The Difference between Compost Worms and Earthworms

What is the Difference between Compost Worms and Earthworms?

I was recently asked whether the compost worms in your compost bin are the same as earthworms.

The Difference between Compost Worms and Earthworms

Earthworm

The person in question had just started a garden, and the soil in the area was very poor. This meant that it was totally lacking organic matter or any earthworms. As a result, they were planning on buying some compost worms to add to the soil.

Luckily they asked whether compost worms could be added to their garden, as they would have spent quite a bit of money to no effect.

There are nearly 3,000 different types of earthworms. Worms can range in size from microscopic to several metres in lenth.

AllĀ  worms like to live where there is a good supply of food, moisture, oxygen and a favorable temperature.

The Difference between Compost Worms and Earthworms

Compost worms

The main difference between garden worms and compost worms is that compost worms like living near the surface. This means they will eat all the new material, including the kitchen scraps that you add to the compost bin.

Garden worms on the other hand like to burrow away from the surface. This means that they are not so good at eating all the new foods that you want to add to your compost bin each day.

For this reason, the worms that you want in your compost bin are a very specific type of earthworm.

The most common worms used in your compost are tiger or red wiggler worms. These are generally quite small in size, growing to about 4 cm long and very thin.

Compost worms love most foods. They can be a bit fussy about too much citrus or onion skins, but this is mostly because these foods can change the acidity of the compost.

In contrast to their size, you would not believe how much they eat!

They can eat their own weight in foodscraps every day!

Want to know more? This and many other questions are covered in my new book, 77 Gardening Questions Answered coming soon.

Happy gardening

Rohanne, Your Personal Garden Expert

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