Vermicomposting – Red Worms and Their Composting Wonders

By posted by GartenGrl

Photo by Eva the Weaver
By James W Shaw
Garden farmers nowadays are very fond of using red worms for their organic garden. This is because of the red worms’ ability to convert organic material into compost, a substance that is beneficial to garden farms. While it is important for garden farmers to understand what these red worms need to be healthy and productive, it is also important to understand how their body works and how they digest their food and produce the worm castings that garden farmers use to cultivate their farms.

Red worms are also called red wigglers because of their reaction to being touched. Usually when red wigglers are handled, their natural reaction is to wriggle about, thus the name red wigglers. Red wigglers are manure type worms. This means that they will consume almost any form of organic material. They belong to the family Lumbricidae and they are one of the most popular worms in commercial production today. This is largely due to their popularity among garden farmers. Farmers prefer worms over earthworms for the reason that they are more effective at converting organic material into worm castings than earthworms.

It all starts with the red worm’s digestive process. The little red wiggler worm, first of all, consumes the organic material through its mouth while it burrows deeper into the soil. It will ingest any plant material in any stage of decomposition and any other residues found at the surface. All of these ingested materials go through the digestive track, passing through the crop, the gizzard and finally through the intestinal tract. Then, after having gone through all these, the waste material passes out through the anus and into the soil.

The digestive process involves different digestive enzymes which help break down all the organic materials which our little friends consume. These digestive enzymes release the important nutrients stored within the ingested organic material thus enriching t ing the red worm’s anatomy. Some of these nutrients include sugars, amino acids and a number of smaller organic organisms such as bacteria, fungi and protozoa. All of these smaller molecules are absorbed by the intestines. Any material not absorbed by the digestive process is excreted out of the anus, and thus worm castings are born!

Worm castings are rich, natural sources of organic material. They are filled with lots of nutrients and are very capable of holding moisture. Plants benefit from these things immensely as they also improve soil-structure and increase fertility. As such, it is sufficient to say that red worms are the most effective and enriching soil-enhancers available.

Explore the fascinating path of vermicomposting! To learn more about red worms and other great worm composting ideas.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=James_W_Shaw

James W Shaw – EzineArticles Expert Author

Originally posted 2010-02-25 14:33:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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  1. Matti says:

    Excellent information. We love our red worms. Recently, we found a second worm compost bin on the street…unused. Bonus! Now we have two going. Matti
    MattiĀ“s last blog ..Simply Senecio My ComLuv Profile

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