Earthworm raising is one of the biggest farming practises today. These earthworms are practically raised for two purposes. In simple words these purposes can be classified as either for fishing baits (Vermiculture) or for soil fertilization (Vermicomposting). Earthworm raising has assumed greater importance today and the techniques of earthworm raising have also improved. However, here is a layman’s guide to earthworm raising.
The ideal conditions
The first step in this direction is to locate a suitable place for earthworm raising purpose. A medium or small sized box can be the best match abode for the purpose. The ideal dimensions of the box used are 1 feet height, 2 feet depth and approximately 3 feet width. Several people make a customized box for the purpose. You just need to ensure that it is suitable for the raising. You must also leave the inner portion of the box unpainted. This will help you to ensure that the box can accommodate more worms if needed. A suitable box temperature for the purpose is about 40-80 degree Fahrenheit. Earthworms do not survive in low temperatures nor do they live at high temperatures. The drainage box also has around 10 holes for drainage purposes. This box or bin where the earthworms are raised is usually placed in a dark room, preferable the garage or the underground store. The inside of the box has a bedding material that is used for the earthworms. This is usually a newspaper or a cloth. Some also use cardboard for the purpose. Coloured papers are not recommended as they contain toxic substances. The regular white and black shaded newspapers are however acceptable. The box must also contain a gallon of soil and about 3-5 gallons of water to make the bedding moist. This is usually done 2-3 days prior to the addition of the worms in the box.
You may also need to make a decision regarding the earthworms you wish to raise; the red worm or the Nightcrawlers. This is decided on the basis of purpose; vermiculture or Vermicomposting! The earthworms need to be bought from a reliable dealer.
Food for earthworms
Inside the damp box the farmer needs to keep a pile of leaves, grass, kitchen and dining waste, manure and other material as food for the earthworms. An ideal way of doing this can be to place the food in a separate area of a greater height in the tub for the earthworm to come up and consume the food. This will ensure that the dirt will remain at the lower end of the tub. This is done weekly, monthly or fortnightly. After the food the water table must be checked so that there is no dearth or surplus. Using the procedure on a routinely basis the earthworms are kept in these conditions for a specific period of time after which the farmer utilizes their services for his farm or the fishing bait purposes.