When I told my long suffering husband that I was getting 5000 new pets and he had to help me come up with names for each one, he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!
Worms would have to be the best low maintenance pets available. They don’t need daily walks, don’t scratch the sofa, don’t require costly trips to the vets or get the huff if you go away on holiday for three weeks.
Managing a worm farm is a great job for kids, as they fulfill their fascination for getting dirty. They get their kind of fun; you get the end result for your garden.
Ready made worm farms can be bought from garden centres or hardware shops. They can be expensive but can save time by naturally sorting the castings from the worms. I have had one of these models for the last 5 years. It does a great job of using all kitchen scraps and producing great ‘worm wees’ and ‘worm poohs’.
Worms can be bought over the internet and can be posted to you, ready to go into your worm farm.
You can easily make your own worm form for around $20. Here are my step by step instructions for members.
Worm Farm Tips and Tricks
- Use the fluid which drains into the bucket on your plants. You can dilute it up to 50%. If you need more fluid straight away, you can pour a bucket of water straight through the farm.
- Worms like a temperature of between 15-20 degrees celsius. It is best to situate the worm bin in a shady position in summer, and in a sunny position in winter. Worms are more active in warm weather so feed less in winter.
- Apply a handful of lime to the top bin every fortnight or so to stop the environment from getting too acidic.
- Anything that was once living, can be used in the farm, including hair, contents from the vacuum cleaner bag, egg cartons, coffee grounds, egg shells and paper.
- Avoid feeding citrus and onions to your worms.
- The worms will have doubled their population within about 18 months. In 2-3 years worm concentrations will reach capacity at about 15,000 to 20,000 worms.
- These sorts of worms can’t survive in normal garden soil so don’t think you are doing them any favours by setting them free.
- You might find lots of other black beetles and tiny flies living in your worm farm. They are also beneficial as they help to break down the food.
- If everything is turning smelly and slimy you are overfeeding.
- In colder climates you can keep the worm farm in the garage.
- A well running worm farm will have no odour.
- The Ph of vermicast (the final product) is neutral. It is great to add to potting mix or as a side dressing for growing plants.
- You can successfully leave the worms for up to three weeks without feeding them. Water them well and make sure they are placed in the shade. Drying out is the worst enemy for them.
- Go on and do your bit for recycling whilst improving the health of your plants and garden soil. Have fun naming all those new pets!!