Many different products are called worm castings, but that doesn't mean all of them are the same. Depending on the process used to create them, the purity and potency can vary. What exactly is it that makes one type of worm casting better than another?
One of the most important factors in the quality of the casting is the type of worm that was used to create it. What's that? You thought a worm was just a worm? Well...not exactly.
Red wiggler worms
While most worms are similar, there are some key differences between them when it comes to the castings that they are used to produce. Red wiggler worms are often used to create compost. This is also referred to as vermicompost.
The drawback to this method of production is the worms often consume a lot of junk. They may be eating table scraps, trash, yard waste with pesticides on it, and anything else you can imagine.
Producers using this method often pay little attention to what they're feeding their worms. In nature, red wigglers find food on the surface of the ground and help decompose organic material. This makes them an ideal worm for composting bins, as they feed on kitchen scraps out in the open. But not the best for castings...
Nightcrawler Earthworms come in a few different varieties and prefer to live in the soil. They burrow down into the ground and prefer to eat organic matter that is found in the soil (not on top).
When producing castings with earthworms, a food source is often mixed into a bedding comprised of rich, dark soil. The earthworms move around throughout the soil, consuming the food within and leaving behind pure earthworm castings.
For most uses, earthworm castings are preferable to compost produced by red wiggler worms, or Eisenia Fetida, because of the manner in which they consume food and the habitat in which they live.
At Simple Grow, we actually use a special variety of African Nightcrawler, as they have proven to produce the highest quality casting.
Yes, worm type does matter...