All posts by Good Earth Worms

Small but mighty

Q. How many worms will I need?
Experts have figured out there are approximately 1,000 Eisenia fetida worms to a pound, and “on average” a pound of worms will consume about a half-pound of organic matter a day.

Photo of red wiggler
Eisenia fetida are the composting worm of choice.

When planning your bin, you can weigh your food scraps for a week and divide by seven to get a “daily average” of what you toss. If that sounds like too much bother, guesstimate. A cup of veggie matter weighs about 8 oz. Take it from there.

Another rule of thumb is to keep about a pound of worms per person in your household, ie. four people in your family, 4 lbs. of worms will likely keep up with your organic refuse. And because worms multiply quickly, if you’re patient, you can start with a small amount and grow the population to suit your family’s needs.

Vermicompost

Q. What’s the difference between vermicast 
and vermicompost?

A  Vermicompost contains small amounts of undigested organic matter mixed in with the worm castings. Those particles, referred to as “humus,” will continue to break down in the soil and release valuable nutrients to your plants. What’s more, humus helps the soil hold water and makes the dirt feel soft and crumbly, which promotes root growth. Vermicast is concentrated worm manure, whereby the worms have reworked the organic material over and over.

Finished vermicompost looks like dark-roast coffee.
Finished vermicompost looks like dark-roast coffee.

Worm Speak

Q. What is vermicomposting?
A  Vermicomposting is the practice of composting with worms. Unlike conventional “hot” composting, it’s a “cool” process in which the worms work in concert with other microorganisms to break down organic waste.

Composting worm, Eisenia fetida
Eisenia fetida have simple requirements.