Building and caring for your own worm farm

October 17, 2015

Why keep worms? Well, worms eat newspaper and food scraps and create a rich compost that's perfect for your garden. As a bonus, a worm farm is small enough to be kept on a balcony, so even if you have a limited amount of space, you can still produce your own fertilizer.

Here are some tips on making your farm and caring for your worms.

Building and caring for your own worm farm

Tips for building a worm farm

  1. You'll need a moisture-proof container that is 30 centimetres (12 inches) deep with drainage holes in the base, bedding (in the form of straw or shredded newspaper), water and some kitchen scraps.
  2. Place some bricks in a tray and sit the container on the bricks. Excess liquid from the worm farm will fall into the tray.
  3. Fill the container to about three-quarters full with bedding, moistened to the consistency of a damp sponge. Add a little soil or sand to help the worms digest the waste. Leave it to settle for a couple of days.
  4. Introduce tiger worms (Eisenia fetida), available from worm farms or the Internet. Or ask at your local hardware store or nursery. Don't use worms from the garden as that type prefers ordinary garden soil and won't thrive.
  5. Loosely cover the box with a sheet of plastic or sacking. If you keep your worm farm outdoors, a container with a lid is best.

Feeding and caring for your worms

  • Feed your worms with vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, crushed eggshells, aged grass clippings and manure.
  • But, don't feed the worms meat, dairy products, fat, onions, garlic, banana skins, or too much citrus or spicy food.
  • Bury the scraps in the bedding. Exposed scraps will attract flies and other pests.
  • Be sure not to add too much food material at once, or the worms won't be able to keep up.
  • Keep the bedding moist, but not too wet, and at an even temperature.
  • Don't use spray insecticides in the vicinity of your worm farm.

Remember these tips on setting up and caring for your worm farm and put them into practice to start making your own fertilizer.

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