Worms are the cheapest laborers that you will find to help you in your efforts to improve the composition and fertility of your garden's soil. They are efficient and excellent at converting your kitchen and other organic waste into a perfect plant food. Worm castings, the nice term for worm poop, are a great organic plant fertilizer.
"That's what organic gardening always comes back to:
feeding the soil and the rest takes care of itself"1
Worms are the organic farmer and gardener's best friend. "Through their feeding and burrowing activities, worms can affect the decomposition of organic litter, modify soil microbial communities, and alter the structure and porosity of the soil, thereby profoundly influencing the availability of nitrogen in the soil".2
By converting organic matter such as kitchen waste, lawn clippings, newspaper, cardboard, dried leaves and animal manure into castings, worms dramatically reduce the amount of time needed to break down organic waste and return nutrients to the soil from months and years to a matter of days.
"Earthworms are intimately involved in the cycling of C & N in soil"5
Without the help of worms, "Under normal conditions, the majority of organic material is decayed in three or four years, releasing its nitrogen into the available N forms".3 A redworm
(Eisenia foetida) consumes about their body weight per day in organic waste. One-thousand redworms roughly equal one pound. One pound or one-thousand redworms can convert three to four pounds of organic matter into castings each week!
The publication entitled, "Earthworm Castings as Plant Growth Media,"4 noted that many of the nutrients in waste materials (including nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and magnesium), when processed by worms, are changed into forms more readily taken up by plants. The results:
emergence of tomatoes, cabbage and radishes were much better in a
vermicompost/peat mixtures than in the thermophilically-composted animal
wastes, and performed as good, and usually better, than commercial
plant growth medium.
- In addition, several ornamental species planted in vermicompost mixtures flowered much earlier.
- Even as low as five percent vermicompost in the vermicompost/commercial mixture had profound effects on plant growth.4
Because worms are living creatures, we can only fill orders to addresses within the continental United States that receive service from the U.S. Postal Service. Please include a street address where someone can accept them (they will die sitting in hot or freezing mail boxes). Your order will be placed at the farm to reserve your place in the queue and based upon supply and demand, orders are usually filled within one to two weeks.
Worms are shipped using U.S. Priority Mail on Mondays and Tuesdays. According to the post office, you should generally receive them 2 to 3 days after they are mailed. Please note that shipping is suspended for postal and major holidays when the mail delivery speeds are slowest.