Our red wiggler worms are great for starting your own vermicompost! We will provide you with 4 cups of compost and worms (roughly 250 worms) to start, but there are a few steps you should consider taking before making the commitment to purchasing worms.
To prep for your worms, be sure to:
- Grab a couple of polystyrene fruit boxes from the local fruit and vegie shop or market. Most places are more than happy to let you take as many as you want, so hunt around and grab a couple with lids.
- Punch some holes in the bottom of one of the boxes with a screwdriver. This will become the “top box” in the worm farm. Line the inside base of this box with mesh or insect screening, to stop the worms falling through the holes.
- In the box without holes (the bottom box), punch a hole and put a small length of hose or a tap as close to the base as possible, to collect the precious worm wee. Place the top box (the one with all the holes in the base) onto the bottom box, and you’re half way there!
- Now add the bedding material (shredded newspaper and aged compost or manure) into the top box and lightly dampen the contents. The box should be about ¼ full of the bedding material.
- Head off and buy some worms. Ordinary garden worms or earthworms are not suitable for worm farms and will die. Worms are sold in boxes of 500 or 1000, this is the best way to get your farm going. A thousand worms are ideal for a DIY worm farm. These types of worms are generally Reds, Tigers or Blues and are often just sold as composting worms. Pop the worms in the top box, they will soon wriggle down into the bedding.
- Cover the worm bed with newspaper or a piece of hessian to help maintain a nice constant temperature and moisture level in the bedding material. Place the lid of the box on the top.
Let the worms settle for a couple of days, then add some food waste to the top box, under the hessian. These scraps could include things such as:
- Kitchen scraps like leftovers (cooked vegetables and stewed fruit leftovers)
- Fruit peelings (avoid citrus fruits – the worms find their smell too strong)
- Grass clippings (lightly sprinkled),
- Autumn leaves (small amounts)
- Paper, cereal packets, pizza boxes, junk-mail, (all torn up and soaked in water beforehand)
- Tea-bags, coffee grinds, tea and coffee dregs
- Hair clippings and vacuum cleaner dust
- Vegetable scraps and peelings (avoid onion)
- Crushed egg shells (these are excellent to help maintain the pH of the bedding)
- Aged manures
Do the worms a favour and chop this stuff up before you put it in the worm farm…afterall, worms don’t have teeth, so
the easier it is for them to digest the waste, the happier the worm farm will be!