Your vermiculture questions answered
Yes! Ants will aggressively compete with your worms for food and will probably treat them as food too!
Thankfully, this is easy to fix. And this is the secret that the ants don’t want you to know! They hate water. Like, a lot. If there are ants getting into your bin, stand the legs of the bin in dishes/bowls of water and the ants won’t enter your farm. If you’ve already got ants, increase the moisture level of the worm farm and that will drive out the ants.
Regular applications of water will be enough to increase the moisture in the farm enough to drive out the ants, but not harm the worms. Excessive moisture added can result in harm to your worm farm as the worms will not be able to “breathe” and can potentially turn the farm anaerobic making even more harmful to the worms.
Looking at why compost worms will (probably) not survive in your garden.
The short answer is no.
Composting worms in your worm farm are EPIGEIC. This means they live on or near the surface in freshly decaying organic matter. If you look at their behaviour in your worm farm, they live and eat (typically) in the top 4 to 6 inches of the worm farm. They may live in the garden, but it would only be a very short time before they died from lack of food or were picked off my predators.
Garden worms are either ENDOGEIC or ANECIC. Both types live deeper in the soil than composting worms. Interestingly, your earthworms will not thrive in a worm farm as the conditions in the farm do not match their natural environment.
… think about where worms native habitats are before we put them in bins or boxes inside??? Hmm? I’ve got tens of thousands of worms just enjoying life in my garden abs I don’t eve feed or church on them! Good soil and some mulch and breeding like bunnies!via Facebook
Evidence definitely exists that you CAN breed composting worms in the garden. In the garden above, the worms would have an environment that replicates their natural environment. Mulch and lots of rotting organic matter. This would be an amazing place for them to live (and breed).
Not all gardens would be as well maintained to create such a friendly environment where there is lots of decaying organic matter for them to live and breed in.
Under ideal conditions compost worms can eat up to half their body weight in a day.
From observation, the need for ideal conditions means that the actual amount consumed varies. The amount consumed also depends on the food stock supplied, the particle size and also the nutrient content.
GENERALLY speaking, you can expect 1000 worms to consume about 125ml (a half cup) per day.