I learned to make a free-range worm farm
I learned to make a free-range worm farm. Here is how to do it.
You will need: a piece of ground for a little garden bed, a metre-long
piece of 225mm stormwater pipe or a couple of old 20-litre plastic
drums, a power saw or hacksaw, a drill, a 25 to 50mm hole saw,
a spade, a large plant saucer to fit the end of the pipe, some organic
mulch and 2000 compost worms (Red Manure worms or Tiger worms).
1 Find a spot quite near the kitchen door with some soil and
enough space for a garden bed, say 1.5m square at least.
2 Lay out a garden bed with edging and a deep hole in the middle
for the worm tube to go into. Keep some of the soil.
3 Take your piece of stormwater pipe, or cut the bottoms out
of two plastic drums and glue them together.
4 Drill a lot of large holes (about the size of a 50c piece)
all around one end of the pipe, covering the bottom 40cm.
5 Bury the holey end of the pipe in the hole in the middle of
your garden bed, so the holes are below ground level.
6 Half-fill the inside of the bottom of the pipe with soil. Leave
room for kitchen scraps to fill it up level with the outside soil.
7 Get your mulch and your worms ready. Water the whole area
well, and then scatter your worms around outside the tube.
8 Quickly mulch all around the tube, covering the worms up.
9 Now pour a bucketful of kitchen scraps into the worm tube.
Add a layer of mulch on top to keep the scraps moist.
10 Cover the open end of the worm tube with
the big saucer and fill the saucer with water
to act as a bird bath. Birds will help your
garden by eating up pests.
11 Mulch all over the rest of your little garden
bed, and plant into it whatever will do well in
the position you’ve chosen.
12 Keep adding food scraps to the worm tube to
keep your worms well fed. Add enough water
to keep the tube moist (not wet). The worms
will breed up to the right number for the area.
They will aerate your soil, eat up all your food
scraps and turn them into the best fertiliser
and plant food you can get. Worm castings
have great water-holding properties too.
Worm farms provide you with many benefits:
Your soil is aerated and fertilised by the worms adding their castings to it and enriching it.
Your plants will be stronger and more resistant to disease as the richer environment strengthens them.
No waste: keep your scraps and make richer soil out of them. (No need to have a smelly dustbin.)
Easy livestock to care for: feed extra, including soaked newspaper, if you’re going on holiday.
The worms provide food for your quails and hens. What to feed your compost worms. Worms will eat anything
that once lived. They are not too keen on lots of acidic stuff though, as it burns their skin.
They like alkalinity, so add a sprinkling of lime to their scraps. Tomatoes and citrus are not their favourite thing, but they can manage if they don’t get too much at once. They’ll eat up all the bits that would otherwise go
smelly in the dustbin, like
~ vegetable peelings
~ leftover pizza
~ rotten veg and fruit
~ old flower heads
and as well
~ vacuum cleaner dust
~ old cotton rags
~ hair off your brush
and lots of other stuff. You may decide against feeding them meat and fat as these can bring blowflies.
What you can plant in the garden bed. There will be good levels of nitrogen in the bed, so if the sunlight is right
you can plant annual herbs like parsley, coriander, dill and basil. Also salad.