Worm Farm FAQ's
How to make sure that your worm farm is successful
• 1 Bedding;
• 2 Proper moisture
• 3 Correct amount and type of food:
• 4 Sufficient aeration;
• 5 Maintaining appropriate temperature range.
• 6 Suitable pH Levels
• 7 Sufficient space
HOW TO SET UP A WORM FARM
First of all you would need to source a worm farm from Global Worming and identify the best worm farm that would meet your needs. Once you purchase your worm farm with your composting worms you would need to identify where you will locate your worm farm in your house / business or institution.
Find a place out of direct sunlight for your Bin to prevent it overheating. Worms need to be in a cool and sheltered environment where no direct sunlight is on them.
You can place your Worm Bin indoors as well as outdoors. The process is odorless and the worm bin doesn't take up lots of space. It can be placed underneath a kitchen sink, in a small corner in the garage or anywhere in your back yard, your balcony or garden. So you can compost even if you don't have a lot of space. Protect your worms from extreme temperatures. Red Worms can handle anything from "5 to 30 degrees Celsius" but prefer the temperatures to be moderate.
You should prepare some soaked and shredded newspapers, paper towels or peat moss for the worms. Add a few handfuls of sand or topsoil to the bedding and fill the bottom of the bin with app. 8cm of the bedding. Add your worms to the bin. The worms will crawl down into the bedding. Now you can add a thin layer (5cm) of food on top of the bedding and cover it with a wet piece of Hessian Cloth or a soaked newspaper and close the bin with the lid. The worms will start eating the food. Check the bin once a week. Once the food is consumed slowly increase the feeding as the worms multiply.
WHAT TO USE FOR WORM BEDDING
Worm bedding will absorbs and holds moisture, while allowing oxygen to penetrate the composting zones.
Examples of Bedding Materials: shredded cardboard, Shredded paper (ideally not white office paper), shredded newsprint, coco coir, well aged manure and compost, fall leaves, straw, hay, saw dust, wood chips, bark.The worm bedding is put in the middle try with the worms and good to put a mixture of items in the worm bedding. Soak your bedding 24 hours prior especially if you have used tap water to soak the bedding material as to remove chlorine from the water.
HOW MOIST MUST THE CONTENTS OF THE WORM BIN BE?
The Worms will breathe through their skin and need the contents of the bin to be moist at all times. The ideal moisture level is between 80 and 90%. Take a handful of bedding and squeeze it. 1 or 2 drops of liquid dripping down will be perfect a little more or less will still be ok.
DIFFERENT ORGANISMS IN THE WORM FARM
The worm farm is an eco system in its own and you will find a variety of little bugs in the worm farm and they are there to assist the worms in breaking down the organic waste that is put in the worm farm. As long as they are living in harmony and competing for food the worms will be happy.
WHAT PESTS DO YOU FIND IN THE WORM FARM
Ants for the most part pose no threat to the worm bin environment. A few scouting ants here and they're not an issue but you know that scouts can bring a slew of others competing for the food. So, be on the lookout for scouts.
A preventive measure you can take on bins inside or out (especially the stackable ones) is to put the legs of the bin into bowls of water. This serves as a mote. Either the ants will drown or avoid the water altogether.
Farmer beware! These are parasites that latch onto the worm and suck the blood right out of it. It will also attach itself and suck fluid from the cocoons. Make no mistake.
These are worm farming pests of the 4th kind and are predatory creatures. I have not had experience with these blood suckers.
Centipedes and millipedes
At first glance you may mistake these arthropods as a worm because of its long segmented brownish body. They mainly feed on decaying matter but are also known to feed on small insects, other arthropods, and yes, earthworms. I am not sure what makes these bugs feed on worms from time to time but...I will categories them as worm farming pests.
If you see any, it's a good idea to pull them out.
Black Soldier Flies (Maggots)
They live in wetlands and enjoy composts and manures. I'm mainly talking about the maggots in general.
They can grow in numbers if not taken care of. They do no harm to the worms and they are great composters. But again, its unneeded competition for food. Thus making them worm farming pests if too many.
Soldier Fly Larvae
If you only have a few you might want to wait it out. Pull as many out as you can. You need to keep the adults from coming back and laying eggs. Remove as much food as you can and fill the bin with plenty of absorbent shredded material.
The worms will eat the bedding while the bin will not attract the adult flies. you may also want to put some mosquito netting around it as to not allow any adult flies in to lay eggs but all larva must be gone before netting is installed.
Moles live underground and burrow through the root systems of plants and grasses.
Solution: Be sure your worm habitat if directly on the ground has a bottom to it like wood, concrete, or metal screening. There's no better delicacy to a mole than worm delight. (Note: If you have some type of flooring make sure it has proper drainage so you don't flood your worms from too much leachate.)
Solution: The best plan of action is to have all four walls and a roof. Install some kind a chicken wire or put a cover over it. This also applies to those who have backyard chickens or free range (pastured) chickens clucking about.
TEMPERATURE IN A WORM FARM
The ideal temperature in a worm farm is between 16 and 27 degree
LOW TEMPERATAURE IN A WORM FARM
When your worm farm temperature is too low your worms will mass together in a ball to keep each other warm. The worms will eat less and reproduce less. At 10 Degree Celsius the worm activity in the farm will slow down but should the temperature drop below 4 degree Celsius for an extended time the worms could die.
HOW TO INCREASE THE TEMPERTURE IN A WORM FARM
Leave the lid of your worm farm on so the heat remains in the farm and try to insulate the farm. If the temperature goes below for 4 degree Celsius for a duration of time you can move your worm farm in doors and put a piece of cardboard underneath so to insulate the farm also you can put a light on the farm so to heat it up a bit.
HIGH TEMPERATUER IN A WORM FARM
If your temperature in your worm farm increases to 27 degree Celsius the activity in your worm farm will slow down. Should the temperature reach 35 degree Celsius the worms will die quite quickly and you can lose all your worm in your worm farm. You can tell if your worms are moving to the lower cooler trays this is an indication that the temperature is too high.
HOW TO DECREASE THE TEMPERATURE IN A WORM FARM
Firstly make sure that your worm farm is in the shade and not direct sunlight. Ensure that the bedding stays moist and that you have sufficient air flow in the bin. Do not overfeed your worms as this can increase the temperature in the worm farm. You can open the lid of the bin and put a fan on it to reduce the heat in the bin and increase the airflow. In extreme heat in the worm bins, you can also put some ice blocks in the bin to reduce the heat.
We’ve impressed upon you the importance of worm bin temperature maintenance and given you the ideal temperature range for your worm bin. Now, we will impart some crucial tips on how to check and maintain the temperature.
MOULD IN MY WORM FARM
People sometimes get worried if they find mould and fungi in the worm farm, but do not worry about it as it is a natural part of the composting process and assists in the breaking down of the organic waste. I would recommend turning the bedding and covering the mould up.