Looking At Landcare (10/9/2021) – The Magic of Worm Farms

Hi Landcarers

This week we are talking….worms farms!

Worm farms have always been a fascination for me for various reasons. My worm farm is a mass-produced unit that for my purposes (of being able to transport and use as an educational tool – as well as consuming kitchen scraps) works well.

Many fisher-people have fabulous worm farms that are stored in the shed just waiting for the next fishing expedition.

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I have seen some of the most complicated worm farms, and pleasingly the most simple of worm farms. If a worm farm is operating properly it does not smell, it is not exposed to vermin and, you will hopefully have some fabulous vermicast to use at the end on your garden.

Any of you who are avid Gardening Australia viewers would have seen Costa Georgiadis’ version made from an old bath, but the most common version that we use is with polystyrene boxes (yes, polystyrene is still a thing).

The basic concept is a box (or two boxes) with holes in the base (these can just be drilled in a plastic container) and a lid on the top and a container for storing your worm ‘tea’ on the bottom.

The important thing is to remember that it needs to be kept in a cool space. A garage or garden shed would be pretty fabulous! Don’t put them in direct sunlight, or you will have wasted a lot of time and energy, as well as killing your lovely little worms.

You need to make sure that you have a porous barrier above the bottom layer so that worms don’t fall through into the bottom container and drown.

You can purchase coir or coconut fibre, newspaper or hessian to line the base of the main tub. You will be shocked at how quickly the worms can consume all of this fibre.

Pop your worms in and grab some more damp newspaper or a ‘worm blanket’. The first time I spent the ten bucks and bought a ‘worm blanket’ and they loved it! Check on them in a few days to see how they are going and then try (a few) scraps. You will soon work out what they can handle. If things smell off, you will need to cut back on the scraps. If things are ticking well, you might be able to add a layer on top!

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