My wife and I are talking worms and compost. We have a few questions. Maybe a good start is to see what some of you folks are doing and go from there. We literally have no idea what a good number to start with is. We are gonna grab a bath tub from the dump or somewhere next time we go to town and kind of start there. From what we've read I reckon scraps and cardboard are the best food and bedding. We want happy worms and good soil for the garden.
One thing that I tend to always reply when someone asks about worms and compost is this... There are the earthworm types, and there are red wigglers. Our gardens have an essentially sand-silt soil (the mineral soil aspect), but both the people who owned this land before us and we ourselves have amended the soil and worked toward developing a reasonable topsoil—going back to the mid 1950s, three owners before us, when the land was cleared of trees.
We find a lot of the common earthworms and also "nightcrawlers" (like a giant earthworm) in our garden soil.
Because we put a fair amount of green grass clippings into our compost, the piles will heat up. This heating phase breaks down the coarse materials, including the grass but also coarser garden waste, kitchen waste, etc. Then the pile will cool off. Red wiggler worms then show up spontaneously in our compost bins, so it seems evident their eggs are just in the bins.
But when we apply compost that has lots of red wigglers in it to our gardens, after a fairly short while we never run across red wigglers in the garden soil. Even when weeding or digging, we just don't see them. I don't know what happens to them, but their habitat seems to be in the compost materials so long as these are cool, not hot from bacteria processing the carbon/nitrogen materials. From our practical perspective, the wigglers do a job of further digesting and enriching the compost with their castings.
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