To create fertile soil we need the proper kind of composting worms since after all its the worms that do the work. Over thousands of years, mother nature has created hundreds if not thousands of various species of earthworms distributed all over the world, however solely a few of these are appropriate for vermicomposting.
Most earthworms are terrestrial organisms, which live in the soil and are usually divided into different groups by scientists with names like edaphologists and pedologists through their function in the soil with the foremost suitable for vermicompost being the Anecic, Endogeic and Epigeic species of worms.
• Anecic Worms – anecic worms feed at or near too the soil surface on plant litter or dead roots and other plant debris. They are typically larger worms that build permanent horizontal and vertical burrows in the soil and solely come to the surface to pull leave bits and other food into their burrows.
Anecic earthworms are known as humus former’s and are capable of both organic waste consumption in addition to modifying the structure of the soil. As genetics are a burrowing species they're widely utilized in soil management as well as assisting in compost production. Lumbricus Terrestris, known as the nightcrawler is a large anecic worm with a flattened tail that is good for the soil, however, it won't survive in an enclosed vermicomposting bin so aren't considered appropriate for producing vermicompost.
• Endogeic Worms – endogeic worms spend most of their time below the surface in the mineral layers of soil burrowing constantly and rarely come to the surface. Endogeic worms live close to the roots of plants feeding on the decaying roots, fungi, and bacteria that are found there. They are a geophagous species of worm that ingests large quantities of organically rich soil turning it into vermicompost.
Endogeic species, like Aporrectodea calignosa, feed on large quantities of soil and as they burrow they produce stable earthworm casts that help to enhance the soil structure by mixing and aerating the soil as they move through it making long tunnels and cracks in the soil.
Endogeic worms need deep subsoils and survive best in undisturbed areas where their burrows can stay intact making them unsuitable for composting heaps because of the constant turning over of the pile to aerate it.
• Epigeic Worms – epigeic worms are surface dwellers and feed on the decayed organic materials found on the soil surface and not in the soil itself. Epigenetics utilized in vermicomposting is named red earthworms (Eisenia foetida), additionally called red wiggler’s, manure worms, red hybrid or tiger worms because of their comparatively high tolerance of environmental variations. They are great for vermicomposting.
Additionally, these detritivorous earthworms species thrive in compost bins and enclosed wormeries. Epigeic worms reproduce quickly and in one day can eat their weight in food making them ideal to provide vermicompost.
Although there are thousands of species of worms, solely some are used for vermicomposting. The epigeic and anecic species are particularly well suited for worm composting as these kinds of worms thrive on just about any kind of vegetable scraps, consumption as much as their weight per day. The 2 most common worms used for vermicomposting are the Eisenia foetida additionally renowned commonly as the Red Wiggler, and the red earthworm or Lumbricus rubellus.
It is better not to buy random worms from fishing and bait shops or even garden centers and garden suppliers as they may not be the right variety of heavy-duty consumers needed to process room waste fast and furiously. However, vermicomposting worms can be purchased from specialist suppliers or sometimes local species of earthworms can be used as these are excellently adapted to the local soil conditions.