Responsible Worm Farming 

Make your own vermicompost – Treasured by gardeners

PLEASE NOTE:  Proper worm farm management is important. The worms themselves should not be added to your garden’s soil or veggie garden as they aren’t indigenous to South Africa. Sift through the vermicompost and always look out for cocoons (worm eggs) and worms and put them back in the worm farm.

Red wigglers (Eisenia Fetida) are different from your normal earthworms found in garden soil.  They are nature’s miracle workers as they are specialists in composting. They can be kept indoors or outdoors in full shade in a three tray worm farm system.  

Feed them 40:60 green (nitrogen) – and brown (carbon) materials. Red wigglers break these organic waste materials (food, paper and leaves) into a product called worm castings.  Their castings are invaluable, as it won’t burn your plants or seedlings and are full of beneficial nutrients, which our soils desperately need.    

Circular Homes can help you set-up your worm farm if you stay in the Helderberg area.  Alternative we will supply you with online support, set-up and care instructions.

Benefits of Worm Farm in Your Home

No Running Costs

Once you’ve got your worm farm, you never have to pay for anything else again.

Yay! Vermicompost!

They give the best compost in the world filled with millions of microbes and nutrients.

No Bad Smells

Always layer food waste with wet shredded newspaper, cardboard, or compost.

Pets with an advantage

They are little pets in your house, but turn their food into black gold! Keep moist and do not overfeed.

Keep worm farm moist and in full shade

Only feed again once last food is finished

Always keep food waste covered

Looking after your Worm Farm

Set-Up

Set up the worm farm in full shade or indoors.

Proper ventilation is essential.

Add wet newspaper, compost and worms in the middle tray.

Keep the worm farm moist, but not soggy.

Feeding

Add food waste once a week and cover with wet newspaper, wet egg cartons or compost. Feed 40:60 greens (nitrogen) and browns (carbon).

Do NOT add cooked food, meat, bones, citrus, onions, fat, spicy food  (unless pre-composted with Bokashi).

Harvesting

Once the middle tray is almost full, add wet newspaper in top tray and start feeding them there.

Harvest vermicastings and look out for cocoons (eggs) and worms and put them back in the farm. 

You can make worm tea with vermicastings.

 

Maintenance

Tap off the leachate at the bottom tray and throw back in the top tray. (This is not worm tea.)

Move the middle tray to top and top tray to the middle (always rotating once full).

Start feeding again and harvesting.

 

Leachate (Tap from bottom tray)

PLEASE NOTE:  This is not worm tea and therefore can create an ideal environment for bad anaerobic bacteria to grow, which can cause diseases in your soil and plants.

Leachate comes from the water in the decomposing food waste, which accumulates in the bottom tray.  Worms can’t wee 🙂

Tap the liquid off and throw it back in the top tray to keep it moist in the worm farm or alternatively throw it in the drain.

A well managed worm farm has little or no liquid in the bottom tray.

Brew Real Worm Tea

Fill a 20 litre bucket with 18L rainwater (or tap water that stood for 24 hours).

Add 2 cups of sifted worm castings in an old sock or muslin bag.  Hang sock/bag inside the water in the 20L bucket.

*DO NOT add molasses, as bacteria doubles every 20 min and can result in the worm tea becoming anaerobic.*

Use an aquarium air pump (buy at Pet shop -10L per minute), with pipe at the bottom of the bucket, to get oxygen in.

Whole surface must bubble for 24 hours. 

Use immediately and discard if not used. 

Problem Solving:

Worm Farm

 

Reasons for a smelly worm farm
  • Too much food waste – only add a garden trowel amount once a week in the beginning and as time progresses, add a little bit more once they have finished their last food waste.
  • You added meat, cheese or cooked food (only add these when pre-composted with Bokashi.)
  • Too wet in the bin.  Keep it moist, but not overly wet.
  • Remember to always cover food waste with shredded wet newspaper.
I have bugs in my worm farm?
  • House flies – Due to exposed food waste.  Always cover food.
  • Black Soldier Flies (BSF)- Best composters and beneficial to your worm farm.  They are not seen as a pest and do not carry diseases.
  • Centipedes are predatory.  Take them out by hand.
  • White worms, millipedes or springtails won’t do harm.
  • Ants – Farm is too dry.
  • Spiders – Can remove by hand if they bug you (no pun intended 😉 Limit the amount of insects in your bin, if you want them away.
  • Mites – Too acidic in worm farm.  Add crushed egg shells, agricultural lime or soil.
  • Slugs and snails – Take them out by hand.
  • Sowbugs or pillbugs (roly poly) – harmless and help to compost.
My worms died!
  • Don’t overfeed – Let them first finish before adding new food.
  • Weather extremes – too hot or too cold. Give shade and lots of bedding.  Keep the worm farm out of wind or keep in a corner.
  • Protein poisoning – can only feed protein if fermented with Bokashi.
  • Your bin is not moist enough – Add more water, but not soggy.
  • Your bin doesn’t get enough ventilation – Clean holes.
  • You forgot to feed them – Look after your pets.

Other Services

Worm Farm

We set-up worm farms indoors or outdoors which can produce vermicompost and worm tea.

Pick-up Service

We collect fermented food waste and turn it into nutrient-rich compost for soil.

Business Solutions

We assist restaurants, office canteens and estates with their waste management needs.