Your New Worm Farm!

Your New Worm Farm!

Your New Worm Farm!

Congratulations on purchasing your very own worm farm / worm hotel.

I'm sure your wriggly new neighbours are going to give you loads of joy as they munch up your excess veggies, fruit and offcuts 

Your worm farm is made up of 3 bins / trays that stack up on top of each other.
The bottom bin (Worm tea bin) will collect your liquid fertiliser while the top 2 bins will be the working part of the worm farm.

Getting started
Set the bins up on a few bricks to keep it off the ground, stack the bins on top of each other. The bin with the tap needs to go at the bottom. Remember to install the tap so that it faces outwards. The tap is screwed on the inside during transport so that it doesn't snap off while en route.

The worm farm works best when placed in a shaded area, it can get some morning sun but you want to avoid mid-day sun and the hot afternoon sun as this makes the worm farm way to hot. 
Place the black cloth material on the floor of the middle bin and then cover with moist newspaper.
Empty your worm starter kit onto the newspaper and add 1 handful of chopped up veggies / non-citrus fruit. 
Cover the worms with another few layers of moist newspaper and leave them for a few days to start processing the food and then add another handful or so every few days thereafter.

Remember to keep the newspaper moist by giving it a sprinkling of water each day. 
The worms will begin to process the food and create worm castings / vermicompost, it will take a few weeks for the farm to establish itself and for the worms to multiply, do not over-feed them as too much food will be left uneaten and will begin to rot and smell. Slower is better to start, but once the farm is established the worms will be able to process about 1kg of food every few days as worms can eat up to half their body weight each day. 

Once the bottom bin has filled up you can start putting food into the top tray and cover it with moist newspaper and you will see the worms will make their way up to the top tray as they finish processing the bottom tray, once the top tray is about 1/2 full you can remove the bottom tray and use the vermicompost in your garden, you will see the compost is still filled with worms but they will be just as happy in the ground as they were in their farm.

Worm tea will start to fill the bottom bin / tray, you can decant this into a bucket or spray bottle. The worm tea can be used as an organic insecticide to be sprayed on your trees, plants and bushes. The worm tea is also an ideal organic fertiliser. You can dilute this 1 litre of worm tea mixed with 4 litres of water and pour this around the roots of your plants. We have found this feeds the plants really well and have seen our roses and fruit trees produce amazing flowers and fruits due to this amazing natural super juice.  

Top tips

Feed your worms good food sources, raw veggie off-cuts, eggs shells, non-citrus fruit, tea bags and coffee grinds are some of their favourite things. 
Avocado peels and mielie cobs (raw, uncooked) are also great for your worm farm as the worms will lay their pupae in the avo peels and on the mielie husk. It will take quite a while for the husk to decompose and be processed but during this time it makes for some great hiding places for baby worms to hatch. 
Watermelon skin is a favourite treat.

Avoid feeding your worms citrus fruits, like oranges & lemons, as well as pineapple. These fruits are very acidic, which will upset the ph level of the worm farm. Worms prefer a ph neutral environment. You can add sawdust or garden lime to bring the ph down if the soil is too acidic. Avoid onion, garlic and chillies,  the worms don't link these and irritate their delicate bodies when they breakdown in the soil. 

Also avoid putting any form of cooking oils, meat, dairy products and processed foods into the worm farm. Your worms are vegans, they don't like animal products. Also, these foods attract flies, and the smell from rotting animal products besides being unpleasant for you, will also attract mice & rats.

If you see your worm farm is attracting other bugs it is normally an indication you are overfeeding your worms and they are unable to process the amount of food you are giving them. Just leave the farm for a week or 2 until it's all processed and the worms will remain and the other bugs will move off.

If you find your worm farm is attracting ants or has an ants nest in it, it is an indication that the worm farm is too dry. You can give the farm a more regular sprinkling of water to keep the soil moist and this will deter the ants from moving in.   

You need to use "Red Wriggler" worms in your worm farm. Your standard garden earthworm is not ideal for these farms as they do not process food as quickly as the red wriggles, so it's always best to use a red wriggle starter kit. Additional worms can be purchased if needed, simple reach out to us and we can send you more. 

We wish you many happy years of worm farming. We know you will get alot of joy and satisfaction out of watching your little wormy friends process your off-cuts and left-overs, and you can sleep better knowing you are doing your bit to go greener and to feed and protect your plants the natural way.

Happy Farming!