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Vermicomposting With Red Wiggler Worms

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So you’ve decided to take the plunge and set up your own worm farm. Perhaps you’re looking for a natural way for composting waste or are interested in the nutrient rich fertilizing substance produced by the worms. Or you may be looking to provide a constant supply of live bait or live food for exotic pets. Regardless of the reason, you’re going to need to set up a worm bin.

Various worm farm kits are available for purchase at worm farming supply companies and garden centers. These come in different shapes, sizes and colors and each have their own benefits. The frugal approach is to build your own.

The first thing to consider is how big of a container you’re going to need.  For each pound of waste you will be feeding the worms, you’ll need one square foot of space in your bin. Depth should be at least six to twelve inches.

A plastic tote or  wooden container works well. Metal containers should not be used as irons and chemicals can leach into the soil, harming the worms.

Once a container of the appropriate size has been chosen, it’ll need to be prepared. Holes should be drilled or punched through the top of the container to allow for air flow.

There are two ways to address the bottom of the container. One method is to drill or punch holes into the bottom of the container to allow excess water and other liquids to drain out. Another is to install a spout at the bottom of the container. When liquid begins to fill up in the bottom, the spout is turned on and releases the fluid.

If using a spout, a raised shelf should be added within the container. This shelf should be the same width as the container, but be allowed to sit a few inches above the bottom. This will allow the empty space at the bottom to fill with liquid and prevent it from sitting in the soil and bedding. This raised shelf should be made of slats or have several holes to allow liquids to drain into the bottom of the container.

If a raised shelf is not used, screening should be installed over the holes to allow liquid to run out of the container but prevent worms from squeezing through. Screening should also be attached to the top of the container to prevent escape.

Some thought should be put into what will be used for bedding material. Soaked and shredded newspapers, cardboard and even dampened leaves can be layered in the bin. Regardless of the material used for bedding, a small amount of soil should always be mixed in. If using the raised shelf system, bedding should be layered on top of the shelf.

The container should be put in a location that will ensure optimal conditions. Temperatures should remain between 72 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  The bin should not be placed in direct sunlight.

Worms can be added to your own worm farm once the bin has been constructed, bedding has been added, and the perfect location has been found. Worm farming is rewarding whether it is done for a profit or a hobby. Constructing an appropriate home for these guys is your first step towards becoming an authentic worm farmer.

Worm Factory 360

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Red Wiggler Composting Worms

Go to Red Wiggler Composting Worms to find out more.

A worm farm is an excellent way to recycle leftover scraps and other household waste. Worm farming can be done by anyone. The worm castings (vermicast) that worms produce are a wonderfully rich soil that is used on gardens, lawn and plants.

Worm Factory 360

Click to get more information about the Worm Factory 360

Red Wiggler Composting Worms

Go to  Red Wiggler Composting Worms to find out more.

What are the major benefits of a worm farm?  It is a great way to recycle waste, it enriches gardens and plant soil, it provides other animals with food and it is an excellent project to do with the kids.

Having a worm farm is a way to recycle food scraps and other non-food waste.  Fruits, vegetables and starchy food scraps like bread, pasta and oatmeal are good to feed the worms.  Hair cuttings, leaves, paper items, cotton rags and soaked cardboard are things that can be fed to worms. About one-third of household waste can easily end up being recycled by worm farms.  This is one of the greatest advantages of a worm farm.

A worm farm will  produce a wonderfully rich soil that benefits gardens, plants, flower beds and lawns.  Worm composting is like a wonder-drug for growing things.  Plants and gardens flourish with this worm compost (vermicast) from the worm farm.    In turn the economy will get a boost by selling equipment and other supplies that will be needed in order to maintain land on the farm.  An important factor with a worm farm is that you are getting a soil free from chemicals.  Many other products on the market that you buy have been treated with chemicals.

Many animals depend on worms for food.  A worm farm complements chicken farmers, catfish farms, birds and many other animals.  Fishermen can use worms for fishing which in turn puts food on their table.

A worm farm is a great project to bring the family together.  The kids will love getting their hands dirty and helping their parents recycle.  In addition, when the kids need a project in school a worm farm is a terrific project that they can take to school and share.

As you can see, a worm farm has numerous benefits.  Both for the environment as well as for families.  It brings people together to share ideas.  Groups are formed to tell their experiences and dealings with worm farms.  People in other countries are familiar with worms and eat them as regular food.   It’s really interesting when you start to look beyond the usual and see how much worms and a worm farm really helps the environment.

The number one reason people start worm farming is because they want to turn fruit and vegetable scraps into an enriched potting soil. Great soil that can be used for their garden and house plants. Worm composting is like a natural wonder-drug for your plants and garden. It is a project that can be easily done year round by home owners and apartment occupants. It’s ideal for people who have limited space to set-up a compost bin but want to compost their food scraps. This is an activity that is not only good for yourself but for the environment. Everyone can worm farm!

To start worm farming you will need a strong plastic container about 7″ deep. I usually use one about 9-10″ wide and 14-16″ in length. The worms most suitable for worm farms are red worms (also known as red wrigglers or manure worms), blue worms and tiger worms. Nightcrawlers and earthworms should not be used. Place the containers in dark or well-shaded areas. Container, crates or bins can easily be stacked to take up less room.

In the plastic container you need to add shredded newspaper (not colored paper) dampened, but not soaked. Add a few handfuls of garden soil and a few crushed eggs shells to the newspaper. Keep the bedding material wettish but not drenched. Worms need the moisture for breathing through their skin. If the worm farm is left outside make sure that there is proper drainage in the container. The proper amount of water and temperature is critical to having a healthy worm farm. Eliminate placing the worm farm in direct sunlight and in colder weather bring it into a shed or garage to keep it from freezing. Don’t allow your worm farm to dry out because without water they will die. Temperatures between 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is good for worm farming. Be aware that any temperature over 90 degrees will cook your worm farm.

It is imperative that you know what to feed worms when worm farming. Worms will eat anything, good or bad, so you need to determine what may or may not be appropriate. Fruits, vegetables and starchy scraps (bread, pasta, oatmeal) are very nutritious. Worms prefer the scraps chopped and smaller so they are quicker and easier to digest Some nonfood articles like leaves, hair clippings, cotton rags, paper products and soaked cardboard may be given to worms. Refrain from feeding worms oily substances. And don’t feed them too many acidic foods, coffee grounds or tea bags. Never feed worms dairy products, meat, poultry or salty foods. These items should be eliminated because they create a rotting smell that draws unwanted pests to the container. Foods that have been treated with chemicals and medications should not be offered to worms. Worms in your worm farm will try to leave the container if you feed them onions, garlic or shallots.

When deciding how much food to feed worms remember that worms consume half their body weight each day. So feed them appropriately. New food should be fed only when the other food is almost gone. Never overfeed worms because it can lead to problems with unwanted odors and pests. When introducing new worms to your worm farm feed them smaller amounts of food. As they get settled the amount can be increased. Something that you must be aware of is that the worm population doubles every few months so be careful not to underfeed them.

The benefits of worm farming is that worms use leftover scraps and change them into castings or vermicast. Worm castings and vermicast are a rich soil-like substance that is great for feeding house plants, adding to seedling mixes and potting soil. Many people use it as a top-dressing around plants. Castings can be saved in containers with lids to be used at a later date. Worms reduce the amount of garbage that would otherwise go into landfills. About one-third of household waste can be recycled by worm farms.

A properly fed worm population can live for 5 or more years. You and the environment will benefit from worm farming. A worm farm is easy to set-up. Anyone can worm farm!