Red wiggler worms serve triple purposes. They produce great compost, make excellent fishing bait for bluegills and shellcrackers they make great pets. Most people think cats are aloof and won’t come to you when called, but they’re down right gregarious compared to the worm. But you have to love them anyway.
I have learned a few things about raising worms over the last few decades I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t take a genius to have a flourishing crop of wigglers, but it does take a lot of work and attention to detail to have a good harvest. There are a couple of requirements that are necessary for their comfort, or you may wake up with an empty worm bed. That’s what happened to me!
Worms are happiest when they have enough moisture and worm food to survive. If those elements are not in place then they will leave their habitat in search of a better environment. Either that or they will dry up and shrink into the soil.
My worms left because I took a week’s vacation and left my son in charge of worm care. Once my car pulled out of the driveway, he forgot about the extra chore I had laid on him. On returning though, I found I had a worm farm with no worms. Their bedding material had dried out and they left!
They either had dried up or escaped by burrowing deeper into the ground. I used a natural bottom to my bed, never dreaming they would become dry and seek wetter terrain.
As a fisherman, I have found nothing that rivals a fat juicy worm as bait for a bluegill or shell cracker, sometimes called a red eared bream. Slip that fellow on a number six hook, with a sinker and a bobber and the fish will go nuts if it’s the right time of the year.
Usually if nothing else is working, go buy a box of worms and you will catch fish. Red wigglers do wiggle and fish simply can’t resist that dangling bait. Unfortunately several boxes of Red wigglers can be expensive. That is the original reason I had for growing my own.
My secondary reason for going into the worm business was to make little extra money selling worms to fish camps and fishing tackle shops. That was a good idea but it didn’t pan out because my product packed up its gear and left my homemade worm farm.
Still, the challenge of wiggler wrangling was drawing me to try again. This time I was going to use the worms for producing compost material. I even added another word to my vocabulary; vermiculture which is another way of saying worm composting.
These little varmints eat a lot of food, digest it and then excrete it. This cast off product is called worm castings and is rich in phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. Toss this stuff on your garden and you can sit back and watch the squash grow. Red wigglers are growing industry in the organic gardening arena.
Kitchen leftovers such as potatoes, lettuce, coffee and tea grounds rice, paper, grits cotton, and even eggshells are ideal for worm food. Just about all forms of garden vegetables can be used, though some decompose faster than others; grapefruit and orange take more than a month for decomposition to occur.
Don’t throw leftovers, like pork chops, rib eyes, salt and oily foods to the worms for their fine dining requirements. You’ll probably kill them because they can’t digest them easily.
Worm growing is really fun for whatever purpose you have for them. Whether it is for fishing, gardening or a companion, red wigglers are multi-use friends.