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Do-it-yourself Worm Farm

If you really want to have a flourishing, organic garden that comes from your recyled waste – then you really have to make yourself a Worm Farm. I will show you how easy and inexpensive it is to make yourself.

[one_half]All you need to get started[/one_half][one_half_last]Three black utility boxes[/one_half_last]

You will be able to get all your components from your local hardware store. I used 3 x smallish black plastic utility boxes with loose-fitting lids. You want to be able to open and close it easily. Then you will need 12 x electrical threaded pipe connectors (20mm in size). These will be the opening base locking legs so the worms will be able to move between boxes. I’ll show you what I mean… then you will need 4 x air vents and 2 x spade drill bits (a 22mm and a 18mm) and an electric drill!

The Worm Farm will be stacked (like in the picture) and can be placed anywhere because it takes up no room and it does not smell. The bottom box will contain the worm tea. The top two boxes will hold your worms and your table scraps and cut up newspaper. This will eventually be composted and you will be left with nutritious worm compost – black gold!

At the base of the middle box you will drill six holes with the 18mm spade drill bit. Here is where you will insert the connectors.

Here you see exactly where to drill the holes. The longest part of the connector will be on the outside of box. This will act as a support when you stack the boxes together.

The positioning of the holes needs to be accurate so that the base of the box fits exactly onto the lid of the box underneath.

[one_half]See-the base sits on the lid of box underneath[/one_half][one_half_last]Now add the air vents on the sides[/one_half_last]

Now remember – only 2 boxes will have holes at the bottom and 2 lids will have matching holes. Β The bottom box will contain the worm tea so no holes here!

Now each box will fit perfectly so they stack well. It is neat and unobtrusive and really stays quite clean. I have had mine now for 2 years and it has never smelled. When the middle box is completely full, then you start adding kitchen scraps to the top box. The worms will migrate from the middle box to the top box. Then you will be able to harvest the worm compost from the middle box without damaging any worms in the process. Remember this process takes a long time, however you can harvest the worm tea from the bottom box as soon as a few weeks. This “liquid gold” you dilute with water (preferably from your rain water tank as chlorine from your tap water destroys the good bacteria in the tea) 1 part tea to 5 parts water. You can water all your plants and vegetables and you can also water the leaves as a foliage feeder. Really – this is all you need to keep your garden well fed. It costs you nothing and you have a natural compost maker.

PLEASE NOTE: You can add all vegetable straps but avoid too much fruit scraps. This brings too many fruit flies and ants and causes an unpleasant environment for the worms. Rather only add banana peels and apple peels. No soft fruits and no pineapple. NO LEMON OR ORANGE PEELS. This is too acidic for worms. NO FAT – NO MEAT PRODUCTS. Layer the kitchen scraps with cut up news paper. The worms love it!!! I think they need dry airy spaces to breathe. They also devour the paper! Keep away from direct sunlight.

In my next post, I will show you how healthy and productive my Worm Farm is. It took me a while to post this, because I wanted to see how it would work. I have had other home-made worm farms and they got messy and slimey and looked ugly and the commercially available Worm Farms are very expensive. Mine literally cost me R360.00!!!! So now you have all the info to make your own!

Happy worm farming xxxxx

I would LOVE to hear from you if you have a successful worm farm!!!

By Barbara

Country living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

7 replies on “Do-it-yourself Worm Farm”

Hi Barbara

Thanks for this. Will any earthworms do? Some have advised that we get the red wriggler earth worms. Also once we have the worms do we just drop them inside with the scraps or do we need to add some soil with the first batch of kitchen scraps?

Hi Kagiso, The only worms that are composting worms are red wrigglers – these you can get at garden centres. What I did was add a mesh (the worms must be able to travel through it) Then add a 20mm thick layer of compost. Then add the worms and then on top of them kitchen scraps – the finer you cut them the better. Then I cut up newspaper and moisten it and lay it on top. Close the lid and the worms do the rest!

I initially was worried about not adding citrus etc – all the items on the NO list. But it got too be too much work – and what to do with all that organic waste? – so I add what I like – all of it! And nothing untoward has happened. I have lots of things eating away in my bins – slugs, lizards, masses of creepy crawlies, insects, bacteria, looks like thousands of little things all working away at my organic waste. The result is quite a thick wet black thick “soil”. It’s not crumbly like my regular compost heap that gets much drier. But I mix it all up and add to my pots and fruit trees. I am just amazed how transformed my kitchen scraps are! I do love composting!!

Thanks so much for your success story – my “soil” is usually soft as well. My kitchen waste also has crawly things and other insects nibbling away. The beauty of it is that it is a clean system. No smells at all! And the BEST compost ever!

Apart from citrus, also no onions in the worm farm πŸ˜‰ The worms love hair (from your hairbrush, and egg shells too.

I, too, have a homemade version which works brilliantly. Never smells, and gives me fantastic worm casings which I add to my alpaca poo and feed my veggie beds.

Because of the prevalence of snakes at our smallholding, I am hesitant to do a proper compost heap. So, for the other stuff not worm compostable I want to get / need to get / HAVE to have a Yolo Green πŸ˜€ ( Maybe for Christmas…

They are a bit pricey though…

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