How to Make a Worm Farm

How to Make a Worm Farm

Worms can do wonders for the garden: they aerate the soil and their castings are an excellent fertilizer. To get a constant supply of this worm fertilizer as well as extra worms for the garden, start a worm farm.
Use Red Worms or Tiger Worms only (available from most plant nurseries). The common garden worm is not suitable.

Setting up the System

Worm farms are simple structures that you can make yourself. They consist of three or four stackable crates or bins made of plastic, wood or any other lightweight, waterproof material. The worms live in the bins and simply wriggle their way up from the lowest bin into the one above, where they can smell fresh food, fruit, vegetable and other scraps that might otherwise go to waste. These scraps are turned into the castings that make such good fertilizer. Some local councils sell worm farms at a cost of $50 to $75 for four bins.

The base bin has a solid floor to catch liquid run-off that percolates down from the upper bins, and preferably a tap near the base. By tipping the stack, liquid waste can be drained away through the tap without having to remove the upper bins.

The upper bins are perforated to let the worms move up through the floor to reach fresh food supplies. These ‘holey’ bins lock into each other and are deep enough to leave enough room for the worms to move about without being squashed.

To create congenial living conditions for the worms, you need newspaper and soil to start the farm and a continuing supply of suitable food scraps.

Starting the Farm

On top of the base bin fit an upper (holey) bin #1 that has been lined with a few sheets of shredded newspaper and a couple of handfuls of soil. Spray lightly with fresh water. Add the Red or Tiger worms along with a small amount of food scraps. Exclude light from the upper bin and keep it moist by covering it with newspaper, hessian or another bin. Allow the farm to settle in for a couple of weeks before lifting the cover and putting in more food scraps. Check on the bin’s progress and add more food scraps as the worms grow and multiply. Make sure that your worms have enough food, but don’t over feed them – uneaten food will simply rot, resulting in a smelly farm and unhappy worms.

When holey bin #1 is about half full of worms and worm castings, remove the newspaper or hessian and place holey bin #2 on top. Put food scraps in bin #2 and, again, exclude light and keep the contents moist. In about a week the worms from bin #1 will have moved up into the fresh food in bin #2, leaving behind worm castings that can be spread on the garden.

Written by Glen Buchanan, How to Make a Worm Farm. Discover how to create your own DIY Worm Farm with minimal effort and cost.

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