Worm farms make some of the best natural fertiliser for your garden, and they’re really easy to set up and take care of.
All you need to get started is your worm farm, a coir brick, lime, and your tiger worms.
Worms love most fruit and veggies, old coffee grounds and tea leaves, crushed egg shells, paper products like newspaper or shredded paper towels, and surprisingly, hair clippings and dust from the vacuum.
They’re not keen on citrus, tomatoes, and onions, dairy products, greasy foods, bread and pasta, fish and meat, and garden waste.
Now I’m using a really nice, simple, two-tier worm farm.
In the top here is where the worms and all my food scraps are going to go.
Then we’ve got a plastic grate, which is going to basically let all the castings and worm tea fall through into the bottom place where I can harvest it later.
So first step, you going to get your coir brick, put it in a bucket, and you’re going to add around 4 liters of water.
And then in half an hour, it’s basically tripled in size.
Once you’re happy with that, it’s going to go into the first level of our worm farm.
Just spread this around so it’s nice and even.
We’re aiming for roughly 2 centimeters over the whole thing.
So this coir brick is a really good neutral material to put in at the start.
Don’t put any compost or fertiliser or anything like that in there.
The worms don’t like it.
Now it’s time to get the worms into our farm.
Now it seems a little bit funny that they come in a cardboard box.
But they’re quite happy to go into their new home.
Just do this a little bit at a time and spread them around.
Just do a nice, even layer over the base.
If you tip them out they look a little bit dormant, don’t worry about it.
They will come to in a couple of days.
So these little guys are actually tiger worms.
They’re not just your everyday worm that you find in the garden.
Really good at breaking down your organic material and food scraps that you put in there.
Important to not feed them straight away.
Just give them a couple of days to adjust to their new home.
When it comes to feeding your worms, it’s going to take a couple of weeks until they get to full capacity.
So you want to start off slow.
Just feed them a little bit at a time, and don’t give them any more until they’ve pretty much finished what you’ve started putting in.
My box had around 1,000 worms at 250 grams, so I’ll start them off with around a cup of food a day.
And chop it up to help them get through it faster.
Just increase the amount with their appetite.
After three to six months, harvest your worm castings from the bottom layer of your farm, which are a mix of soil and food scraps that have passed through your worms.
You can apply this straight to the garden.
Just mix into the soil at the base of the plant.
Or just a tablespoon will feed a potted plant for a couple of months.
Worm tea, which is the liquid fertilizer, comes out of the tap and needs to be diluted with 1 part tea to 10 parts water before applying.
Your garden will love it.
Worms like a constant temperature, out of direct sun.
In winter, use a worm blanket or move them into the shed.
Once established, feed your worms daily or give them a big feed if you’re going on holiday.
They should be fine for up to a month.
Worms self-regulate their population, so no need to get rid of any.
But make sure you start with 1,000 to 2,000 to get the full benefits.
Keep your farm damp, and water around a litre a week.
But if it gets too wet, shredded newspaper is good for absorbing excess moisture.
Add dolomite lime every couple of weeks to keep the pH level neutral.
If your worms look small and white, the soil might be too acidic.
Cover food scraps with a damp tea towel to keep fruit flies away.
And finally, your farm should smell earthy.
If it smells bad, lay off adding any food until it comes right.
So look after your worms and they’ll provide you with good fertiliser for ages.