Why on earth do I want a
worm farm?

worm farm

Why wouldn't you want hundreds of worms crawling around in your soil or a nice new worm farm!

The are easy to look after, create fantastic fertilizer and aerate your soil.

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A Worm Farm is a great alternative for a compost heap if you don't have the room (or just don't want one). Just feed them your veggie scraps and they'll be happy to provide you with fertilizer. They will multiply quickly if fed well.

How do I keep them?

Let's start with a purchasing a worm farm or a worm bin.

I'm sure there are many varieties out there. I like the multiple tray system. You put in your scraps and the worms eat their way up through the trays, leaving behind their "fertilizer". They are designed with vent holes; they keep the worms in, the insects out and are odorless. They can have a tap on them also, giving easy access to your fertilizer.

Worm Farm

Worm Factory 360 WF360B Worm Composter, Black

You don't want a worm farm or worm compost bin?

Add worms direct to your garden.

Worms + Organic Garden Soil = a healthy garden. you'll end up with vermicompost. While again, this is not concentrated like from your worm farm, but is still a great addition. You'll get the benefit of aerating your soil and fertilizer, it won't be as concentrated as using the liquid from a worm farm but still good for your soil. Watch out, if you don't have a "contained veggie patch" they could go wandering on you!

You can also add them to your compost bin

Unfortunately you cannot just add worms to your compost heap. There are a few changes you will have to make from the "non worm" compost heap.

  • worms don't like the compost to go below freezing or above 32°C (so don't add manure as this needs to get hot to break down the pathogens)
  • they prefer their soil to be slightly alkaline

  • they need lots of oxygen - If using a bin ensure it has vents

  • the right moisture level, keep it damp not wet.

  • no pesticides so don't add weeds or anything that has been sprayed.

  • prefer more "brown" ingredients - ratio of about 30:1 Brown to Green. Lawn clippings make the compost heap very hot (that is why it is a great activator) so keep the catcher off the mower and use the clippings as fertilizer for the lawn instead. See compost for an explanation.

I wouldn't add them to my compost bin as it has a high level of horse poo and grass clippings and I'm more of a chuck everything in type gardener ;)

Where can I get them?

If you can't get them from a local garden center or hardware shop, check out the Internet, they can be shipped to you. They can also ship a worm farm setup which may or may not include worms.

Can I get any type?

You'll need to get ones that are suitable for worm farming. Ask your worm farm supplier. I have earthworms in my veggie patch but there are other varieties.

How do I feed them?

Try to make their "food" smaller so it's easier and quicker for the worms to eat.

Worms like:

  • Vegetable peelings and waste

  • Cooked vegetable leftovers

  • Fruit peel and cores but limit the citrus fruit

  • Crushed eggshells

  • Tea bags & coffee grinds

  • Bread

  • Cardboard reels from toilet rolls and kitchen rolls, egg cartons

  • Paper napkins and paper towels

  • Paper coffee filters
Worms do not like:
  • Dairy products,

  • Meat, pastry,

  • Oil or pickles,

  • Domestic animal poo

No need to feed your worms daily, 3 or 4 times a week is OK. If you go away on holidays, give them a good feed before you go and then as soon as you return.

How strong is the fertilizer? Can I use it on all of my garden?

Earthworms create their own weight in Poo (I mean fertilizer!) in 24 hrs.

It's fine to use undiluted but it wont reduce the nutrient content if you do dilute it. Use it anywhere in your garden.

It provides a rich plant food but won't burn your plants. Just perfect really!

Have you got kids?

A worm farm is great for the kids. Kids love getting dirty in the garden and who better to look after your new pets for you! And they'll have hours of fun naming their new pets!!!

Chickens

Raising Chickens in your backyard is another great idea - feed them your scraps in return for free range eggs. Great fertilizer too!


"We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow-worm"
~ Winston Churchill