Cathy's Crawly Composters, Vermicomposting, Indoor composting with Red Wiggler Worms

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Cathy's Crawly Composters

Micro Gallery

A visual study of the microbiology in your vermicomposter.

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The Microbiology of Vermicomposting

Most people find their worm bins endlessly fascinating. But have you ever looked deep into your bin to see what's in there? I mean really deep.

We took a variety of close-ups of a typical active worm bin, and you know what ... it was really cool! So then we thought, what if we got a microscope to see what is really in there. The following pictures and video clips are the result of what we found.

Be sure to come back often as we will keep adding new images and vid's as we continue to explore the microbiology of the vermicomposter.

Red Wiggler Worms

Red Wiggler Worms are the main decomposers in your worm bin. They do the heavy consuming eating up to half their weight in organic food scraps every day (and this doesn't even include the bedding they also consume).


Casting Call

Red Wiggler worm produces a casting.

(Click on pictures to enlarge.)

While videoing this small worm I was trying to determine if I was looking at the head or tail. It soon became evident.

A Squirm of worms

Worms are Segmented creatures. Their bodies are made up of a number of rings or segments.

Red Wigglers are sometimes called Striped or Tiger Worms.

 

Worm Eggs

A series of close looks at worm eggs (or cocoons). The eggs are translucent, so you can see the worms moving inside the egg.

There can be up to 20 worms per egg, but the average is 5 or 6. Worms are Hermaphrodites. That means that each worm has both female and male sex organs. When they mate both worms will go away pregnant and each will produce an egg.

Springtails

While looking thorough you worm bin have you noticed a bunch of little white specs? These fascinating creatures are called Springtails (Collembola) and yes, some species do have "spring tails". You can make them jump by simply bringing your finger close.


There are many different types of Springtails. Most species have an spring-like appendage folded beneath the body called the furcula. Springtails use the furcula to spring away from any threat.

Springtails (40x magnification)

Springtail Eggs

 

Springtails clean out a worm egg. Looking down into a worm egg as springtails clean out what's left in the shell.

 

Potworms (or Enchytraeids)

Potworms are small white worms that live in environments that contain a high percentage of organic material (such as worm bins). They prefer acidic soil and can survive in a wide temperature range. Potworms can tolerate a maximum temperature of 36° C. and have also been found living in snow at 5,200 feet above sea level (Florida Dept. of Agriculture). Potworms help mix organics into soil and bedding and live in harmony with worms, springtails and other critters in your bin.

Potworms
(40x magnification)

 

(Click on pictures to enlarge.)

Stay tuned
More Pictures to follow ...


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Cathy's Crawly Composters

Bradford, Ontario
Local: (905) 775-9495
Toll Free: 1-888-775-9495
email: cathy@cathyscomposters.com