Composting and Worm Composting

Composting and Worm Composting

  • Wormeries and Kits
    Wormeries and other composting kits
  • Worms and Supplies
    Composting worms, bedding materials and supplies

At Worms Direct, we understand how to produce the best worm compost. We have developed a range of products for you to buy that include all the components required to create a quality compost bin to help your vermi-composting succeed.

Anyone who has owned a compost bin/wormery will recognise the immediate benefits. The composting procedure returns goodness to the soil providing us with a rich supply of organic matter to use on our gardens and allotments. Traditionally the tried and tested method of inducing aerobic decomposition of piled organic material has been the widest employed method, be it in a heap or in a composting bin. This method has certain drawbacks because rarely does the material compost equally throughout the pile. Even when turned, it may take a long time to compost due to adverse weather conditions or lack of balanced ingredients. It can attract vermin and flies, it can have an offensive smell and the result can be difficult and unpleasant to handle with little or no nutrient content.

History shows us that our predecessors used worms to assist in the composting of organic matter, but had little understanding of why they were so effective. Studies across the globe show that there are far more benefits to using worms in the process of recycling organic matter, not only at the domestic level but also in large-scale agricultural and industrial situations, than at first appreciated.

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Thought you might like to read about this prior to us launching it.

This product has been around for millions of years! it has been contributing to the healthy, natural growth of all plants, having gone through a chemical age humans are now looking at and understanding its benefits, so what is it?
FRASS, it is simply the poo from insects, we all know the benefits from other animal manures but Frass is much more involved than simple manures, most animals further up the chain have the luxury of eating relatively large amounts of food, this can be very low in nutrients requiring the animal to eat large amounts, to get any benefit, the animals tend to retain their food over quite long periods, even resting to ensure they get the most from it, whilst doing this they are not eating any more, this means that the resulting manures are really bulked out with a high proportion of low nutrient material, insects, particularly at the larval stage do not have the time to do this, as larvae their sole aim is to pupate (as pupae they do not eat) and morph into the final creature such as Butterfly, Moth or beetle. Most larvae are non stop eating machines, if you have ever watched a caterpillar you will know exactly how voracious their appetite is, in one end and out the other, almost non stop! the benefit to us humans is that the material and all its nutrients are not in the larvae gut for long, some of this nutrient is extracted for the larvae to grow, a lot is passed out in the Frass, so we now have a “manure” that is better than most, tests carried out by other organisations show an NPK ratio 2:2:2 as with other animal manures it will also be teeming with beneficial micro-organisms, however, there is one very unusual characteristic, Frass that is produced by beetle larvae, will contain high levels of Chitin, when this is deposited in the soil around plant roots it will trigger the plant to deploy defence mechanisms against what it suspects is an attacking beetle or other bug, in other words, Frass containing Chitin used around plants will greatly reduce if not eliminate the damage caused by plant eating beetles and bugs.
We now know that the Frass is good but how do we get enough to be able to use it? backtrack some 20 or 30 years and enter the world of exotic pet keeping, creatures such as lizards, frogs, preying mantis and all sorts of others, as this market expanded so did the need to provide food, a whole new industry started and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, this is the live food market, crickets, locusts and dozens of others, they all produce waste - Frass but only one is produced in sufficient quantity and quality to make it commercially viable.
At Worms Direct we have been looking at this beetle larvae Frass for some time, research has been done along with a huge amount of reading, we are now convinced that Frass is an important and valuable organic tool for the gardener, allotment holder, anyone who grows plants. It is available on the website in a pure form, we have also blended it with other ingredients to produce a powerful, organic, soil microbe booster, in the future we are hoping to manufacture and market pellets for individual plant pots, tubs etc. a soil drench and foliar spray.

Advice sheets

Want to get the most from your composting worms? Then take a look at some of our handy advice sheets:
View composting advice sheets

Articles

Take a look at interesting composting related stories and articles:
View composting articles