Monday, March 23, 2009


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Gambarajah Baja Organik Vermikompos daripada Cacing Tanah. kami boleh membekalkan dalam kuantiti yang banyak setiap bulan. anggaran 10 ton setiap bulan. sila hubungi kami untuk mendapatkan harga borong yang terendah.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


How To Start a Worm Composting System
Starting up your own worm composting system is a very simple process. There are 4 basic requirements for getting a worm system up and running:
1) A container or Wood Trays
2) Some sort of ‘bedding’
3) Organic waste materials, and last but certainly not least –
4) Composting worms.
I highly recommend that newcomers start by focusing on the first three well before getting worms. It is important to remember that, while you are trying to compost wastes, you are also trying to keep your worms alive and happy. A great way to do this is to create an ideal habitat for the worms to live in - something I’ll talk further down the page. If you are interested in a quick and dirty demonstration of how you can set up a worm composting system.

The container you use for your vermicomposting certainly doesn’t need to be an expensive, ‘fancy schmancy’ system. There are a wide variety of inexpensive options out there, and who knows - maybe you won’t even need to leave the house to find something functional.
You can use wood tray, 4’ x 2’ x 4’ in 3 layer or Rubbermaid (TM) plastic tubs (with lids) for my indoor bins. They are very inexpensive, lightweight, and retain moisture very well. For the most part I like to keep things simple by using just one basic bin - although there definitely are advantages to having drainage holes and a reservoir bin below.
Regardless of what sort of system you settle on, there are a few things to keep in mind during the selection process. For starters, your bin should be opaque (i.e. NOT ’see-through’). Worms are sensitive to light, thus a clear system may end up causing them unnecessary stress. I tried making an aquarium into a worm composting system once, and while it was pretty darn cool to be able to watch the decomposition process, I ended up feeling pretty badly for the worms. They were basically trapped in a poorly oxygenated system where they couldn’t even come to the surface or along the walls - except at night (when I would see masses of them along the glass).
Also, if you are going to use a plastic system I would suggest using something fairly soft - not the really hard plastic. The latter variety of tub seems to crack more easily, especially if located outdoors.
Bedding is essentially the main component of the ‘habitat’ in a worm bin. The distinction between bedding and worm ‘food’ is a little misleading however, since in actuality bedding is simply a longer term food source.
Bedding materials tend to be carbon rich and absorbent, so they are important for helping to maintain some balance in the bin.
Excellent bedding materials include shredded cardboard, shredded newsprint, peat moss (although not necessarily the most environmentally friendly), coconut coir, well-aged manure, mature compost, straw, and fall leaves. I personally prefer to use the bulkier bedding materials, such shredded cardboard, since they help to encourage airflow in the bin, but combining bulky materials with some of the more absorbent materials (like coir, or aged manure) can provide you with the ultimate worm habitat.
It should also be mentioned that less absorbent materials like leaves and straw, while certainly great additions to any worm composting system, are better used as secondary bedding materials since they simply won’t hold water nearly as well as some of the other bedding substrates mentioned above.
Aside from the large quantity of bedding added when you first set up a bin, it is also not a bad idea to add a small amount each time you add food scraps as well, since this will help absorb excess moisture and ensure that the C:N doesn’t get too low (which could result in the release of ammonia gas).
Worm Food (Organic Waste)
There are a wide variety of organic wastes that can be successfully processed via vermicomposting, but some materials are definitely better suited for a worm bin than others.
Great Choices
Fruit & Vegetable Waste
Coffee Grounds
Tea Bags
Egg shells (best if crushed)
Well-aged manure
In Moderation
Starchy Materials - Breads, Rice, Pasta, Mashed Potatoes
Citrus fruit and peels
Grass Clippings and plant waste (assuming no pesticides applied)
Hot peppers, onions
Oily or sugary foods

Not Recommended
Human and Pet Waste
Excessively oily foods
Keep in mind that these are simply basic guidelines, and there are many exceptions across the board. These lists apply primarily to vermicomposting newcomers who are setting up a small indoor worm bin. Using various specialized vermicomposting systems and with more vermicomposting experience, the range of “great choices” certainly expands.
It should also be said that moderation and balance are really the key to successful vermicomposting - i.e. Just because rotting lettuce is an excellent material to feed your worms, it doesn’t mean you can fill your bin completely with it and expect great results. You still need to balance the “browns” (carbon-rich) with the “greens” (nitrogen-rich) - the wet with the absorbent etc.
Preparing Your System For the Arrival of Worms.

