The pleasures of worm farms

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by Grahame, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    The other night I was out feeding the worms, the air was still and quiet. As I leaned down I could hear the worms eating! A sort of a squelchy sucking sound. It was delightful.

    I was having real trouble with them growing in one of those off-the-shelf plastic 'farms' until I realised that you really have to leave the juice tap open. This seemed to make all the difference, also I stopped feeding them for a while as they seemed to be overwhelmed. Now until they build up their numbers they really only get a few scraps. I'm hoping they will get to a point where they can munch through a lot more stuff, otherwise I'll need a few farms going at once...
     
  2. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,573
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: The pleasures of worm farms

    Have (or do) you use coir/coco peat as a bedding ?
     
  3. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Re: The pleasures of worm farms

    Yeah, I suspect they liked hanging around in that stuff more than the food I gave them, then last summer when the heat was on, they just all up and died. Drowned perhaps? So I got some from a friends compost heap (I bought the original one from from the nursery) and they have been going really well. I've been giving them a drink on the hot days and they seem fine now.
     
  4. Tulipwood

    Tulipwood Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Worm castings

    This is a bit of a naff question from a newbie - bear with me. I have a round worm farm, in layers (commercial variety). It's been going great guns until just the last couple of weeks. Two things have happened in that time - no three. I added the final layer (that's 3 layers now that have had or are having scraps put into them), the temperatures have got really hot and where the farm was occasionally got some morning sun (doesn't anymore, but it's still hot - ie 34 today), and a friend has started giving me her scraps for them which included wraps (ie like pita bread) that had gone moldy.
    Now the food on the top layer is looking really yucky - slimy, and the hessian bag over it is really moist all the time, and slimy. There are some worms in the scraps, but not the handfuls of worms all knotted together that used to be there.
    My questions:
    1. Do I have to urgently remove the bottom layer of castings to allow better drainage and the top layer to 'dry out' a bit? I'm still getting plenty of worm juice.
    2. If I do, how to I store what I presume will be very moist worm castings?
    3. Could my slimy scraps be as a result of losing worms to the hot weather and hence being overfed?
    4. Should bread (and wraps) not be added to the worm food? ( :p it was gluten free organic :wink: )

    TIA
     
  5. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,573
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Worm castings

    Might be too hot... worms usually group together for warmth, and spread out to cool down...
     
  6. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Re: The pleasures of worm farms

    Worms have beds? where do you put this bedding.
     
  7. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Re: The pleasures of worm farms

    Bedding is the first layer at the bottom of the worm farm and can consist of any clean material hay, shreeded paper or typically cocopeat. It gives the worm somewhere to go after work to unwind.

    Tulipwood, it is important to not over feed the worms. If it is not consumed that day or in a couple of days then remove it and give some fresher stuff.
    Never put bread or peanut butter or peanut butter sandwiches for that matter, into your worm farm as the levels of salt can be fatal.

    regards
     
  8. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Re: The pleasures of worm farms

    Cool does it go at the bottom of each layer in commercial systems or just in the bottom one,and how thick?
     
  9. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Re: The pleasures of worm farms

    Just on the bottom layer and at about 30 cms thick should do it depending on the material as you should allow for flattening with hay or paper.
     
  10. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Re: The pleasures of worm farms

    Yeah it sounds like you may have just put a little too much food on the new top layer Tulipwood. Also if there is still some food on the layer below it may take the worms a while before they feel the urge to move up into the top layer. It might be worth sprinkling a handful of dolomite over what you have there and just laying off the feed for a while until you see them getting excited about it again.
     
  11. bonsai

    bonsai Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I find that digging the semi-decomposed food into the top 5cm helps the worms to access the food under the soil.. makes my farm work much faster
     

Share This Page

-->