Posted By: Marlowe DeVille /
Worms may seem like rather useless creatures, but they do one thing extremely well: Eat leftover kitchen debris and and turn it into waste, or castings. Worm waste makes an excellent organic soil amendment!
Starting a worm farm is simple and fun and gives you a source of valuable organic matter. Even gardeners with little experience can successfully produce large amounts of nutrient-rich worm castings.
Type of Worm
The best species of worm for the beginning worm farmer is the red worm, or red wriggler. About 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches long, the red wriggler rarely attempts to leave his bin, making it a superb choice for worm farming in a small space.
A 5 to 30 gallon plastic container makes a great choice for this project. A colored container is best, but you can use a clear one if you wrap the inside with newspaper to keep out the light. Worms prefer dark conditions, so place the container in a shady area. Make sure the container has holes in the bottom and sides for aeration and keep the lid loose, not tight.
The bedding material for a worm farm should consist of old newspapers, garden soil and kitchen debris, such as orange peels, banana peels, and spoiled fruits and vegetables. Alternate 3-to-4 inch layers of garden soil with 1-to-2 inch layers of food waste. Place old newspapers on top of the layers. Keep the bedding moist, but do not water to excess.
Worms love vegetable and fruit scraps, so keep them supplied with their favorite foods. They also enjoy bread and pasta leftovers.
As time goes on you will notice more and more worm waste in the bedding. When you can no longer identify the bedding, its time to harvest the castings.