3 Ways to speed up compost worm breeding
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Do you want to start a worm farm and need to speed up how fast your compost worms are breeding? This is the post for you! Get ready to turn on the Barry White and light some candles; these tips will encourage your worms to reproduce.
Let’s turn your apartment compost bin into a home without further ado.
How do worms reproduce?
First, let’s discuss how red worms reproduce. They slither up next to one another, exchange essential fluids, and produce an egg-like cocoon.
It takes 3 to 6 weeks for the cacoon to mature and the worms to hatch. A single cocoon can birth up to 6 worms. Those six worms will reach maturity in another 60 days.
So- now that you know how worms reproduce and have a bit of a timeline, you can expect. Let’s talk about some factors that can improve your results.
Foods worms prefer
First, worms like certain kinds of food, and many breeders have found success feeding their worms bananas. To prep the banana, they mash up the banana in the peel. This method works best with overripe, black bananas.
After you’ve mashed the bananas in their skin, cut a slit along the long way down the banana. Dig a small trench for the banana in your worm bin. Place a handful of dry bedding in the channel and place the cut-open liquified banana. Cover with more dry bedding.
I want to say it clearly: DO NOT ADD A BUNCH OF YOUR BANANS TO YOUR BIN ALL ONCE. If you at a bunch of bananas, you will attract a lot of bugs you do not want in your worm bin.
Instead, monitor the banana as it decomposes. Your worms will quickly slurp up the mushy sweet interior. The banana skin makes a convenient home for hundreds or thousands of worms.
The banana peel shelter gives them plenty of opportunities to slither into a worm they like and produce a cocoon. Next time you have an overripe banana, smush it up and add it to your bin to speed up your worm breeding.
Temperature Worms Prefer
For many people worldwide, the temperature shifts between various temperatures. Vermicomposters exist in Alaska, India, and down to Argentina.
Eisenia fetida can tolerate temperatures from 0-95 °F but prefer 75°F. You may need to find a colder location, like a basement in the summer. You may need to bring the worms into a warmer area in the winter. By maintaining a consistent temperature of around 75°F, worms want to pool together.
Maintaining a consistent 75 degrees means they will likely mate more often, and the worms will hatch as quickly as possible. You will soon speed up your worm breeding as cocoons release those six worms faster than ever. The optimum temperature will make those babies more than ever and produce their eggs.
Bedding Worms Like
The final way to speed up worm breeding is through the maintenance of bedding and housing. First, you want to ensure your bedding is moist but not wet. The consistency that compost worms prefer is that of a well-wrung-out sponge. As food decomposes, you must add dry bedding to absorb any liquids.
The second tip is to use avocado shells to create tiny homes in your worm bin. After you cut your avocado in half, and scoop out the contents for your guacamole, save the shell. I like to dig half an inch in the bin and place the shell on top. I put 3 or 4 shells in my small containers at a time. When I open the bin, it looks like a bit of turtle village.
Within a week, you will notice worms gathering under the shells. The avocado shell keeps the space underneath humid and moist. As you’ve guessed from earlier points in this post – when worms pool together, they will produce more cocoons.
Speed Up Worm Breeding Summary
Now that you know how to speed up worm breeding for your worm farm, you will compost more and produce nutrient-rich castings faster than ever. Take your time introducing each change to your bin. Too many changes all at once could have the opposite effect. See how your worms react over a week, and then try another change.
A slow and steady approach is more sustainable and will lead to better results in the long run.
What strategies have you used to improve your worm population?
Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!
Here are some more articles you may enjoy