Oxygen Food Moisture
Oxygen or air flowing through a worm farm sets up an aerobic environment to support food waste breaking down. Even when a ‘flow through’ worm farm is full to capacity air is drawn through by the action of decomposing material. This action or microorganism activity causes heat within the upper layer and the difference in pressure pulls the air in.
Food – In nature compost worms consume dead organic waste on the surface of the ground under the cover and protection from UV light. It is easy to replicate these conditions by covering your food waste with materials such as cardboard, newspaper etc. Light affects their nervous system and an uncovered worm farm delays the consumption of food.
Moisture – Worms depend on moisture to carry sperm across their outer skin to the opposing worms female sex organ. They can loose up to 60% of urine daily and oddly enough obtain oxygen from water.
Compost worms thrive in a temperature range of 60 to 80 degrees farenheight or 16 to 26C. An ideal range is closer to the warmer side. Hard wired propagating mats can achieve a regulated heat however a cheaper alternative is to introduce fresh mowed grass clippings or fresh animal manures. Note: Fresh grass/manures become very hot quickly and by placing a mini windrow rather than covering the whole surface will enable the worms to migrate too the warmth or retreat from it if necessary.
In natural habitat, composting worms don’t live in coir fibre or peat that is void of micro nutrients, they don’t live in plastic containers nor do they defy gravity to leap up to another medium. They thrive in Compost which is rich in micronutrients populated by infanant numbers of bacteria, micorizal funghi, nematodes, protozoa, actinomycetes, beetle mites, roundworms, centipedes to name a few which all play a part in turning organic material into a food source.
This oxygen or ‘aerobic’ element is a feature of the wormz farm, it occurs naturally as a ‘flow through’ system’ and functions to supply a constant source of air vital to a healthy biology of composting worms.