Some people find themselves thinking about how little effort it would take to make a bit of extra cash when it comes to worm farming. Others find the idea of having an unlimited supply of nutrient rich soil more appealing. Whatever your reasons for having a worm farm you will need to learn how to set one up for your particular wormery venture.
To understand how to set up a worm farm, the benefits worms provide must first be established. At it’s most basic level worm farming provides your garden with nutrient rich soil that your plants will thrive in. You can also aid the planet environmentally with worm farming. Worms are a great composting technique and they will eat virtually anything that is organic in nature. This includes newspapers, cardboard and kitchen scraps.
For the avid fisherman you have a permanent supply of bait and aquarium owners have a ready supply of fresh food for their fish.
Now that you know why you want a worm farm you can start the planning and setting up. One of the best ways to start is with a worm farming bin. These are readily available online or at your local gardening supply store. There are many styles, shapes and colors available. You could even try the large scale worm farmers as they will often have worm farm bins with everything else you need available at a competitive price.
If you like to do it yourself you could even try making your own out of common household items. A modified plastic tub or a large wooden box is all you need to make a nice home for your worms.
You need to have multiple layers so the liquid has somewhere to run off to. A tap at the bottom will provide drainage for whenever you need some liquid fertiliser. Worms live and move around in the top layer of soil. The material to be composted is simply laid on top where the worms can get at it.
There are many models of worm farms available that are made specifically for those of us who don’t have backyards and need to put it in indoors. The worm farm can be extended by stacking more bins on top.
To keep your worms healthy they will need appropriate bedding material. Peat moss or coconut fiber containing a small amount of compost material is well accepted. Make sure you always keep the bedding moist. When you purchase prepackaged worms you will more than likely get the bedding material with them as well as some instructions.
Where you put the bin is also an important factor for healthy worms. Worms are unable to tolerate extremes in temperature. Try to keep the temperature between 72 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Another option is to get or make a fully insulated system which will help avoid extremes in temperature ranges. Your bin may dry out too quickly or stay too moist if you locate it in the wrong position.
When you have all of the above conditions met you now just need to add worms There are quite a few breeds of worms and some are more suitable for worm farming than others. If you are mostly using worms for compost Red Wigglers would be your best bet but for live bait you would want to go for the European Night Crawlers.
When you receive your worms you will want to check the instructions on how to acclimatise your worms. Make sure you have the worms bedding prepared and in place before you purchase your worms.
Feeding the worms is the fun part. The variety of items you can use as worm food is mind boggling. Egg shells, paper products, carboard as long as it is pre-soaked, cotton rags and even human hair are all fair game as far as worms are concerned. You can speed the composting process up by cutting everything down into smaller sizes. Slice your fruits into strips so your worms can get at them easier.
Provide a layer of items to be consumed on the top layer of the soil. If you only add food once most the previous food has been consumed you will avoid the problem overfeeding.
All of your worm castings will be found in the bottom layer of soil. By adding this straight to the garden you will be providing your plants with one of nature’s best fertilizer’s. A liquid fertilizer can be made by adding water to castings for plants and flowers that prefer to be fed directly at the roots.
Worm farming is relatively low maintenance. If the worms don’t like it they will simply crawl away in search of a more optimal environment. Keeping the temperature constant, moisture at an appropriate level and food readily available will help ensure a healthy and happy supply of working worms.
Category: Home and Garden