Houzz Logo Print

Vermicompost animal types...

17 years ago

Interested in vermicompost as an alternative to traditional compost because of the less likely potential of introducing weeds (I think anyway) among other benefits into my raised bed gardens. Ultimately I hope to produce my own, but for the time being will need to purchase large quantities of the stuff.

1. Was wondering if anyone knew of the detrimental effects of killing off the pathogens (through heat?) of the initial food source to be utilized by the worms. In other words, there is a particular company that sterilizes cow manure BEFORE it is fed to the worms to kill off any potential pathogens. Then the process goes on as usual. I would imagine that this is pretty typical with mass producers but don't know for certain. Wonder if it's defeating the purpose of the microbrial activity and value of the vermicompost in general? Anyone know if ALL commercially available composts are sterilized or if the heat that the traditional forms of composting generates is enough to satisfy agencies that might be concerned about pathogens?

2. Anyone have any knowledge as to the different types of vermicompost available and which types are of what variety animal. In other words, earth worms can compost a variety of different materials.... Plants, Horse, Chicken, Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Rabbit manures etc. I was wondering if all processing types being equal if any particular variety would be better than another one.

3. Any particular bulk manufacturers that you would recommend?

4. My raised beds follow VERY loosely the Square foot gardening method as far as materials go, and I plan on using roughly 1/3rd Peat, 1/3rd Coarse Vermiculite, and 1/3rd compost and was hoping to be able to use just the vermicompost for the compost part. Will this be cost prohibitive compared to regular compost (which is already cost prohibitive).

5. What about eliminating the Peat or the vermiculite and replacing with vermicompost?

6.Eventually, I plan on producing my own vermicompost, but probably not this year. Towards that goal, I'm trying to determine animal types to raise, for the primary benefit of vermicompost. Considering raising bantams and or rabbits (although wife already informed me that she will NOT eat any rabbits so I'm kind of scratching my head on whether or not it's worth it to have them as pets). Trying to get a handle on how many "animals" I need to produce x amount of vermicompost and how long it takes to create the compost once I load the raw materials in assuming the worm to material ratio is correct. In other words, will it be as fast or faster than traditional composting?

7. If I use my own animal produced manure to create vermicompost, do I need to concern myself with pathogens? Any particular "variety" of animal and/or animal habitat/cage/manure collection system that would eliminate pathogen concerns?

8. Zone 8 temps in winter I assume can be a problem for the worms. How would I get around that without having exhorbitant electrica bills. Note that ultimately this operation will not be able to fit in my garage, so want to think long term.

9. Lets say I raise my own animals for the purposes of a small family farm. I need to choose between traditional composting and vermicomposting. Why would I chose one over the other?

Can anyone help me with this?


Comments (11)

Moda Kitchen and Bath
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars20 Reviews
Loudoun County's Custom Kitchen & Bath Designs for Everyday Living