Earthworms are great for the composting process. Earthworms will greatly expedite the process of decomposition in a composting system. By consuming the waste, earthworms begin the breakdown process. By traveling through the bin, worms aerate the material. Nutrients and enzymes from the earthworms’ digestive tracts enriches the end-result compost. They’re a great addition!
Worms process soil through their digestive system and produce castings (worm poo) which is highly nutritious amendment for soil. They also eat and digest a lot of what is left over after bacteria, fungi and molds do their bit on food/garden waste.
However, composting is the process of facilitating the decomposition of food/garden wastes. It is accomplished through a judicious mixture of carbon materials (brown stuff) and nitrogenous materials (mostly green stuff). In the correct proportions this will produce heat (abt 160F) and this combo of bacteria, etal, and temperature greatly increases the rate of the breakdown of waste matter into useable compost. Worms do not enter into the picture when the temperatures are that high, or even close. But they do enter the picture when temperatures drop.
So there is a difference between a ‘true’ hot compost and one in which worms are doing the majority of the work – cold compost or worm compost. That pretty much how I think of it. Willing to be corrected.
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