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Worm farms! Advice for a novice.

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#1 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 21 February 2018 - 01:14 PM

DH bought me a worm farm. We don’t want a compost heap so I though this would be a good alternative. Plus the kids will love it.

So where do I begin?

It has three trays, I gather I fill the first tray with the supplied mulch stuff and buy some worms and a blanket, and then start throwing in my kitchen scraps. Is that all there is to it? And once that tray is full I put the second tray on top and continue the process.

The instructions say to add dirt with your kitchen scraps. Is this necessary? Where do people get their dirt from? Do you just get some from your garden? What if you don’t have a garden do you just buy a bag of potting mix and leave it beside your worm farm?

Have you ever had rats or mice get in your farm? What about cockroaches? (We have both round here, and possums)

Where is your farm? I want it on the back deck but DH wants it further away from the house.

How long to fill a tray? Instructions say 3 months, and I have three trays, if it takes that long I might just work with 2 trays. Is there any advantage to more trays?

Can I put cooked meat in?

Any other advice?


#2 Tender Heart

Posted 21 February 2018 - 01:46 PM

We've previously had a worm farm, but we ended up with too many scraps (as our family grew and other family members became "generous" with their waste!) so converted to a compost heap.

Never had a problem with mice, etc.  Little insects, yes, but nothing awful.  We kept it around the side of the house, but out of sight as it wasn't particularly pretty!

We didn't add meat - I'm not sure you can, but could be wrong on that front.  They also don't like dairy, citrus or onion from memory.

Ours came with coconut husk, mat and worms.  We didn't ever add soil to it, but did add shredded paper and sprayed water on it occasionally.  Some worms are very sensitive to changes in the soil and particular waste.  I found the worms slowed down a bit during winter, but can't remember exactly how long it took them to fill a tray.  We tended to use the liquid rather than castings, but they didn't make an awful lot of it.

#3 NikiOne

Posted 21 February 2018 - 01:56 PM

We've never put dirt in. We do put in paper and cardboard. No meat and very limited dairy. Bread goes in but often grows some interesting mold before the worms get through it. No citrus.
We've never seen rats around it and as we are inner city there are definitely rats around - the worm farm is fully enclosed so they couldn't get in. We have possums too but they haven't got in. Occasionally we get small flies or insects.
Currently ours is at our back door about 2m from the kitchen bench as that was the best place to keep it cool over summer. It's also the easiest to put food scraps in after each meal i.e. no buckets of food scraps sitting in the kitchen waiting for somebody (aka me) to take them out. The toddler loves feeding the wormies.
We do not generate a heap of waste. If you do then you might find you need more than one farm. We find that in the warmer months they chew through heaps but in the colder Melbourne winter it really slows down.
Multiple trays allow you to move the worms out of a tray so that you can use the worm poo on the garden. I've found it takes them ages (many many months) to finish off what is in a tray and move up to the one above.

#4 Neko NoNo

Posted 21 February 2018 - 02:09 PM

I've never succeeded with a worm farm, but thought I would share one thing I learned- the don't like onions also means they don't like leeks and shallots! Took me a while to work that one out

#5 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 21 February 2018 - 02:24 PM

Keep it somewhere cool. You don’t want to cook your worms!

#6 StoneFoxArrow

Posted 21 February 2018 - 03:10 PM

View Post22Fruitmincepies, on 21 February 2018 - 02:24 PM, said:

Keep it somewhere cool. You don’t want to cook your worms!

I second this. In fact, I found that it was too hard to keep the temperature of my farm regulated, so I've taken both trays down to my community garden plot.

#7 wallofdodo

Posted 21 February 2018 - 03:20 PM

We have buried a couple of rubbish bins in our garden. They act like worm farms.

They have holes drilled in the side and bottoms and are buried about 7/8ths in the ground. Food scraps go in and a bit of soil paper or straw.

When it is full we let it sit for a few months then dig it out and put in the garden.

The bins have tight lids so no rats.

#8 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 21 February 2018 - 03:50 PM

View Post22Fruitmincepies, on 21 February 2018 - 02:24 PM, said:

Keep it somewhere cool. You don’t want to cook your worms!

I’m in Melbourne, 95% of the year is perfect worm temperature. I think it will be fine, if out of the sun. On those few hot days I guess I’ll just hose it down.

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