How to Raise a Worm Farm

Overview

Red wiggler worms produce rich fertilizer called worm castings and provide a great opportunity for younger and older kids alike to learn more about nature and how it helps itself grow bigger and better because of these small creatures. Setting up a worm farm is easy, it takes up very little space and is odor-free. By using plastic storage bins, old newspaper and your kitchen scraps, you can start a worm farm today.

Getting Your Worm Farm Started

Step 1

Purchase your worms through a local source or through the Internet. Regular garden worms such as night crawlers are not the right kind for a worm farm.

Step 2

Drill numerous 1/8-inch holes in the bottoms of two storage bins and then set them on top of the bin without holes. The size of your bins is up to you---consider how much fertilizer you want to create, how much space you have and the size of your garden. Sweater storage bins that are about 8 by 16 inches work well.

Step 3

Tear several sheets of newspaper into strips, soak them in a bucket of water for a few minutes and then squeeze out most of the water.

Step 4

Place kitchen scraps into the top bin and cover them with the moist newspaper strips.

Step 5

Add your worms to the top bin and cover it with its snap-on lid. The worms will crawl below the newspaper bedding, begin to eat the food and make their home.

Step 6

Add food scraps every day or two. If you begin to see fruit flies or other insects, bury the food scraps under the newspaper as much as possible.

Step 7

Swap the location of the top two bins after about three months. You will start to see castings in the top bin, so it's time to give your worms a fresh home. Move the top bin to the middle position and place damp newspaper strips and fresh food in your new top bin. The worms will crawl up through the holes in the bottom of the top bin and eventually vacate the middle bin.

Step 8

Make worm compost tea when most of your worms have moved to the top bin: Place about 1 tbsp. of worm castings in 1 gallon of water. Mix well and water your prized petunias and other plants with it and enjoy their healthy growth and beautiful flowers.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make certain that the worms you use are approved by your local department of agriculture and other regulatory agencies. For example, it is not permitted to introduce worms from the Internet into Hawaii---compost worms must be specific species that are compatible with the environment.

Things You'll Need

  • Three plastic storage bins
  • Red wiggler worms
  • Newspaper
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Drill gun with 1/8-inch bit
  • Food scraps

References

  • Hawaii Rainbow Worms
  • DEQ Louisiana
Keywords: red wiggler, organic gardening, fertilizer vermiculture

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.