, designed to protect the young inside from environmental extremes and even ingestion by other animals. Cocoons can be frozen, submerged in water for extended periods of time, dried and exposed to temperatures far in excess of what can be tolerated by adult worms without damage to the young worms inside. The cocoon can even be eaten by other animals, provided it can make it past the teeth, surviving the digestive process and passing out of the animals body in the manure! In areas of climatic extremes it's likely that the adult members of epigeic worm species do not survive, but the cocoons do, repopulating the environment when environmental conditions return to a range that can support worm activity. worms1 Earthworm cocoons are easy to spot in the worm bed. They are roughly the size of a large grape seed and similarly shaped, with one end rounded and the other drawn out to a point. When first dropped from the body of the parent the cocoon is a creamy, pearlescent yellow, darkening to a cola brown as the young worms within mature and prepare to emerge.

    Wrom Farm Neglect

    YOUR WORM FARM IS AN INVESTMENT, IF YOUR WORM FARM IS CORRECTLY LOOKED AFTER, WILL LAST A LIFETIME AND PAY FOR ITSELF OVER AND OVER AGAIN. WHAT PURCHASE COULD BE A BETTER INVESTMENT? I AM AVAILABLE ON A 24/7 BASIS FOR ADVICE, AND TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS OR QUERIES RELATING TO WORM FARMS AND PLANTS.

    Poorly maintained and abused farms we have rescued:

    wormsnot1 wormsnot2 wormsnot3 wormsnot4

    Worm Farming is an interesting hobby by recycling kitchen waste and putting back into your soil what we take out. We pride ourselves on providing the "Best After Sales Service". Our customers are importat to us as well as the care of your worms. Please never hesitate to contact me!

    wormsnot4

    Esther: 021 715-0191
    VERMITEA – A BY PRODUCT OF WORM CASTINGS IS ORGANIC PRODUCE, AND ACTS AS A MILD INSECTICIDE AS IT IS SYSTEMIC – TAKEN UP BY ROOTS, AND CIRCULATED THROUGHOUT PLANTS – SEEING IS BELIEVING.