New to worms? Most of us are! We can’t all be like Darwin. Here’s a little worm 101 to get you ready for welcoming your worms home. Or to help you out with that science project ;)
Compost worms vs. earthworms
There are lots of very interesting scientific articles on this topic, but to speed things up we’re going to simplify it: Compost worms are pretty similar to earthworms, they just have much larger appetites and eat a wider range of materials (like your food scraps).
And lucky they do! Their hungry little bellies are the reason Subpod is so good at breaking down food waste. We recommend either of these species for your Subpod:
- Tiger/Red Wriggler Worms (Eisenia fetida)
- Indian Blue Worms (Perionyx excqvatus)
When to order your worms
The best time to order worms is immediately after your Subpod arrives. Looking after compost worms without a Subpod to put them in can be tricky, so it’s always better to have a pre-assembled and installed system to pop your worms straight into once they arrive.
If you know with complete certainty you’ll install your system the moment it arrives, you can order your worms once your Subpod is its' the way… At your own risk!
What to do if your worms arrive early
Oops! Sorry, we tried to warn you. Here's what to do:
- Find a container, like a small bucket, to transfer your worms into. This container will need a lid to protect the worms from insects and light, but it also has to allow air in. You might need to pull out a trusty drill and punch some holes!
- Place some dampened (soaked in water + rung out) coconut coir into the container to act as bedding for your worms.
- Pop your worms on top of the bedding (along with everything that came in their container) and place a damp worm blanket over top. Once that’s done, store the worms in a dark, room-temperature area of your house or garage.
This is a temporary solution that should only be used for a few days to a week at most. We really recommend buying your worms after your Subpod arrives.
Worms lay eggs
Yep, compost worms lay eggs (don’t think too much about it). If you buy your worms online, you’re likely to get a mixture of live mature worms and unhatched eggs. If you’ve got live worms in the mix, you won’t have to worry too much about hatching the eggs yourself, you can just add the whole bunch into the Subpod once it’s set up.
If you choose to buy only eggs, your composting journey will be a bit slower. Hatching worm eggs can take up to 2 - 3 months, so it might be a long time before you’re really able to feed your Subpod. If you’re keen to get composting ASAP, we don't recommend buying only eggs.
Hatching compost worm eggs
Compost worm eggs usually have 2-5 baby worms inside, and will generally hatch within 6 - 8 weeks. But worm eggs can be a fickle, so if the weather is too hot or cold, you might end up waiting longer than that.
To hatch your eggs, place them into your Subpod with some damp coco coir bedding, and add in enough food scraps mixed with carbon (like paper) to cover them. Keep checking on your eggs every few days, and make sure your Subpod stays moist inside. Eventually, they’ll hatch and you can start composting!
Got any questions? Contact the team at [email protected] and we’ll be able to give you all the wormy info you require.
Put your worm knowledge to use!
Check out our easy to use vermicompost systems.