Monday, April 09, 2007

Worm's Big Day Out

For about 6 months now I have been wanting a 3rd worm farm. Why you ask do I want a 3rd farm?

Because I love worms, help people start off farms by giving them worms for free. I use their castings and worm wee in the garden all the time. So a 3rd farm will not be neglected and will be used as much as the other 2 farms are.

Also today was a good day to service my 2 other farms and move them under the carport. This I am glad I had decided to do. As some bright spark stuffed a biodegradable plastic bag in the lower tray and I had to pull the bits left over out of the castings. As that farm is near where my son and his mates sit, I am guessing it was one of them, too lazy to walk it over to the bin.

In the water tray I keep an ice cream container upside down for the worms to use in getting up to the food/bedding tray. I read where to use newspaper, but after a couple of weeks sitting in worm juice, the newspaper fell apart.

All that sloppy castings in the water tray is put back into the bedding tray, spider webs cleaned off the outside of the farms. Before this is returned to the bedding tray, I checked the pH. It's high 8 to 9, worms prefer a pH of neutral reading which is 7.

The top bedding is given a light sprinkle of dolomite lime and then the farm is put back together around in their new area. Dolomite lime was sprinkled over the food not the sloppy castings in the photo showing the pH. After I had done this I was thinking I should have just mixed the sloppy castings with the food/castings instead of adding the dolomite lime.

I bought this Garden Wise Worm Farm just under 8 years ago for about $100.00 from Bunnings. It was my second worm farm and I had great plans for the farm. This was not to be though. With not a lot of experience in farming worms, I ran into all sorts of problems. So I gave up and turned the top part into a compost bin and used this bottom part as a tray for putting my seedlings on.

So yesterday I thought I'd give this style of farming another go, now that I have 8 years under my belt in farming.

Main thing I found as a problem was where the water compartment is, the mesh that came with the farm wasn't worm friendly. As the smaller worms went through the holes, they took castings with it. The bigger worms would get so far through the mess holes and then be stuck and die.

So I came up with the following idea.

Pat found and cut to size a piece of square netting to cover the water tray area.

This was to keep the piece of fly wire from falling into the water tray once weight from the castings was on it all.

Some lovely organic compost from the tumbler was added as bedding.

Some time this week coming we are doing a trip up north and Pat & I will call in to see a couple of gardening friends of ours. Pete & Liz want to start up a couple of worm farms and I am more than happy to help them out with a couple hundred wriggling friend.

Then came the tricky bit, sorting out the worms from the castings to get enough to start a new farm off. I used the top of the worm farm as a dish and slowly removed the castings from around the worms. Best to do this in the shade as the sunlight will harm your worms.

Easily a couple hundred worms here some for my new farm, most though for Pete & Liz's farms.
The worms that are going up north where put into the white bucket with compost and worm castings from the farm.

New area all set up under the carport. This area will be better for them, no afternoon sunshine on them in the hot months. Not a lot of rain gets to this area either, so the farms won't be flooded with rain. Not near where the boys like to sit and talk and have a few drinks and use the farms as a rubbish bin.

I'm happy and I am sure the worms will be as well.

The little beige coloured ball is a worm egg.

A few worm facts.

  • Worms can eat up to their own weight in a day.
  • Worms castings have a pH Neutral and can't burn your plants.
  • Worms start to produce young at 3 months of age.
  • Worms can lay enough eggs to double their own population every 6 - 8 weeks.
  • Worms can lay eggs every 10 days, containing 1 - 28 baby worms.
  • Eggs take 21 - 28 days to hatch.
  • Worms live for about 3 years, but have known to live for 15 years.
Resources from Worm Affair

Well that's it for today, a very worm day indeed.

Hoo roo

Technorati technorati tags: ,

No comments: