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How do I create my own worm farm?

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Expert Answer

Creating a worm farm is a great idea for getting rid of kitchen scraps. Plus it creates a natural

(and low cost) fertiliser and gives the kids a low maintenance project they can own. Worms turn food scraps into a soil amendment called vermicastings, also known as worm castings or worm poo, which speeds up plant growth and reduces the effect of plant diseases and pests.

How to:

Worm farms are really nothing more than a structure made of two containers stacked one on top of the other- any container will do (with an exception to cardboard). Polystyrene crates or fish bins are ideal. However, the container needs to be:

A) Waterproof

B) Have a well-fitting lid.

The top container will house the worms and worm food. Prepare this container by drilling holes in the base of the container for the liquid to run through as well as a few on either side to allow some air to circulate through. The bottom container should have no holes as it is the collect bin for the liquid. You will also need a support for the base of the bin to sit atop- wooden stakes or bricks are fine.

Place the bricks on the ground; put the bottom container on-top followed by the top container. Fill the top container with moist shredded newspaper and compost or grass. Then place the worms and some food scraps to get them started.

Collect and use the liquid as it collects in the bottom container.

A tip from Team McGregor: If you have more liquid that you can use get the kids to bottle the excess in old soft drink bottles, make up a name for it and sell as a potent liquid fertilizer!

Feeding your worms

What to Feed

·Fruit and Vegetable scraps

·Coffee grounds

·Paper – shredded

·Damp cardboard

What not to feed

·Onions

·Citrus fruit

·Tomatoes

·Meat products

Important points

  • Do not over feed, although they can eat their own weight in food they are still just worms. Only feed your worms when the previous scraps have been eaten – unwanted food will just sit there and this can lead to odor problems. As your population increases then add more food per day.
  • Always keep your farm covered – you can lift the lid a little on hot day but watch ensure your farm does not get too dry – If it gets to dry just add some cold-water using a mister to prevent damage. The farm needs to be moist not wet and there is always a little moisture in the kitchen scraps.

§There are two types of fertilizer that you get from your farm. Worm castings - these are what the worm leaves this can be used as it is and worked in to your soil, and liquid fertiliser.

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