Did you know that there are over 2,700 species of earthworms around the world? They can be everywhere, and without them, the ground can be pretty flat and lifeless. We need them to aerate the soil and encourage moisture in the ground. Earthworms are also the easiest creatures to take care of. They have the least maintenance and the simplest needs.
If you want to know how to grow earthworms in your own home, you’ll need to understand the environment that they thrive in.
Earthworms Love To Eat Organic Waste
These days, earthworms are being grown for fishermen who use them as baits or for gardeners with compost bins. If you want to know how to grow earthworms, you will need to feed them the right organic matter.
In general, worms eat dirt. They eat the microorganisms and biological matter found in the dirt. They aren’t picky eaters. They will eat fruit and vegetable peels, dead leaves, and even animal feces above ground. When they burrow underground, they tunnel their way by eating bacteria, algae, and even fungi. Sometimes, they eat biodegradable matter like paper and cardboard, especially if they are moist!
Their waste then fertilizes the earth. That’s why gardeners love them for their compost bin. By knowing what they eat, you will effectively know how to raise worms properly.
Earthworms Love Moisture And Other Things
Learning how to grow earthworms at home is a fun and easy idea! They are easy to care for as long as the minimum care requirements are met. You already know what to feed them, but you should also make sure they have the right habitat so they can thrive. Know how to grow worms at home with these essential things:
- Earthworms love moisture. They need moisture to help them breathe through their skin. Soil beds should not feel dry and should not be too soggy either. They can drown in muddy soil, and they find it hard to burrow in dry ground. Find the right crumbly-moist texture by using your hands to feel.
- Earthworms hide from the sun. They should be shielded from direct sunlight, or else they will overheat.
- Earthworms like to live in temperatures ranging from 55 to 85 degrees F. If the soil bed is too hot, you can add water to cool it or install a fan near the bed.
- Earthworms need oxygen. Make sure the soil bed is not too wet. Remember that they breathe through their skin. You can also aerate the soil with a rake to introduce oxygen into the bed.
- Earthworms need the right soil. You will need a pH kit to make sure the soil is between 5.0 and 8.0. Check the topsoil, and the soil found three inches deep and eight inches deep with the pH kit. You will also need to check the levels weekly.
Choosing Your Earthworms
It’s always a good idea to choose worms that are already acclimated to/ the weather in your area. Learning how to grow earthworms at home also means knowing which ones can fit their purpose:
- Red Worms are perfect for your compost pile. A pound of these worms can consume half a pound of organic waste every day. They thrive on rich, dense organic matter and can reproduce very quickly if they’re happy with their habitat. They’re also perfect for feeding chickens, pet fish, turtles, and lizards.
- European Nightcrawlers are great as fishing bait. They can grow up to five inches long. They tend to wiggle for a period on the hook, even underwater. They can tolerate saltwater and are found to be the best bait worm.
- African Nightcrawlers love warmer temperatures. They’re also used as fishing bait and can breed very quickly. They’re also great for composting.
- Alabama Jumpers can survive in different types of soil and can burrow effectively in problematic soils compared to other species.
How Do You Raise Worms Indoors?
Perhaps you live in a very cold climate, or you don’t have enough land to raise earthworms. How do you raise worms indoors, and is it even possible?
It is possible to raise worms indoors as long as the essential factors are met – temperature, moisture, shade, oxygen, and the right soil. You can build your own indoor composting container with a plastic storage bin!
- Find an 18-gallon plastic storage bin.
- Make sure to drill holes on the bottom and sides of the bin that are 0.25 inches in diameter. Four on each side and four on the bottom should work. The holes will promote aeration and will drain excess water, if any. If the soil is soggy, you may need to drill a few more holes.
- Install a tray beneath the bin, so it collects the drippings. If your bin does not have short legs, you can use small bricks to raise the bin.
- Keep the bin in a cool area and away from direct sunlight.
- You can start with a pound of red worms and feed them with different types of organic matter.
It’s amazing how these creatures can help make the soil fertile. Without them, trees would have a hard time growing, and some animals may not be able to feed. There are billions of earthworms, but the one pound you have in your bin can make a world of difference, too. Make sure to give them enough room in their bins and enough soil to work with. They’ll live longer if you sustain them in a moist and dark environment so they can burrow, eat, and make more happy healthy worms. By knowing how to grow earthworms in your own home, you are now armed with the knowledge to raise earthworms indoors or outdoors as pets, for fishing baits or compost helpers. Find out more about earthworms.