Worm Farming and composting can be an easy way to dispose of household wastes and turn organic nutrients into great organic solid and liquid fertilisers. Worm Farms help to discard of wastes that would normally be sent to sit in landfills.
How To Start A Worm Farm
Starting your own worm farm is easy and costs you virtually nothing. You can place it in your backyard or even on your balcony, all that's necessary is a small, cool, shady area. Anyone can start a worm farm at home. Start with one or two polystyrene boxes with lids and poke some holes in the bottom of one of your worm bins for drainage. The size of the boxes is up to you, just make sure it is big enough to hold the amount of rubbish you are trying to recycle. You can find good worm bins at your local hardware store.
Now prepare the bedding. Layer the bottom of the worm bin with some shredded newspaper and soil. Moisten this mixture lightly. This should be about 10-15 cm deep so the worms can burrow down.
Next you are going to need some worms. Worm farms use compost worms, tiger worms, or red wrigglers; not the regular earthworms that can be found in your garden.
You will need about 1000 worms to get started and these can be purchased at your local garden center. Around 500 grams of worms eat about a kilo of food every four days. Feed your worms fruit, vegetables, egg shells, coffee ground, tea bags, cardboard or paper. Stay away from plants onions, citrus fruits or meats, as these can lead to unwanted visitors like maggots and bad smells.
Place your worm bin over the second bin allowing the extra water and worm wee to drain through.
Be careful not to over feed your worms. Start with a small amount of food and see how the worms compost this. Crushing up egg shells and mashing up the extra food bits can help decrease the amount of time it takes for you worms to compost.
Check on your worms in a few weeks to see how they are progressing. After about four or five months the worms will produce worm casts and give you one of natures best fertilisers.
Worm casts, or worm poo, is created by worms when they eliminate wastes. This is the best organic fertiliser and can even help to repel insects and disease in your garden. Worm fertiliser is said to have 5 times more nutrients than top soil than you can purchase at the store. It also helps to restore pH in the soil. Use your worm cast fertiliser for your gardens inside or outside, as a top soil.
Worm composting is great for the environment and can be a fun experience for everyone.
Top Tips For having a successful Worm Farm
To have the best worm farm possible:
1. Keep your worm farm warm and moist.
2. Shred food particles into smaller pieces for your worms.
3. Add manure, moldy leaves, or mulch to accelerate composting.
4. Always replace the lid.
5. Don't add citrus fruits, onions, meats, or dairy.
Websites to Explore
Check out these sites for more information:
Contributing Writer Taylor Sutton
Taylor is studying for her Bachelor of Fine arts in Graphic Design and Communications. Taylor's main interests are waterpolo, snowboarding, reading, design, traveling and art. Taylor is visting Australia from the USA doing her internship with She Inspires. Visit TaylorSutton.com to see more of her work.