what's inside our worm farm bath tub, picture of composting worms and a bathtub converted worm farm

Inside our worm farm bathtub (plus worm farming tips)

A couple months back I did a video where I decluttered our potting shade house, which is also home to our Worm Farm. I promised a video of our farm so here it is.

Our worm farm is made from our old bath tub that we ripped out when there was a water leak under our slab. We created a frame for it to sit on and also gave it a lid using an old screen door, some corrugated iron and vermin mesh (how we've done available in my composting worm ebook here I have a video on setting it up inside Dirt Lovers).

My top tips for keeping your worms happy

It's no secret that I love my composting worms and the compost they produce is my secret weapon to having a very productive garden. Vermicompost is worth its weight in gold and you can stretch it a very long way. Below are my top tips on keeping your worms happy.

Don't overfeed them

This is the number one way to make your worms unhappy and is why a lot of people fail. Trying to give all your house hold scraps (unless you have a lot of systems) is going to make your worms very unhappy.

We feed every 3-7 days depending on how fast they are getting through the food. Each time you feed, make sure they are at least halfway through what you feed them previously. I simply put aside scraps that I know they love and will get through fast (pumpkin skin, watermelon, rockmelon, apple cores).

Give them loads of comfy bedding

Always set your worm farm with plenty of bedding before you start feeding them. Particularly in our hot summer you want a lot of cool spaces they can escape to (we recommend having bedding at least 20cm deep).

We use lots of ripped up cardboard, shredded newspaper (FYI laser printed paper is full of micro plastics, newspaper is usually soy based ink which is why we opt for that instead), mulch, and dead leaves. Whenever you're feeding give them extra bedding to help keep things in balance.

Extra things we give them

Worms don't like it too acidic (which is why people say don't feed too much citrus) so when ever you feed them we also give them a sprinkling of crushed up egg shells with some lime. We fill a little shaker with half and half. You could also add some rock dust or azomite into this mix to help provide grit which will help them process the food.

Always check your drainage

Contrary to what some commercial worm setups will tell you, worms don't like to be drenched. Yes they like moisture, but pouring a bucket of water over them is going to make them very unhappy. Generally we find that there is more than enough moisture from the food we give them to keep them happy and we wet their bedding before placing it in for a bit of extra moisture. If you live in a particularly dry climate you may need to keep them damp, but a spray bottle with regular misting will likely be enough and keeping your blankets damp. If your system is outside and exposed to rain, then regularly check that water is draining. We did recently find we had castings clogging our drain and there was water sitting in the bottom so we had to rejig our drainage.

A good worm farm will have very minimal 'leachate' coming out of the system (some people refer to it as worm wee, and it's not good for the garden as it's generally anaerobic). If you find that there is a lot of water coming out of the drain, take a look at how much moisture you're adding to it and adjust accordingly.

I hope you found this video helpful, and if you like it please give us a like and subscribe over on our YouTube channel. If you want more composting worm tips you can grab our ebook here or come join us inside dirt lovers.

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