Tag Archives: eisenia hortensis

Outdoor worm bed question?

8 Mar

Thanks to Chris from Arkansas who sent in a great video question via email.

My response:

Looks like a great spot to build a worm bed. (Pick a shaded area that can be kept moist, well drained, with decaying organic matter.)

You can do either:
If you bury your plastic bin, be sure the bottom of the tub is either removed or has lots of good sized drainage holes.  You could also dump the contents of your plastic bin into the flower bed.  For added protection from drying out, and critters you can cover with a few layers of damp newspaper, cardboard, straw, mulch, old carpet, or plywood.
Or you can do both:
Bury your red wiggler bin.  Use the rest of the space for European nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis), or other species.  By building up organic matter you can attract your native earthworms and/or supplement with some purchased worms.   You can keep tabs on your red worm population, and watch the locals come to feed.  I have done this in a couple of flower beds, and it seems to work well.  The red worms will not stray and stay close to the food source.  The earthworms (European nightcrawlers) tend to spread out more which is great for surrounding soil.  Keeping your bed moist and full of organic matter will attract them and keep a fair amount close to home.
Hope that helps.
Red Worms– (Eisenia foetida) top feeders, composting worms, extremely prolific.
European Nightcrawlers– (Eisenia hortensis) deeper feeders, great for aerating lawn and garden, can also be used for composting.
Both Red worms and European nightcrawlers can be used to reduce household waste, accelerate the composting process, as well as, add nutrient rich natural fertilizer to plants, grass, and garden.
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European Nightcrawlers now available

23 Feb

European Nightcrawlers are now available at TexasRedWorms.com. They can be used for composting just like the red worm, but are a bit larger, stronger and are deeper tunnelers than the top feeding red worm.  Red Worms prefer piles of moist decaying organic matter (leaves, manure).

There are many different species of earthworm ranging in size and climate, most can be classified in one of two larger camps. The first being the deeper dwelling tunnelers (European Nightcrawler), and secondly the top feeding composters (Red Worm).  A lot of biologists claim that all earthworms have been introduced, from settlers bringing them in potted plants and so forth.  I have a hard time with that, but guess it could be possible.

Care for both worms is similar and they can even co-habitate. The nightcrawlers are able to be added directly to your garden, flowerbed, or lawn, while the red worms would not fare so well.  The red wigglers are more prolific smaller worm that will not scatter like the European nightcrawler, or Alabama Jumper.  Both are well suited for composting and bin raising, and care is identical.

European nightcrawlers are typically what you will find at bait shops, and grow thicker and longer than the red wiggler.  Both are active on a hook and will get the fish to bite.