What are vermicomposting worms?

Worms are the gardeners friend, and for anyone that does any sort of composting, you will quickly become familiar with composting worms – often known as vermicomposting worms.

Vermicomposting is what it is called when you turn your purposely recycled organic waste scraps into a lovely compost using worms.

Experts say that you cannot use just any worm for the vermicomposting process, but rather you must use specific breeds.

The main types of worms used in vermicomposting are:

1. Eisenia foetida (aka Red Wigglers)
2. Lumbricus rubellas (aka Red Earthworms)

red wiggler worm

Red Wiggler

Red wigglers worms vs Red Earthworms

By far the most popular type of worm for this process is the red wiggler – they look basically like red earthworms, and, since you cannot typically just find them hanging out in the soil (they prefer manure, and decaying organic matter), they are best found or bought from a local garden center. Red earthworms are the second most popular type of worm for composting, and often have a darker color, being more brown than red; they thrive and can be found most often in manure.

Why do people even use worms for composting?

Many gardeners prefer to use worms for composting because the resulting compost is extremely rich in nutrients and the result is a rich soil that enables plants to grow optimally. What happens during the composting is that the worms will eat the decayed organic matter. The “worm casts” (or worm poop/manure) that ends up left behind in the soil after the worm eats is what all the hype is about and is what causes the soil to be so good for plants.

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