You should be fairly familiar with my recommendations for setting up a new bin. I thought it might not be a bad idea to included written instructions here as well.As mentioned earlier, it is important to remember that we should be trying to create an ideal ‘habitat’ for our little wiggly friends, so that they remain as healthy (and thus as efficient) as possible. Many people recommend simply setting up a worm bin once your worms arrive - I don’t personally agree with this idea, since it basically means you are introducing your worms into a fairly sterile environment.
While we tend to think of worms as feeding directly on the waste materials that we add to the bin, more accurately, they are actually grazing on the microbial community that colonizes (and decomposes) these wastes. Of course, in the process they DO consume some decomposed waste as well, but most of their nutrition is derived from the microbes. As such, it really helps to introduce your new worms into a microbially-rich habitat. Lucky for us, creating such an environment is relatively easy.
My basic method for getting a worm bin ready involves mixing shredded cardboard (my favourite bedding material) with food waste in a volume ratio of approx. 4:3 (bedding to food) - you may want to be a little more cautious if you are just starting out, and simply add a higher proportion of bedding. This mixture is moistened (but not soaked) using a spray bottle, then closed in some sort of plastic container - it doesn’t even need to be your actual worm bin. If you are receiving your worms at the same time as your bin, simply mix up the materials in a tub or bucket then transfer to your bin once it arrives. It does help if this container has some sort of lid since this will help keep the moisture in.
I prefer to leave this mixture to sit for a good week or two (with occasional stirring and additional misting with water if necessary) since this allows for more decomposition to occur and a larger microbial community to develop, along with a better distribution of moisture in the materials.
This is also a great way to make ‘food’ for your bin once it is up and running. Simply line the bottom of a bucket with shredded cardboard and store your food scraps (mixed with more cardboard) in it for a period of time before adding them to your worm bin.

Earthworm Biology
Pest Management Research Center
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
By Alan D. Tomlin
"---the intestines of the soil" - Aristotle (about 330 B.C.)
"It is a marvelous reflection that the whole---expanse has passed, and will again pass, every few years through the bodies of worms. The plough is one of the most ancient and most valuable of man's inventions; but long before he existed the land was in fact regularly ploughed, and still continues to be thus ploughed, by earthworms. It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures." -Darwin (1881)
Obviously man has been generally aware of the existence of earthworms for a long time. This is not to suggest that man has an accurate, comprehensive knowledge of earthworms. Outside of 2 or 3 species of worms we know little and understand less of the biology of earthworms.
Nineteen species of earthworm are found "in the wild" in Ontario, only 2 of these species are native to North America. Three other species of worms, Eudrilus eugeniae (African night crawler, national night crawler), Amynthas sp. (Georgia jumper, grey night crawler) and Eisenia foetida (manure worm, red wiggler, tiger tail, brandling, also found "in the wild" in Ontario) have been introduced into Ontario for commercial scale culture. Occasionally another species, Aporrectodea trapezoides (garden worm, dug worm) is cultured commercially as a bait worm.
Another common species of worm in Ontario is Lumbricus terrestris (dew worm, Canadian night crawler). It was introduced from Europe to North America by settlers probably several times over the past 350 years. This worm is harvested from golf courses for example and sold as bait. The declared number of dew worms exported to the United States was about 500 million in 1978. This particular species of worm is highly prized as bait, and demand causes prices to fluctuate dramatically during the fishing season.
The Position of Earthworms in the Animal Kingdom

The major subdivisions of the animal kingdom are the phyla. Earthworms belong to the phylum Annelida; for example, insects, spiders, crayfish, crabs belong to the phylum Arthropoda; humans, frogs, birds and fish belong to the phylum Chordata. A phylum, then, can include many apparently different kinds of animals. The phylum Annelida is further divided into the Polychaeta (aquatic and marine worms) and the Oligochaeta (the earthworms). In Ontario all worms but one species fall into the family Lumbricidae, which means Ontario worms are fairly closely related.
The Structure of Earthworms

