Worm farms are a great way to recycle your scraps and enrich your garden.
Building your worm farm
Worms like moist conditions, in a mix of soil and compost, not too wet, and not too dry. Keep your worms out of the sun and in a shady area, with a bit of shelter from wet weather.
Buying your worms
You can buy worm farms from many different hardware suppliers, plant nurseries and wholesalers.
Worms used in wormeries are not the usual garden variety but special species that thrive in compost, hence the name ‘compost worms’. Tiger worms, Indian blues and red worms are the main worms used in worm farming. They love rich, moist, rotting materials.
Feeding your worms
Worms are nature’s recyclers and eat anything that has once been living:
- fruit and vegetable scraps and pulp
- crushed egg shells
- tea leaves, tea bags and coffee grounds
- small amounts of moist paper.
Avoid onion scraps and citrus fruit, and definitely no meat or dairy products. Also avoid material contaminated with chemicals, like lawn clippings that have been recently fertilised.
To make it easier for the worms to compost the scraps, it is best to add water to the scraps, soak overnight, and feed in the morning. You can even vitamise scraps, adding water as you go. This makes the food more available for the worms to eat immediately.
Worm your way around the facts
- a worm eats the equivalent of its body weight every 24 hours
- worms will eat more if food scraps are mashed, blended or processed in a food-processor
- one mature earthworm can produce 1,200 to 1,500 offspring in a year
- expect the worm population to double every eight to 12 weeks (add twice the kitchen scraps).