Home > Educational Projects > All About Making Your Own Worm Farm

All About Making Your Own Worm Farm

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 1 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Worm Farm Build Compost Liquid Feed

Building your own worm farm will not only serve to quickly reduce your household food waste, but will also produce beneficial worm compost (‘vermicompost’) and liquid feed for your garden or allotment. Worm farms are a great way to introduce children to some natural science basics.

Hands-on experience is one of the most useful ways to effectively explain and learn new ideas and foster interest. Children can indulge their interest by helping to create a worm farm with see-through sides; this allows them to follow the activities of the worms.

Before You Start

There are many different ways to make a worm farm, however, before you start building it’s important to understand the preferred habitat of worms. This will help to ensure that your worm farm thrives! Worms need warm, continually moist and dark conditions to survive and thrive. By keeping them warm over winter, in a garage or shed, you’ll also help to maintain their activity through the otherwise cooler months.

Worms will easily turn your cardboard, food scraps and garden waste into gorgeously rich compost. However, they do have preferences! Try to avoid putting citrus peelings into your worm farm. Likewise, worms will not be able to tackle large bones or chunks of meat and fish. It’s also worth noting that they’ll overlook strong flavoured food scraps such as onions in favour of other kitchen and vegetable scraps. They’ll also happily compost natural materials such as hair, wool, and eggshells.

Different types of worms will serve different purposes. Earthworms seek darkness, and will burrow down through your worm farm. Tiger worms, however, are more suited to worm farms, as they’re prolific and will naturally be attracted to the kitchen scraps in your worm farm. You can buy live tiger worms to start off your worm farm colony.

Materials

If your worm farm is more functional than educational, you can opt to construct it using a black plastic bin with a lid. Try to opt for a shallow bin or container if possible. Simply drill quite a few holes around the top to allow air in – circulating air is vital. You’ll also need to drill out a hole for the hose tap, to allow you to siphon off your compost liquid feed. It should be placed near to the bottom of the bin where the liquid will naturally collect. You’ll need to regularly drain your worm farm to ensure that the worms don’t drown. When feeding to your plants, the rich liquid feed can be mixed with water at a ratio of 1:10.

The next step is to create a relatively dry bottom layer to your worm farm. This can be moistened newspaper covered with a layer of sand and/or fine gravel or twigs. You will then need to create the bedding layer. This should be easily compostable matter, such as moist dead leaves, manure, straw and suchlike. You can mix in extra strips of newspaper and soil to add ‘body’ to the compost mixture, making sure that it isn’t too dry.

It’s at this point that you can add your tiger worms. Make sure that you also have your first ‘food’ batch ready, by emptying any vegetable peelings, garden waste material such as grass clippings or weeds. This should be buried into the top of the bedding layer. You can then place a piece of soaked cardboard over the top, and place the lid on the bin.

The worm farm should then be placed in a shady spot to ensure that it doesn’t dry out easily, and remains undisturbed.

See Through Worm Farm

If you want to get your kids involved in creating and maintaining your worm farm, you can scale down the operation and substitute the black bin for a large clear plastic bottle. The lid can be a piece of secured cardboard with holes punched in, or a piece of breathable material fixed with clips or a rubber band. Remember to ensure that the worms have enough air circulating throughout the mini worm farm!

Whatever the size of your worm farm, you’ll need to regularly top up the food matter that you add, making sure to bury it into the bedding matter. This ensures that your worms have a plentiful supply of food – remember that eventually they’ll breed and after a few months, your colony will have grown considerably.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
eggs work fine for me...the two things i have trouble with is fruit flies and i can never seem to get the water off..I have even tried soaking it up but prehaps i have the wrong kind of material to do that
pipki - 22-Dec-11 @ 1:32 PM
In my experience (and I have a thriving colony of tiger worms in my compost), egg shells (even when crunched up) don't get touched - they still come out the bottom untouched. So despite what this article says I no longer try to compost egg shells.
Andrew Cryer - 24-Jun-11 @ 9:23 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Cornish
    Re: Make Your Own Sloe Gin
    I have dregs of bottle of homemade sloe gin; can I top up with more gin and keep it going? If so do I need to add sugar as if starting…
    20 June 2017
  • Tanya
    Re: Make Your Own Periscope and Kaleidoscope
    Very easy to make and interesting.
    8 June 2017
  • Parrot
    Re: Make Your Own Sloe Gin
    Hi, I've just decanted sloe gin and slodka made in 2013. It is natural, unsweetened and the gin is delicious, and the vodka is much…
    6 June 2017
  • MakingYourOwn
    Re: Make Your Own Fudge
    GVallen - Your Question:This is quite honestly the WORST fudge recipe I have ever come across, it completely ruined our best pan and didn't…
    27 March 2017
  • GVallen
    Re: Make Your Own Fudge
    This is quite honestly the WORST fudge recipe I have ever come across, it completely ruined our best pan and didn't even work! Even at over…
    25 March 2017
  • Barry
    Re: Make Your Own Tea
    I would like to make and package my own earl grey tea. Am I able to buy the ingredients from you or do you know where from?
    4 March 2017
  • sally
    Re: Ten 'Make Your Own' Uses for Lemons
    I want to make my own cleaning products,,dishwash and everyting,need recipes and help
    15 February 2017
  • MakingYourOwn
    Re: Make Your Own Sloe Gin
    AnneN - Your Question:I made some sloe gin last year and have left the sloes in for over a year. They look fine, it's a good colour and…
    14 February 2017
  • AnneN
    Re: Make Your Own Sloe Gin
    I made some sloe gin last year and have left the sloes in for over a year. They look fine, it's a good colour and tastes good. Will it be…
    12 February 2017
  • Tissa marasinghe
    Re: Make Your Own Washing Powder & Fabric Conditioner
    I like making washing powder.
    8 February 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the MakingYourOwn website. Please read our Disclaimer.