There are about 36 species of earthworms and they are becoming more and more popular, both among anglers and gardening enthusiasts. However, it is usually the case that you just don’t have earthworms when you need them the most. So why not try breeding earthworms yourself? It’s really not as hard as you might think. However, there are a few little things you should know about earthworms. Earthworms are very light-shy creatures and therefore nocturnal. They love dark, moist soil and a warm temperature. They feel most comfortable at about 25 degrees. They also reproduce best at this temperature.
Which earthworms are particularly suitable for breeding?
First of all, you should ask yourself which earthworm you want to take. Of course, it depends on the use of the earthworms. If you only want to use the worms for fishing, you could take the dew worm. For gardening enthusiasts, the dendrobena is suitable. If you want both, you should also prefer the Dendrobena, because this worm is a super worm. Very active, resistant and relatively large. It aerates the soil well during its migration and does not lose its mobility even on the fishing hook in the water. So it is perfect for breeding earthworms.
What makes breeding earthworms relatively easy is the fact that earthworms are hermaphrodites. So they have both sexual characteristics and you don’t need to pay attention to what is male or female.
What do you need if you want to breed earthworms?
First of all, you need the earthworms. You can get them on the internet or in pet stores. The earthworms are offered live or as earthworm cocoons. The cocoons are the eggs of the earthworms, although this is not quite correct. The cocoons have only the shape of an egg. They contain about 1-7 small earthworms, which hatch after about 100 days, if the conditions are right. The cocoons have a special property. They adapt to the environment, preparing the little worms for their new habitat.
What is the next step in breeding earthworms?
Once the question of which earthworm to breed is settled, you should think about where to house the worms. Ideally, a worm box is suitable for this. This box is a container made of untreated wood or plastic and closed all around. It is important that the box has only very small air holes, because the small worms are only a few mm in size at the beginning.
Now the box is filled with untreated soil. The soil is mixed with damp, shredded cardboard. Also used coffee filters with coffee powder are very gladly accepted by the earthworms. This substrate made in this way must always be kept moist but not too wet. The worm box should be placed in a dark warm room.
These were just a few steps on the way to breeding earthworms.
How to breed earthworms?
You need some patience if you want to breed earthworms.
The worms or worm cocoons are now placed in the well-prepared substrate and now you have to wait. After about 4 weeks the first successes should show. Of course, the worms have to be fed regularly, so it is a good idea to use the worm bin as a worm composter at the same time. You can offer the worms small amounts of kitchen waste. They love many vegetables and fruits, coffee grounds, tea bags, crushed eggshells, damp packing paper and cardboard.
They do not like lemons, oranges, onions, garlic, meat and fish.
After a few months, when the resulting worm farm is full, you can take out the worm humus and spread it as fertilizer in the garden.
It is also important to check the temperature regularly, because earthworms only multiply at about 25 degrees.
Once the small worms have crawled out of their cocoons, they themselves are fully developed and multiply in a period of 100 -150 days. You should now make sure that the number of earthworms is not too large, because they need some space to feel comfortable. If you want, you can build a second worm farm, or you put the excess earthworms in your own garden.
What mistakes can creep in when breeding earthworms?
The biggest mistakes when breeding earthworms are the wrong temperature, a substrate that is too moist or a location that is too bright. However, these are minor things that can be avoided very easily.
If you are an avid angler, or have a garden that you want to do something good for, then you know how important earthworms are and how hard it is to catch them in some cases and how expensive they are when you have to buy them. So why not give it a try and breed earthworms yourself? It’s really easy and even fun when you see the success.