Worm farm tips: how to make a worm farm

Worms are wonderful little critters. You may only see them on the pavement when it rains, but worms play an important role in a garden’s ecosystem. 

Having a worm farm can be greatly beneficial for your garden. Worms provide added nutrients to soil, while also feeding on kitchen and garden scraps. No more throwing out your veggie peelings!

In today’s article, we take a look at the steps for how to make a worm farm, along with some worm farm tips. Read on to learn more!

Why make a worm farm?

You might like to make a worm farm for a few reasons. Maybe you want to avoid the extra wastage from throwing out your fruit and veggie scraps, or are looking to provide extra-nutritious soil for your garden. 

Worm farms are low maintenance and inexpensive to run. They can even help you save money as you can use the organic matter they produce as a natural fertiliser for our garden. 

Other reasons to start a worm farm could include:

  • Teaching kids about the garden
  • Taking up a new hobby
  • Lots of low maintenance, squirmy pets

Whatever your reason, starting a worm farm is a simple and fun task that can have many benefits for your garden. 

Is worm farming difficult?

Setting up a basic worm farm isn’t a particularly difficult task. All you need is a few items, some worms, and a free afternoon. Worm farm building and maintenance can be a family activity – get the kids involved and teach them more about the garden.

Worms don’t require a lot of care, either. Once your worm farm is set up, you’ll need to add food scraps and bedding material every now and again. Other than that, the worms will do the rest! 

How to make a worm farm

There are many different ways to make a worm farm. You can purchase a pre-made worm farm, or build one yourself using a simple bin or polystyrene box. The below steps explain how to make a basic DIY worm farm. 

Step 1: Choose your spot

A worm farm should be positioned in a shady spot, away from direct sunlight. Below a big tree, under a deck, or in a garage are all great locations. A little bit of shelter is a good idea for your worm farm, as it can keep rain from pooling on top. 

Step 2: Pick your containers

There are a few different containers you can choose from when it comes to building your worm farm. Garden centres and hardware stores stock specially-made products for worm farm composting systems. If you’re looking to save money, you can go the DIY route and make your farm out of cheaper products. Popular options for this include polystyrene fruit boxes, plastic bins, and buckets. 

Step 3: Get your worms

While it might seem tempting to wait for the next rainstorm and run about the pavements scooping up worms, there are better ways to go about it! Many garden centres and specialty stores stock worm farm worms. You can buy live worms in differing amounts depending on your needs and the size of your worm farm.

Step 4: Gather the other items

A worm farm is often made up of a number of other ingredients. This can include newspaper, insect screening (or shade cloth), and mushroom compost, manure, or potting soil. 

Step 5: Place holes in the containers

Once you’ve got the spot sorted, and have acquired your ingredients, container, and worms, it’s time to put your worm farm together! First, grab your boxes (you should have two) and poke small holes in the top one. Place your screening or cloth along the bottom of the box with holes to keep the worms safe and sound. Pop a hole in the bottom box and attach a hose or tap to collect the liquid. 

Step 6: Add the material and worms

Place bedding material such as newspaper, compost, and manure into the top box and add a little water to moisten it. You should aim to have this material covering a quarter of the box. Next, add in the worms! The worms should be added to the top box. Once you’ve put the worms into their new home, cover them with newspaper that’s been moistened. Add the lid to the box and your setup is complete!

Step 7: Care for your worm farm

Give the worms a week or two to settle in before you begin adding food scraps to your worm farm. Finding the perfect balance of how much food to feed your worms can be a little tricky at first. Try not to overfeed them, otherwise you’ll end up with excess food leftover within the farm. 

Maintaining your worm farm

Like most things in life, your worm farm will require a little bit of maintenance in order for it to be its best. Some tips for maintaining your worm farm include: 

Add the right kind of food

When it comes to choosing worm farm food, there are a few different options you can add. Fruit peels (other than citrus), grass clippings, leaves, paper, moistened pizza boxes, coffee grinds, crumbled egg shells, and cooked vegetables are all good choices for keeping your worm farm happy and healthy.

Don’t forget water

It can be easy to forget the importance of water in a worm farm. Worm farms need to be kept a little damp for optimal worm liquid production. Try and add a small amount of water to your worm farm every few weeks.

Be wary of heat waves

Heat waves can be a difficult time for humans and worms alike. Worms can die when left un-sheltered on particularly hot days. To avoid this, try to keep your worm farm in a shady position or move it under cover on warm days. 

Avoid adding meat and dairy scraps

It may be tempting to add leftover meat and dairy scraps to your worm farm, but doing so can attract mice and rats (two things you definitely don’t want). Meat scraps are also incredibly appealing to maggots. Keep meat and dairy out of your worm farm to avoid attracting these unwanted pests.

No citrus or onion

Worms generally dislike the strong scents of citrus peels and onions and won’t eat them. As such, these are two other foods to keep away from your worm farm. 

Building and maintaining a worm farm can be a lot of fun. Not only do you get to watch the worms do their thing, but you also get the added benefit of having a nutrient-rich liquid to use in your garden. With a little bit of care, your worm farm will be up and running in no time!

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