Worm farming or raising red worms for composting is a great alternative for those who want to make their organic garden even healthier than before but do not want to spend too much money on doing so. It might sound difficult and intimidating but to tell you the truth, it is quite the opposite.
So how do you make a worm farm at home?
The first thing that you have to do is pick a spot. One of the key things to keep in mind when raising healthy compost worms is that they do not want to get too hot. That means, finding a spot under some shade to build your worm farm or bed.
The next step in creating a small worm farm for your compost pile is finding food to feed your red worms. Red worms are not very particular with the kind of food that they want to eat. What worms like to eat the most are food wastes! This includes peeling from vegetables and fruits, pulp from the juice, bread, tea bags and crushed eggs. Small portions of soiled paper and cardboard (like the ones that they use for egg trays) are also some of their favorites! But while worms have their favorite foods, they also have their least favorite foods. These include dairy products such as butter and cheese, fish, meat, fat and bones. They are also not interested in eating oily foods, citrus, onion and garlic.
The next concern is building a home for your worms – a worm bin. There are lots of commercial worm bins available in the market. But if you want to save money, you can always build your own worm crate farms with boxes or construct a worm bed in your garden. There are lots of variations, shapes and sizes for homemade worm farm boxes. The typical dimensions are 30cm deep, 60cm wide and 90 cm long. It is also important for these boxes to have holes in the bottom to allow for drainage and airing of the worm farm. The boxes should also be covered with either a lid or with Hessian or underfelt. It is also important to have a base underneath the box to catch liquid and provide drainage.
The worm farm will now need bedding for the worms. Beddings are best made out of finished compost, paper and leaves. These three should be torn or shredded thoroughly to allow the worms’ easy movement around the bedding. The bedding material should also be soaked in water before being added into the box. The bedding mu must be, at best 10-15cm deep.
After doing all of these, the box should now be ready to house some worms. Place some one to two thousand worms into the box, spreading them out gently onto the surface and allowing them to burrow down into the moist mixture.
Kitchen wastes are to be added at a regular basis and only in small amounts. You can simply place the wastes in the box and cover them with a handful of the bedding material, soil or compost. It is important for you not to add to much food for the worms all at once! Give them more food only after they have almost consumed their previous supply.
You now have a worm farm and can now raise worms for compost! To harvest the worm castings or compost, you simply have to move it all to one side of the bin and add fresh bedding the empty side. A majority of the red worms will migrate to the fresh bedding on the other side of the bin and the worm castings or compost can then be taken out and used.
Jim Shaw loves composting and raising red worms. He also writes about other practical and useful organic gardening ideas like organic pest control and weed control techniques.
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