Saturday, 30 November 2013

What to put in your worm farm

A worm farm is a fantastic way to turn your organic waste into nutrient-rich fertiliser for your plants and soils. I love worm farms and have two running at our house (one with two working trays and 1 with one working tray). Worms eat organic waste and turn it into liquid fertiliser and worm castings. Both of these products can be used on your garden and on your pot plants to keep them thriving. You can use worm liquid to replace fertiliser. The liquid needs to be diluted until it is the colour of weak tea. This mixture won't burn your plants. You could bottle your excess liquid and give it as a gift with instructions on how to use it.
Do add:
  • Once established, the worm farm will consume approximately 500 grams of scraps each day.
  • Fruit peelings
  • veggie scraps
  • shredded and soaked paper, newspaper or cardboard
  • crushed egg shells
  • sawdust (not from treated wood)
  • coffee grounds and tea bags (this also helps to keep the farm moist)
  • seaweed
  • bread, cake, biscuits in small amounts
  • hair clippings and vacuum cleaner dust
  • Leaf litter
  • Leftover breakfast cereals
Don’t add:
  • Oil, fats or bones
  • Citrus peel, onion or garlic.
  • Dairy (yoghurt, butter and cheese)
  • Fish
  • Magazine paper
  • Meat
  • Citrus - orange peels, lemons, limes, mandarins and pineapples.
  • Too much manure
Worm tea: Every 2-3 weeks, empty the liquid fertiliser from the bottom tray, dilute it 1:10 and use on potted plants, gardens and lawns.  Once the worms have moved into the top working tray, castings from the lower tray can be harvested and added to garden beds or potted plants.
Problem solvers:
  • Sprinkle a little wood ash, garden lime, or dolomite and blood and bone on the top layer from time to time. 
  • Cover new food with a light cover of their bedding material or a handful of soil or compost.
  • Only feed your worms when they have almost finished their last meal or it will start to rot.
  • Chop up their food as small as possible so the worms will get through it faster.
  • A handful of garden lime every couple of weeks or dry material like paper will help balance the effect of acidic food.
  • If you notice pests like slugs and vinegar flies once your farm is up and running, dust the top with lime and check you haven’t added too much food.
Now I'm  off to clean our worm farms with some water (no soap).

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Lady Creativity

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