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?
You can make your own or purchase 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.
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! Some varieties will do this anyway, don't worry, new ones will arrive.
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.
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. I've even read that the worms you buy actually move and and other worms will move in - interesting concept :)
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.
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!!!
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