Earthworms are externally segmented (with corresponding internal segments) with no skeleton. They have a thin coloured cuticle bearing setae (bristles). They are designed as a "tube within a tube" - the digestive tract runs the length of the body from mouth to anus, with the organs of reproduction, water balance control, and nervous system control lying between the 2 tubes. Strong sets of muscles make up much of each of the inner and outer "tubes". A blood-like fluid fills the rest of the space between the two tubes
The Physiology of Earthworms
Different species of earthworms are adapted to different climates (temperature and moisture) and to different soil types (high organic carbon content) to mineral soils (very low carbon content). These adaptations are responsible for a wide range of physiological differences between earthworm species.
However, there are some general comments to be made:
1. Earthworms respire ("breathe") by absorbing oxygen through their body surface into the body and sending carbon dioxide out. The oxygen dissolves in the mucous on the body surface and then passes into the highly branched capillary blood vessels in the body wall where it is picked up by the respiratory pigment and transported to the internal organs.
2. Earthworms cannot maintain a steady body temperature like humans or dogs or cattle. This means their respiration rate rises with increasing temperature. Increasing respiration rates mean increased metabolic rates which means increased energy requirements which means increased feeding rates by worms or food must be "stolen" from reserves in the worms' own body tissues. The reverse is true for decreasing temperatures.
3. Earthworms may survive for considerable lengths of time in water if the dissolved oxygen level is high enough.
4. Blood circulates by flowing forward along the dorsal collecting vessel into pulsating hearts where it is pumped down to the ventral vessels where it is pumped forward to the head and backward to all parts of the body.
5. Earthworms derive their nutrition from organic matter in a wide variety of forms. So far plant matter (various forms, fresh-decayed), nematodes, rotifers, protozoan, bacteria, fungi and decomposing remains of other animals are known to be worm food.
6. Excretion of metabolic products (wastes of digestion, growth and death of cells) is accomplished through the nephridia (similar function to kidneys) and through the gut.
7. For the manure worm, Eisenia foetida, there is strong evidence that protozoan form the basis of their diet. If this is true, it means successful culture requires that protozoan populations be high in the "food medium" whether that "food medium" be shredded paper, manure or waste foods.
8. There is a large ventral nerve cord with an anterior enlargement in the head ("brain"). The nerve cord connects various sense organs in the body and controls muscle contraction and relaxation. Light sensitive structures have been identified in worm species. Earthworms are also very obviously capable of sensing differences in acidity, touch, relative humidity, foods (chemicals).
9. Same species are able to regenerate amputated segments of the body. Regeneration of tail segments occurs more readily than head segments. There does seem to be a limit to the number of segments that can be regenerated, but this number varies from species to species. No known worm species, if cut in half, will form 2 viable worms.
The Ecology of Earthworms
Earthworms live in the soil, but the species "mix" and the types of soil they inhabit vary widely.
First of all, there are only 2 native North American earthworm species found "in the wild" in Ontario, and both are relatively rare. The other 17 species found in Ontario were imported from Europe by settlers over the past few centuries. Therefore the natural Ontario earthworm population at the present time looks like European worm populations. The native North American earthworms were wiped out in Ontario (if they were ever here) by the ice sheets covering Canada until about 10,000 years ago. That is why earthworms in Ontario (and Canada) are not found far from human settlements (farms, towns, and cities).
Some worm species occupy their place in the soil by moving vertically in the soil (dew worm). Other species such as Aporrectodea (garden worms) occupy the top 5-10 cm of soil and move horizontally.
Other species such as the manure worm (Eisenia foetida) require soil with high carbon content (muck soils) or manures to survive.
The density (the number of worms per unit volume of soil) at which different worm species can survive (or increase) varies enormously. Dew worms seem to require a minimum of 100 cubic inches of soil/worm.
Manure worms and African night crawlers thrive at densities of 1-2 cubic inches/worm. This factor obviously plays an important part in determining whether it is economically possible to culture a particular worm species. It just doesn't make economic sense to culture the dew worm - it requires too much space (20 million worms would require a minimum sized room of 100' x 100' x 100' plus ventilation and access). All earthworm species require fairly moist environments (probably to meet their respiratory requirements). Worms cannot survive in very low or no oxygen (anaerobic) environments. Different species have different minimum oxygen requirements though. Most earthworms are very susceptible to toxic chemicals. This means most pesticides (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides) should be kept away from your worm cultures.
In addition, we have found even fertilizers can be toxic to dew worms. Similar caution should be applied to other worm species.
The Reproduction of Earthworms
Earthworms may reproduce biparentally (by exchanging genetic material with another worm of the same species only) or uniparentally (no sexual fertilization by another worm takes place). The method of reproduction is characteristic of the species (that is both methods of reproduction are not normally found in the same species - but relatively little is known about this). Where biparental reproduction occurs (dew worm and manure worm), both male and female organs occur in the same animal and are cross fertilized by the other worm (of the same species only) simultaneously. Both worms will then produce cocoons (capsules). In uniparental worms, some internal mechanism triggers production of an ovum, which is then released as a cocoon, which develops into a mature worm.
Normally each cocoon produces 1 or 2 worms (but as many as 11 in the manure worm). Depending on the species, it takes from 3 weeks to a year to reach reproductive maturity.
A word about "hybrid" worms. It is not technically feasible nor has it been demonstrated that it is possible to hybridize two different species of worms (such as the dew worm and the manure worm) to produce a "hybrid" worm. Any worm claimed to be a 'hybrid" which has been analyzed by an expert, has been proved to be a particular species of (not a "hybrid"). Three worm species are often touted as being "hybrids" - they are the manure worm (E. Foetida), the African night crawler (E. Eugeniae) and the grey night crawler (A. hawayanis). If you hear people talking about "hybrids", be immediately suspicious.
The Parasites and Predators of Earthworms
A. The Predators

Many species of birds (gulls following ploughs in field), moles, hedgehogs, foxes, toads and snakes are known to eat earthworms. Beetles, leeches, slugs and flatworms also feed on worms. Most of these are unlikely to be problem in earthworm cultures.

