What is the Ideal Composting Worm for Indoor Composting?

by Tina
(Sioux City, Iowa)

I want to start to compost in my apartment, however, I've read so much information recently, and although it's been helpful, it's also quite confusing. I love the idea of throwing my leftovers in the bin and having the worms eat it up.

My container seems somewhat small in size, but I'm more concerned about the dirt. Some websites say don't use dirt because the worms only live in the upper layer, while other sites say yes, use dirt, because you can use all different types of worms for composting indoors.

Can you please help?

I want to know if I can go to Walmart and get those worms they sell for fishing, or if I have to buy more expensive worms.

Thank you. Smiles.

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Dec 18, 2011
Composting Worms Are King For Worm Bins
by: Compost Junkie Dave

Hi Tina,

Hopefully, the information below will clear up some of the confusion...

When you're composting indoors, you really want to buy a variety of worm called a "Red Wiggler". They do tend to be more expensive than your typical dew worm or night-crawler (these are the typical worm species used as bait when fishing). As you said, the composting worm (red wiggler) is more of a surface dweller. In a more natural environment, they would be found right below the leaf litter, so within a couple inches of the soil surface. Compare this to the "fishing" worm which tends to inhabit deeper layers in the soil. Since indoor composting bins don't tend to offer much depth, your average dew worm will not thrive in this environment, whereas the red wiggler will. So unfortunately, you're going to have to pay a little more for your worms. But I can assure you, they pay for themselves within a couple months because you'll no longer have to buy fertilizer for your plants. You may also consider giving, or selling, some of your worm castings to your family and friends. Wouldn't you like to receive worm poop as a gift? : )

Although we haven't listed them in our store yet, we are now selling composting worms. If you're interested, simply contact me and I'll send you an invoice via Paypal. The prices are as follows:

1 pound red wigglers = $23.99 + $11.00 shipping
2 pounds red wigglers = $44.99 + $11.00 shipping
3 pounds red wigglers = $59.99 + $11.00 shipping

Update Jan. 2012
: You can now buy composting worms in our store.

Each pound contains approximately 600-1,000 hungry little worms, just waiting to devour your food scrapes. For your situation, you don't need any more than a pound to start. These guys multiply like rabbits when given the right conditions.

As for the dirt question, it's not mandatory, however, I would highly recommend adding some dirt to your bedding material (e.g. shredded newspaper). Mixing dirt with the bedding provides several advantages to your worm bin. 1-It provides your worms with an immediate source of microbes to eat. 2-It provides your worms with a source of "gritty" material to help with their digestion. 3-It will help control any odor. Sometimes, if you overfed your worms, they can't process the foods quick enough, and the food begins to rot a bit.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.

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