Make your own Worm Farm September 02 2013, 3 Comments

Imagine my surprise when I opened up my worm farm and found these...

They were everywhere! On the lid, sides, on top of the wet newspaper and below it.

The farm has been going for a while but with slighter warmer weather, the worms have gotten bus-ay!

Directions to make your own worm farm:

1: Source 2 styrofoam boxes the same size, one with lid. Head down to your local veggie market, they usually give them out for free, or ask for only a couple of dollars.

2: Cut one lengthways in half. Using a serrated knife is best for cutting.

3: Cut a good size hole (about the size of a 50c piece) into the bottom of the cut box and your full/top box. The holes are best in the middle of the narrow end, towards the front. These are drainage holes. You can later place a container under the hole of the bottom box and gently flush the farm with water to collect 'worm wizz'!

4: Stack your full box on top of your cut box, with hole lined up. Add dirt, ripped newspaper, leaf litter and a little manure if you have chickens or rabbits etc. Only fill your box about half way and make sure it is moist ie. put it in a bucket with some water before putting it in the box.  Leave bottom box empty. Note: you can use a prop to tilt your farm forward for collecting 'worm wizz'.

5: Source a box or bag of worms. Bunnings usually has them in the composting aisle, but these are expensive. The Weigh-Bridge Man on Guildford Road (for Perth-ites) sells bags of worms that are very healthy AND cheap. Gumtree may uncover a local worm seller.

6: Once you have your worm, gently tip the bag in and spread out the dirt and worm mix across your box. Remember to thoroughly check the bag for the few stray worms in there!

7: Add a small amount of food scraps, put your pre-soaked newspaper cap on, don't forget your lid with a brick (stops pesky animals bothering your worms) and leave them to create awesome potting mix/soil improver/compost.

Tips for worm farm:

Do make your own from a couple of styrofoam boxes. We had a fancy black, multi-leveled one a few years back, paid a pile for it and got no results. My poor worms roasted in the heat :-( I think it was because the black plastic warmed up too much even though the farm was in the shade.

Don't let the farm get direct sun. I have underestimated how hot the farm gets in the past. Somewhere in the laundry, or in a dark corner of the shed is perfect. If there is no 'dark corner', I read a great tip - place your worm farm with NO bottom directly on the dirt/ground. This way the worms can go as deep as they need to into the soil to escape the heat, but they always make their way back because they can smell all the yummy food you are still giving them :-)

Do not over feed! Worms really don't like rotting food, so give them plenty of leave litter and dirt when you start the box.

No citrus, onions or meat - they don't like 'em!!

Keep the worm farm moist. I soak my newspaper (about 1/2 newspaper) and replace it every so often. I have used hessian before but it dries out too quickly. The worms seem to much prefer the newspaper, chilling out under it between the food and the newspaper top.