B. The Parasites

Bacteria, protozoa (single-celled animals), flatworms, nematodes (roundworms) and dipterous larvae are internal parasites of earthworms. The cluster fly (Pollenia rudis), often a nuisance pest in house attics, parasitizes worms of the species Eisenia rosea which is often a contaminating worm in manure worm cultures. I have had no reports, though, that this parasite has been a problem in manure worm cultures.
There are other fly species which can parasitize worms, but so far I have received no reports from commercial worm growers.
I have had occasional reports of mites (small spider-like animals) causing problems in worm beds. One, Histiostoma murchiei is reported to parasitize cocoons of A. chlorotica worms. Another, Uropoda agitans also attacks earthworm cocoons. Sometimes earthworm beds can become so badly infested with mites that the worms' food supply is endangered and the worm population declines.

What is Worm Composting

What Is Worm Composting?
In technical terms, worm composting involves the bioxidative degradation of organic wastes via the joint action of earth worms and microorganisms. Geeky definitions aside, worm composting is simply a form of aerobic composting that involves the use of specialized worms to help break down organic waste materials. It is also known as ‘vermicomposting’, and is closely related to ‘vermiculture’ and ‘worm farming’ - although those terms general imply a great focus on the growing of the worms themselves, rather than on the waste processing and compost production side of the equation.

How Is It Different From ‘Normal’ Composting?
Aside from the obvious difference of utilizing worms while regular composting does not, worm composting is also a cooler (mesophilic) type of composting. Not only is a hot composting stage not required, but it is actually something that needs to be avoided in order to keep the worms alive (although, if the system has enough room for the worms to spread out they should be able to move away from the hot zones).

Here are some other differences:

Worm composting…
Is a ‘continuous’ composting process - materials are generally added on an ongoing basis, unlike the ‘batch composting’ approach used for hot composting
Can be done on any scale - both indoors and outdoors
Results in incredible compost (vermicompost / worm castings) with unique plant growth promotion properties - at little goes a long way!
Doesn’t require any turning of material - the worms accomplish this themselves
Can handle more moisture (again, worm movement helps to keep things aerobic)

What Kind of Worms Can I use?

Many people assume that you can use any type of worm for worm composting. This is in fact not the case. Effective vermicomposting requires the use of specialized earthworms - species that are adapted for life in and amongst rich organic waste materials, and warmer, crowded conditions. Just as regular soil worms won’t do all that well in a worm composting system (although they certainly can be found in the lower reaches of outdoor systems), composting worms don’t generally do very well in normal garden soil, unless of course a considerable amount of organic waste has been added.
Species of Composting Worm
Undoubtedly the most common species of worm used for composting is Eisenia fetida - the ‘Red Wiggler’ worm, also known as Red Worms, Brandling Worms, Manure Worms, and Tiger Worms (among others). This worm can vary widely in terms of coloration and size, which helps to explain why there are so many common names. This also highlights the important of using scientific names!
This species is incredibly versatile - it has a temperature tolerance ranging from 0C (32F) to 35C (95F), is a prolific breeder, and will readily feed on a wide range of organic waste materials (more specifically, on the microorganisms inhabiting the material, but we’ll chat more about that further down).
Another species of worm used for worm composting (especially overseas), and one that is becoming much more popular here in North America, is Eisenia hortensis - the ‘European Nightcrawler’, also known as Belgian Nightcrawlers, ENCs, and Euros. This species is a larger relative of Eisenia fetida and has similar preferences and requirements.
Interestingly enough, this is a species that has been viewed by researchers as inferior to the Red Worm in a lot of ways. It reportedly has a much lower reproductive rate, is slow to mature, and is not as effective at converting wastes into vermicompost. Many worm farmers (and others who have raised them) tend to disagree however, saying they are just as good or better.
Based on my experience thus far with keeping this species I would tend to agree. I’ve found them to be a very tolerant and durable worm (more so that Reds in my opinion), active breeders, and quite effective when it comes to processing wastes. I’m hoping to test them head-to-head with Red Worms in the near future.
Aside from these two commonly used species, there are a handful of other worms used for vermicomposting as well. Generally, they are tropical worms and just don’t have the versatility (for a number of reasons) that the above-mentioned species do - especially not in cooler regions of the world. Just so you know, two commonly used tropical species are Eudrilus eugeniae (the African Nightcrawler) and Perionyx excavatus (the Malaysian Blue Worm).