allolobophora caliginosa for composting
Table 3. The actions of various microorganisms and invertebrates convert raw organic matter in a compost pile into finished compost. Some fresh air enters the pile from wind, while air also can be drawn into the pile naturally as warm air from the composting process rises. Material can then be incorporated directly into the soil after frost in the fall. Holding units can be composed of redwood slats (Figure 6), wire fencing or chicken wire (Figure 7), snow fence (Figure 8), or cement blocks (Figure 9).

Bart S, Amosse J, Lowe CN, Mougin C, Pery ARR, Pelosi C. Aporrectodea caliginosa, a relevant earthworm species for a posteriori pesticide risk assessment: current knowledge and recommendations for culture and experimental design. Since most compost is used in the garden, easy access to this area is essential.

To find more resources for your business, home, or family, visit the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences on the World Wide Web at The hardware cloth structures tend to be better aerated, and compost can be easily transferred from one bin to another. Although the garden earthworm occasionally feeds on the bottom of a compost pile, they prefer ordinary soil (Figure 1). Soggy piles will revert to anaerobic decomposition and need to be fluffed up.

It is recognizable by the three distinct shades of colour at its front end, and it is 6 centimetres (2.4 in) in length when not moving. Red worms and brandling worms prefer temperatures of 50–70°F. The end product in the composting process is a dark, loose, partially decomposed form of organic matter that reveals no hint of its origin.

Decomposition within the compost pile is optimal when the C:N ratio is about 30:1.

Be sure a source of water is nearby. Compost bin in the garden. © 2017 New Mexico State University - Board of Regents, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES),,,, Pocket Guide to the Native Bees of New Mexico, Pocket Guide to the Beneficial Insects of New Mexico. While nightcrawlers thrive in soil that’s rich in organic matter, field worms can do with a poorer soil.

Conditioning soil surface layers with compost also will improve water penetration and decrease soil erosion and soil crusting.

In heavier clay soils, compost binds clay particles together to form aggregates, improving both water drainage and the ability of plant roots to penetrate the soil. These spaces can hold both water and air. Aerobic decomposition is the preferred composting technique in most backyard composting piles because it smells better and is more efficient. Locating the pile in a shaded area will keep it from drying out. Food scraps can be continually added to the bin for up to 2 to 3 months, or until you notice the bedding material (shredded newspapers (non-glossy), computer paper, or cardboard) disappear. Backyard composting is one of the easiest ways to process yard wastes at the source. The cost of collecting, hauling and handling yard waste is often a large part of the budget associated with many municipal solid waste management programs, averaging 20 percent of the budget and increasing to as much as 50 percent when grass clippings and leaves are handled. Allolobophora chlorotica, commonly known as the green worm, is a species of earthworm that feeds and lives in soil. New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator.

Table 1. Layering technique for compost pile or bin.

The garden earthworm and the compost earthworm, however, are radically different. Similar to bacteria and fungi, actinomycetes give the compost pile its faintly earthy odor. Two bins are convenient when turning the material, while multiple bins initiated at different times provide for compost at different stages of decomposition. A compost pile that heats up properly and decomposes rapidly depends on a number of environmental factors within the pile. Proper, uniform moisture levels for optimal microbial activity can best be maintained by turning the pile. Avoid fatty food wastes like meat and bones because the odors they generate attract pests.


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