Which Worm is Best for You: Composting Needs and Preferences


Many different worms can be used for composting. Like the European Nightcrawler, some worms work great in a moist environment and are perfect for zones with lower temperatures.

At the same time, other species such as Red Wigglers or African Nightcrawler may better suit your needs if you live in an area that has hot and dry summers. The decision of which worm to use is not one made lightly. This blog post by Simple Grow will help you decide which type of worm best suits your needs!

Red Worms

Red worms, also known as red wigglers, are best suited for moist environments and are the most common worm used in composting. They can live at temperatures up to 95 degrees, making them a perfect choice if you live in an area that doesn't get below 60 degrees during the winter months or have hot summers. 

For another related read, find out if worms can help soil that has no nutrients!

European Nightcrawlers

These worms, also known as "dessert crawlers," prefer cooler weather with temps between 45 - 55 degrees, but they aren't picky about their moisture levels; almost all species of nightcrawler like moist conditions! These worms will reproduce much quicker than other types giving you more castings per batch which is good news if you need lots of fresh fertilizer quickly!

African Night Crawler:

If your garden flourishes in the summer months with dry, warm climates, this worm is your best bet. This worm thrives at temperatures between 75 - 85 degrees and needs a little less moisture than European Nightcrawlers.

Asian Tiger Worms:

These worms have adapted to live in acidic soils, making them perfect for those who garden on clay soil! They also thrive at temperatures up to 95 degrees which are great if you don't want to heat your house during the winter by composting indoors, but they prefer moist conditions over drier ones, so plan accordingly!

Australian Red Wrinkled Worms:

This species prefers wetter environments (moisture levels that stay around 50%) and doesn't do well with dry conditions.

European Nightcrawlers:

They are the perfect worm for gardeners with clay soil and live in areas where temperatures range from 60 - 70 degrees year-round. However, these worms also need a high level of moisture, which is hard to come by during the winter months, so they might not be your best choice if you live in an area with cold winters.

Indian Blue Worms:

This species prefers warmer climates than other European varieties because it can't handle the cooler weather as well but doesn't require nearly as much water or sunlight either! They go dormant when the temperature gets below 55 degrees, making them great for those living in colder zones that don't see warm spells often enough. Compared to European Nightcrawlers, if you live in a warmer climate, they might be better off. 

What Are Black Soldier Flies?

If you've ever seen a fly buzzing around garbage on the side of the road, then you know what black soldier flies are. They feed off decaying matter and produce eggs that hatch into larvae that feed on dead organic matter.

Black Soldier Flies:

This species is known for its ability to breed in just about any environment; it can even do so at temperatures as low as 55 degrees! This makes them perfect for people living in cooler climates who don't have access to composting or other food waste methods into valuable fertilizer. However, this insect loves cold weather environments more than European Nightcrawlers.

The downside? If they get indoors (which happens often), your house will be infested with thousands of these bugs. They're also not very attractive insects because they have been known to lay their eggs in the nose and eye sockets of dead animals, but, on that same note, it's an excellent biological control for rats!

How To Keep Black Soldier Flies Away From Your Compost?

Start by filling the bottom of your compost pile with layers of centimeter thick cardboard. Black soldier flies like to lay their eggs on anything moist and dark, so this will help deter them from coming into contact with the top layer, where they would find sustenance if not for this simple barrier!

In addition, you can try using a bucket or container over your composter that has a lid. This helps keep out any nosy flying insects and prevents smells from escaping when it's in use because black soldier fly larvae are attracted to odors too!

Lastly, make sure that there is no standing water around your home because these bugs also love wet areas. You may want to turn off all outside showers and sprinklers while you are composting.

Which Worms Are Best For Your Needs?

More than likely, the red wiggler can handle your worm compost needs. This is a very versatile and hearty worm that does well in a lot of different situations.

Which Worm Castings Are Best?

A widespread preference is European nightcrawler castings because they are high in B12, which plants need and absorb well. This type of worm also helps to aerate the soil, keeping it healthy for your garden or landscaping needs!

However, if you prefer something that isn't too expensive, then African Night Crawlers would be a great option. They aren't as nutritious but will still do an excellent job at composting food scraps into nutrient-rich matter and benefits plant growth just the same - especially since they're cheaper than other types of worms such as black soldier fly larvae.

What Type of Worm Castings Are Best For Different Types Of Plants?

Different types of plants require other worm castings - which is best for them?

If you own a house with an herb garden, then African nightcrawler composting worms would be a perfect choice. They'll help to aerate your soil and keep it healthy!

What about if you have fruit trees in your backyard? If that's the case, black soldier fly larvae are what you need because they will produce more significant amounts of the rich potting mix and earthworm casts that provide ample nutrients for tree root systems.

However, suppose all you're concerned about is getting rid of kitchen scraps without any intentions of using the resulting nutrient-rich dirt or growing food crops such as tomatoes. In that case, Argentine red wiggler composting worms are the best option for you. They'll create high-quality compost, which is excellent to use in your garden or any other flower beds.

Don't forget that it's essential for all of us to have worms as pets because they play such a necessary part in keeping our world alive!


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