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How to Raise Nightcrawlers

Updated on October 21, 2013
Red Worms
Red Worms | Source


Simple instruction for beginners who are interested in raising night crawlers or red wiggler worms. Learn to make your first worm farm.

How to Make Your First Worm Farm

I was just a child when I made my first worm farm. My next store neighbor he was retired and he did a lot of fishing. I met him while he was working in the yard.

I asked him a million questions from that day on, every time I saw him doing something in the yard. I would help him fix things so one day he was fixing the roof on his shed. I noticed a Styrofoam cooler next to the shed.

I asked what was in the cooler? Fishing worms he said. I asked him if I could see his worms so he open the lid to the cooler than lifted the wet newspaper and there they where it seemed like thousands of red worms.

I asked what do you feed them he said cornmeal. He asked me if I wanted some worms. I said sure he opened up the shed and handed me a small Styrofoam cooler and told me to fill the cooler up with soil from under the tree.

He gave me some wet newspaper. He grabbed a handful of red worms and gently put them under the wet newspaper. He set me up with some cornmeal. He told me to feed my worms every other day.

He said soak an inch thick of newspaper in water every other week, and put the newspaper over the old newspaper.

How I Raise Worms for Gardening and Profit

I live close to Lake Okeechobee and I live on the deepest canal so I sell my red wigglers and night crawlers from my dock. I use the casting for my plants.

I use a large Styrofoam cooler and wire mesh.

Cut the wire mesh so it fits in the cooler. Stand wire mesh up-right then place in the center of the cooler. This is to make composting easier and changing your worm soil easier. This method you will not lose baby worms.

Add about 4 inches of soil in the cooler.

You can use peat moss or newspaper but I found newspaper is a lot easier to manage and soak then peat moss. You will also be recycling if you use newspaper.

Soak the newspaper with water. Your newspaper should be close to an inch thick.

Gently place your worms in the soil on one side of the mess.

Gently place your wet newspaper over the worms. Do not feed worms until the next day. Let your worms barrow threw the soil. (Note place an inch thick newspaper on "both" sides of the mesh) this will keep moisture throughout your large Styrofoam cooler.

Feed worms only on one side of the mesh not on both sides. The reason being is when it comes time to compost and change the soil it will be easier.

If you have lots of adult worms you can give them vegetable scraps. Letus,tomatoes,egg shells,coffee grounds ect...

If you have small worm stick to corn meal.

Only feed your worms after they have consumed all their food.

Changing Bedding Removing Castings

If you don't know what worm castings are its worm poop. I can't really say how often you should harvest your castings and add fresh soil because it depend on the amount of red worms or night crawlers you have and how much castings they are producing.

The sure way to tell is if the soil is not loose and the soil is getting clumpy. When your soil is no longer looses but clumpy you should start feeding your worms on the other side of the mesh.

Your worms within a few weeks will migrate to the other side of the cooler.

After your worms have migrated. Remove the casting and add fresh soil. Start feeding your worms in the fresh soil on the other side. Then add your wet newspaper.

Keep alternating sides back and forth repeating the steps.

You will have a happy thriving worm farm that you can be proud of in no time.



How to Make Your Own Worm Compost System

If you are serious about raising worms for fishing or any other reason this is a great article. There are great photo illustrations plus a video with instructions

Do-it-Yourself Plastic Barrel Tumbling Composter
Very easy project! Step by step instructions with great photo illustrations to how you can make your own barrel tumbling composter. You could add your worms to your composter to get dark soil full of nutrition for all your planting needs.


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    • tamron profile image

      tamron 5 years ago

      I know the worms seem to come up to the surface right when the scraps start to rot. I really didn't know the reason. Thanks for that info. I can't drawl but as soon as I can get a camera I will show step by step how to raise your worms and about how long each step takes.

    • profile image

      Casimiro 5 years ago

      Great idea Tamron! I was raising red worms here for a while, but I neglected the box after some time and they moved on. We have a local organic farmer who sells them by the kilo so I can start again. Did you know that the worms don't actually eat the veggie scraps on top (you don't have to mix it in). They actually slurp up the slime that is caused by the bacteria breaking down the veggies. Maybe some time you could add a drawing to this hub to show how the box is organized?