How to Build Your Own Wormery Or Worm Farm

If you just heard about the magic of those ecological wormeries and you thought to yourself “I gotta have one of these!” and then “but I’m not ready to pay for it, what if something goes wrong?”, then you should probably know you can also build your own wormery at home, with a minimum of materials.

“In my dreams I built my own empire…” Linda Perry used to sing, but probably not to inspire you to build your own wormy empire. However, to cut it short, here’s a list of what you should have, to get started with your own wormery:

• A plastic or glass box (your big ol’ dusty aquarium will work perfect!) with a lid. Don’t forget about the lid detail! Also, it’s been said around that wooden boxes would work too, but if it’s one you made yourself, then it’s perhaps better not to use it, to avoid the bottom part getting compromised by the wet content of your wormery. Best option would be a large plastic box, because it’s easier to work with and hey, it’s lighter than a glass one, so it’s easier to change its location when you decide it doesn’t look so good near your plasma TV anymore.

• Newspapers and cupboard;

• Organic waste (food wastes);

• A garden trowel (optional, if you don’t wanna get too dirty);

• Moss;

• And of course, worms! Lots of worms!

After you make sure every item in the list is checked (more or less the trowel), this is what you should do next:

• Thou shalt make thy worms comfortable bedding! You do that by shredding a decent amount of newspapers and laying it at the bottom of the box. Add a small amount of moss and mix it with the torn paper.

• You know… like a water bed! Your worms will need water to carry on their digging activities, so make sure to make the bedding wet enough, but not too wet, you don’t wanna drown them! That’s not a good start for a long term working relationship.

• After you’re done making their bedding feel like a nice bath sponge, add the first layer of organic waste. Yes, food wastes from your kitchen. Now, since this is the first time you’re doing this and also since it’s the first layer, you should only put fruit and vegetable wastes. But keep in mind, NO citrus peels! These have a high level of acidity (citric acid) and can end up lethally wounding your little diggers. Also NO potato peels either, because of the ammonia. Start with some banana peels and maybe that mashed potato leftovers and some leftover boiled beans, cucumber or cucumber peels, etc. By any chance, DO NOT feed your worms fat foods or meat. This is not an obesity concern warning, this is a worm life matter concern warning!

• Another rule of thumb is to cover each organic waste layer with more bedding. It is important, because the bedding is the place where your worms spend most of their time. It’s like the nap they need after digging and digesting their way through a layer of food. So one layer of wastes, one layer of bedding should be the structure of your wormery.

• The workers, good sir, the workers! Yes, the time has come to bring in the team. Add the worms, cover the box with the lid and wait for the magic to happen. BUT! Make sure you drilled some holes in the lid, so your worms actually get air too, not only food. It is not nice to asphyxiate your little diggers. Also, keep in mind you must use compost worms (and not garden worms!), meaning worms that eat organic wastes and leave behind wormcast.

That’s pretty much it, you’re now good to go. For more advice regarding what you should and what you shouldn’t feed your worms, do a little research of your own. There’s always place for improvement when it comes to this little home industry.

Also, be patient at first! It takes a couple of months till your worms will produce their first amount of wormcast, depending on what they eat and also, depending on their number. An ideal amount of worms to get started would be around 100. The more, the better, but don’t push your luck if your box doesn’t allow the capacity. You don’t wanna starve your worms!