Earthworms are at work day and night without complaint. They increase soil fertility and help you, the farmer, save on production costs.
It’s not only gardeners who need earthworms. Farmers need them just as much, maybe more. Earthworms are like mini-factories and produce compost and vermi-tea, natural fertilisers that also act against pests and diseases.
The capital cost of a worm factory is really in buying the worm bin. After that all the farmer has to do is feed the worms. Earthworms will more or less eat anything that was once alive. Fruit peelings, vegetable scraps, paper products, soaked cardboard, egg shells and open tea bags all provide fuel for the earthworm factory. However, don’t feed them onions, chilli, meat scraps or dairy products.
Vermiculture (worm farming) is getting more popular as the awareness of earthworm benefits grows. Some hotels have earthworm factories to process their kitchen waste. After the earthworms have done their bit, the worm compost goes onto the flower, herb and vegetable gardens of the hotel.
Earthworms on duty 24 hours a day
Worm compost enriches the soil and improves soil structure and fertility. It is alive with beneficial bacteria and fungi and contains about 40% more humus than is normally found in the top 1,5cm of the soil.
If you want to capture the organic market, using earthworm compost and vermi-tea is a safe. It is also an acceptably, organic way to fertilise the field. Vermi-tea is full of ‘good’ organisms that boost the microbe population in the soil. Worm compost will never burn a crop because it has a neutral pH. It can therefore be applied to the roots or directly to the leaves as a pest and disease repellent.
When the leaf surface is covered in beneficial bacteria, there is no space for pests and diseases to settle on the crop.