The Worm Farm Project

The Worm Farm Project

Apr 04, 2022

How would you like to have hundreds of workers that will aerate and fertilise your garden and dispose of waste vegetable scraps – working 24 hours a day, seven days a week? And to top it off, they don’t want any money and you never hear them complain! Sounds too god to be true, but in just a few hours, you can be well on your way to having your own Willing Worm Workforce helping in your garden...

I found an old bathtub at the local tip shop and then using a couple (well four actually) of concrete blocks from behind the woodshed, I came up with what you see in the first picture. You can buy ready-made worm farms from the local garden supplier or hardware store or perhaps you might have a 200 litre plastic barrel on the “too good to throw away” pile that you can cut in half… I have raised the worm farm high enough off the ground so that you can put a bucket underneath to catch the “worm juice”. You should put some shade cloth or coarse fly wire over the plug hole – this will stop the worm castings – and worms from falling out the bottom.

To stop soil compaction and help with the drainage of the “worm juice” spread some woody material about 4 cm thick over the bottom. I used some bark and twigs form a eucalypt tree and wood chips from a black cypress… this will eventually break down and be consumed by the worms and transformed into more worm castings (good stuff!) for use in the garden

Now we need to get some new “farmers” to move in! We just happened to have a compost bin in the corner of our covered garden that did the trick! I took the top undigested food scraps and placed them onto the woodchips, then I got a couple of shovels full of the black stuff from underneath where you should find lots of volunteers eager to move into your creation! No compost bin? No problem! The local hardware should have worm farm starter kits available… or could maybe ask a fellow gardener

With our new farmers in residence, we need to keep them happy! Our new guests like to be kept in the dark – a bit like mushrooms really, so cover them with hessian bags. Moisten (not saturate) them, to prevent the farm from drying out and also help insulate from the extremes of hot and cold. You could use cardboard or carpet – but some carpet might have glues, nylon or other stuff that is not real good for our friends!

We still need to feed our guests but all you need to do is empty the kitchen scraps underneath the hessian bags and as you  wander around your garden and trim and weed the vegies, chop them up and put them under too… Don’t feed them onion skins, citrus peel and they should be very happy!

You need to cover the whole worm farm with a piece of corrugated iron or thick plywood to keep out the rain and any unwanted visitors, it will also help keep things warmer coming into winter. Earlier I mentioned Worm Juice… well that is a blackish liquid that drips out the bottom of the bathtub. This is a great liquid fertiliser – it will need to be diluted by mixing with water so that it is about the same colour as weak black tea – then water it into all of the vegies and they will love you forever… After a few months of operation the worms will have started turning all those scraps into a dark black, sweet smelling “worm castings” which you can spread around your garden…

Thought for the day

 Thanks for listening, don’t hesitate to ask a question or make a comment.

Time for coffee,

Pa Kettle

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