Starting a worm farm is fun and simple, really! You can go from discovery to implementation in just a few days. Most people consider worm farming because they want to reduce waste, so lets talk about some simple steps you can take to make it possible.
Prepare for the task. How do you prepare for vermicomposting?Read up, watch videos, take a class. You can do all of the above right here on this website. I have over 150 pages of wormy content, videos, an online class too. Or you can take a local class and read one or both of these books:
Order your worms
- Find a local supplier if possible, that way your worms are adjusted to your local climate. Red Wiggler worms are the worm of choice for bin composting. A good starter amount is 1 pound or many suppliers, myself included sell starter bags. One pound will compost the scraps for a family of 2.
While you are waiting on your worms to arrive: complete the next two steps (before the worms get to you)
Make a bin.
In the spirit of reducing- it is preferable to make a bin out of materials you are not using: maybe a 5 gallon bucket or an 18 gallon tote. Even a wooden crate or old fridge will work. It just needs to be opaque (not transluscent) AND have air holes.
Or buy one that is ready to go:
Prepare you bedding.
A good starter mix is 1/2 peat moss or cococoir and 1/2 other material like newspaper/cardboard. A big mistake of new worm composters is starting with a bin of all newspaper in a new bin. Next wet down the bedding and wait 24 hours before adding your worms. Why? allow the moisture to even out AND the chlorine from your water to get out. The moisture should feel damp. If you grab a handful and squeeze you should get 1-2 drops of water out.
Place your worms on top of the bedding materials and shine a light on the bin for 8-12 hours. A simple lamp next to the bin will do, NO direct sun. Do NOT mess with them. Overstimulation is one of the
3 biggest mistakes
of new worm farmers.
Place your lid on the bin after the 8-12 hours with a light, and walk away from the bin for 2-3 days. NO FOOD YET. Let them chill out for a while.
Step 6Feed the worms 1/2 their weight. For a pound of worms feed 1/2 pound of
food scraps or other acceptable worm food.
Do NOT feed again until that food is gone.It will likely take a week the first feeding. Feed in one corner or area at a time, do not spread the food out over the whole bin.
Place 1" of paper shreds on top of the food, to reduce fruit flies
Check the bin every 60-90 days to see if you need to
Use the finished castings (worm poop) in your garden.
Once you have completed the above steps, you will have a
healthy worm bin
and you are ready to start all over again.
I hope this article on starting a worm farm was helpful.