Castings from worms, sometimes known as worm poop, are widely regarded as the superior choice for amending soil. When applied to the soil before planting seedlings or when incorporated when you’re potting up a plant, you can be confident that you are introducing a material that resembles chocolate and is ph neutral. This substance includes a variety of beneficial components for your plants. Because worms thrive in damp environments, the “juice” that they produce as a byproduct of their activity may be quite beneficial. Because plants are unable to absorb any nutrients that are not in liquid form, the use of worm juice produces virtually instant benefits.
The color of those geraniums is accurate; the only fertilizer these plants have had since they were planted a few years ago is worm juice. This photograph was not altered in any way by the use of picture editing software.
Since you are aware of how beneficial worms may be for our garden, the next question is how you should go about capturing the wriggling insects. Step inside the worm farm…
Different kinds of worm farms
We are really fortunate in Australia to have a number of local manufacturers that build high-quality worm farms that are tailored to the environmental circumstances of our country. When I say “our circumstances,” I mean that they are crafted from polymers that are able to withstand the high quantities of ultraviolet radiation that we get in Australia, which is plenty. It’s encouraging to note that certain businesses make use of recycled and/or recyclable plastics in their products. The majority of worm farms come equipped with some kind of “stack-ability,” which enables the worms to ultimately leave their castings (also known as poop) and travel to other parts of the farm where there is more food available. Drainage and the ability to get to the valuable castings quickly and readily are the two most important aspects of a worm farm to bear in mind while shopping for one. Weight is another factor to take into account since once these objects are loaded with wet castings, they become rather heavy. The model that I am now working with has a number of stacking trays, a drainage plug, and a handful of other intriguing characteristics, all of which I will discuss in further depth in the following paragraphs.
You can see the various tray method that I use for my worm farm in this picture.
Even though I don’t have an allergy to dirt, if the process of feeding your worms turns into a nasty hassle, I don’t think you’ll continue doing it for very long. Because of this, the worm farm I keep is situated quite close to the entrance of my home. It is also a location that receives nearly complete shade throughout the summer months, thanks in large part to the evergreen passionfruit climber, which shields the area from the sun in the afternoon. This means that I only need to take two steps to reach my worm farm, and as it is protected from the elements, I can make the journey even if it is raining or snowing in only my socks if I really have to!
The drainage bucket, which is used to collect the FANTASTIC worm juice, may be found just below the front of the worm farm. I removed the tap that was originally included with this model so that the worm farm would always be able to drain properly and there would be no risk of the worms being submerged in water. The only drawback is that there is a possibility of the bucket becoming full if you fail to empty it on a regular basis. The fact that the concrete slopes toward my passionfruit plant has never been a challenge for me; in fact, this may be the reason why I’ve had such a successful harvest this year.
The moment has come to investigate the inside…
You can see that I’ve covered the food scraps with a hessian bag in order to maintain the level of moisture in the mixture. The worms will eventually chew through the hessian, at which point it will be necessary to change the bag; I purchased this bag from a coffee roaster in the neighbourhood. You may alternatively use a substantial slab of newspaper or one of the coverings that are specifically designed for use with worm farms. Because adding food to your worm farm may be a messy endeavour, one of the features of this model that I’ve learned to particularly like is the self-holding lid. Because of this, the only thing that has to be done is to raise the hessian and place the scraps below; the whole process may be completed with only one hand.
When you lift the hessian, you will see the shreds that were only recently laid down. This is a respectable quantity, but after a year my worms will make quick work of it in just a few short days. Start with just a little quantity of scraps, and if after a week you can still see them and they seem entirely undisturbed, you’ve added too much.
Now that I’ve removed the top tray, you should be able to get a better look at the worm castings, which have the consistency of chocolate pudding. As can be seen in the upper portion of this tray, there are several worms that are still there.
The third tray exposes between 10 and 15 kg of high-quality soil conditioner that was produced totally from food wastes that would have otherwise been decomposing in our local landfill.
Castings, which will be utilised for planting with my winter vegetables, will soon be removed from this one, and it will soon be empty (cabbage, broccoli and cauliflowers). After that, this tray will move up to the top of the stack to become the feeding tray, and so on.
The base of this worm farm is located at the very bottom, and it is this base that gathers and channels the worm juice toward the exit. Take note of the elevated portion that has a dry resting spot for the worms in the event that the more daring members of the group find themselves down here…
In addition to ensuring that your worms are fed, you must also keep them wet at all times, particularly when the temperature is very high. I just use a regular watering can on top of the hessian, and I only need to add about a litre or two of water every seven days.
This will cause your bucket of worm juice to begin to fill up. Naturally, the concentration of water in the juice will decrease with the amount of water that is circulated through the farm. My vertical wall garden includes fast-growing Asian greens and lettuce, so I used one litre of concentrated worm juice and diluted it with eight litres of water to create a liquid fertiliser for the crop.