Composting Worm Farms
- The worm farm must be kept in a permanently shady location
- It can be kept indoors (a healthy worm farm emits no odours).
- In summer the temperature must not exceed 30° for extended periods.
- In winter the temperature must not drop below 0°.
- All worm Farms come with a digital thermometer with probe that goes into the bedding so you can easily monitor the exact temperature of your worms:
- The farm needs to be monitored regularly to ensure the bedding maintains the correct level of moisture.
- Every three months or so, the worm castings will need to be removed and replaced with fresh bedding. These worm castings can be added to your garden or used to make worm tea. Worm castings (and Worm Tea) are the best organic fertiliser available.
Feeding your worms
Foods to avoid
- Meats, bones, fat and anything oily or greasy.
- Dairy products including butter, sour cream, milk and cheese.
- Egg (crushed egg shells are okay)
- Canned sauces, peanut butter and other processed food.
- Citrus foods like lemons, limes and oranges.
- Onions and garlic.
- Spicy foods such as chilli and hot peppers.
- Yard trimmings that have been treated with pesticides.
- Plastic, metals, glass or other non-biodegradable items.
- Paper that has a glossy finish or coloured ink.
- Poisonous plants.
Foods that are okay
- Bread, pasta & grains.
- Fruit & fruit peelings
- Vegetable scraps & vegetable peelings.
- Tea leaves & tea bags.
- Coffee grounds & paper coffee drip filters
- Torn up newspapers, egg cartons & unbleached Paper
- Crushed egg shells (these will also help with the pH balance)
The best way to feed you worms is using food tubes or food parcels
When food is frozen, the water in each cell expands and breaks the cell wall, which speed up decomposition. Freezing also kills any insect larva that may be in the food.
It’s best to let them thaw overnight (don’t add frozen food tubes to the farm).
How to make Food Tubes.
Worm Farm Conditioner
Conditioning a worm farm is to ensure the bedding doesn’t become too acid.
The best way to condition your farm is to save all of your egg shells, wash them (to remove the egg), put them in the microwave on high for 3 minutes (based on 12 egg shells) to dry them and make them more brittle, put them in a blender and turn them into a powder. Mix this powder into the top 2 to 3 cm of bedding (the worms will do the rest).
Egg shells are calcium carbonate and will reduce the acidity of the worm bedding.
If you worms are on a food tube diet (i.e.: vegetable and fruit), you can add approx. 1 desert spoon of powdered egg shells every 4 to 6 weeks.
If they are on a high protein diet, you need to add 1 desert spoon of powdered egg shells every 2 to 3 weeks.
If you use Worms Alive worm food, it already has calcium carbonate in it, so you don’t need to add any extra, but you can still add crushed egg shells periodically as the worms do enjoy them.
When the bedding becomes lumpy and sticky it has turned to castings.
If you always feed your worms on the same side of the farm, that side will turn to castings first.
It’s then a simple matter of changing to the other side of the farm for feeding… the worms will migrate across.
You can then remove the castings on that side only and replace them with new bedding.
The worms don’t mind living in castings if the fresh food is always there. So no need to panic and remove the castings in an urgent manner.
As you feed the worms, the food will be turned to castings which causes the farm to become more full with bedding/castings.
Eventually you will notice the bedding level rising.
There is a myriad of things that can be used for worm farm bedding, the only two I ever use are:
- Aged house manure
- Organic compost (I make my own compost)
Compost is much easier to maintain the correct moisture level.