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Worm Farm News imparts some Tips and Tricks for RAISING & FEEDING Compost Worms?

We encourage worm farmers and interested readers to share their own thoughts, recommendations and perhaps pointers to interesting and relevant articles in relation to worm farming as well as real homespun good advice

Our quest for knowledge is on-going and we all can certainly learn more in relation to this fascinating and useful hobby or business as the case maybe

  • Recommend using blender for shredding food scraps; provides greater food area for worms and microbial bacteria
  • Worms are attracted to the bacteria
  • Bedding when held should form a nice moist lump
  • The more worms you have the better the chance of reproducing
  • Plant seedlings in pure vermicast (worm castings) or mixed with potting mix
  • Suggest read David Murphy ~ ‘Organic Gardening with Worms’
    Experiment with different foods (over time) even for example cooked onion
  • Grass clippings Brown OK but not too much; not Green ~ gets too hot
  • Worms will eat garden refuse, clothing, rags, Hessian bags, manures
  • Will eat any sort of pet poo (dog, cat etc) but must have a separate bin
  • Must be kept in total shade not merely under a convenient shady tree
  • Going on holidays put a lot of moistened shredded newspaper in the bin and you can be away 2-3 weeks but have a friendly neighbour to check if possible
  • Ensure good covering of moistened newspaper on top insulates during hot and cold periods; when moist paper looks and feels wet; when dry the paper is white!  
  • Use Volcanic Rock Dust good for their gizzard; see weatherworks.com.au
  • Use Dolomite in worm farm when castings used on sandy soil (not clay soil)
  • Always leave bottom tap open; OK for dogs, cats, chooks to drink (not kids)
  • Compost worms in the garden may or may not survive; better but slim chances of survival if you have reticulation
  • Worm castings have to be incorporated into the soil mix; if the castings get too dry they will go rock hard
  • In Summer lift the lid during the day to get as much air in as possible (without worms escaping!) and keep up water but don’t flood the bin
  • Don’t use castings on native plants or shrubs (too strong)
  • Recommended minimum worms 0.5kg to 1kg = 2000-4000 worms for a great start

    Quick facts about Worm Farm Composting


    New to worm composting? Looking for some info before jumping in head-first? Well this is a great place to get started

    • Worm composting (also known as vermicomposting) involves the breakdown of organic wastes via the joint action of worms and microorganisms (although there are often other small creatures that lend a hand as well)
    • Regular (soil and garden) earthworms cannot be used for worm composting; they will die if added to an indoor worm bin
    • Earthworms will however congregate in the lower regions of outdoor bins (if open to surrounding soil)
    • Composting worms are specialised surface dwellers (not burrowers), typically living in very rich organic matter such as manure, compost heaps or leaf litter
    • Most common variety used is Eisenia fetida (also spelled ‘foetida‘),
    • Common names for E. fetida include: red wriggler, red worm, manure worm, tiger worm or just compost worms
    • You won’t likely find this species on your property (unless you live on a farm, or happen to introduce them into your compost heap).
    • Lumbricus rubellus is another species (and also a small reddish worm) sometimes used for vermicomposting, but is not as effective as E. fetida
    • It is widely believed that a composting worm can process the equivalent of its own weight in waste each day. Under highly optimum conditions (not likely to be attained with a small home system) red wrigglers  have been found to process multiple times their own weight! This is very much dependent on the food scraps and how well managed the system is
    • A reasonable guideline to follow is 1/4-1/2 total worm weight in waste per day. So if you have a kilogram of compost worms (4000-6000), they should be able to process roughly 1/4-1/2 kilogram of food waste per day
    • Keep in mind however that you may need to feed them less during the first couple months since they usually require a period of settling in when added to a new system
    • Red Wrigglers technically graze on the microbial community that colonizes waste materials – not really the waste itself (although they certainly ingest some of the rotting waste in the process). Some research has indicated that protozoans are the primary food source, while there is also evidence that fungi and other microbes are consumed as well
    • There have been a number of research studies indicating that vermicomposting can significantly reduce levels of pathogens in waste materials, such as biosolids
    • Red Wrigglers  love (and can tolerate) very high levels of moisture content (80-90%), but they also require oxygen so it’s important to find the right balance
    • Surface area is far more important than depth when it comes to worm bins (i.e., tubs work much better than buckets)
    • Regular light is harmful to worms but red light is not
    • Red Wriggler eggs look like tiny straw-coloured lemons
    • Baby worms look like very small versions of the adults (but have less red pigment)
    • Adding crushed egg shells (or other calcium sources) can help stimulate worm reproduction

    For more information and where to purchase your Wheelie Bin Worm Farm Kit  contact

    Wormfarms Australia 48 Johnson place, Wattle Grove 6107 Call 0417 096 202
    info@wormfarmsaustralia.com.au wormfarmsaustralia.com.au

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