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Worm Farming Guide

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Join the Compost Revolution in Leichhardt!

Take the tutorial, do the quiz and receive your discounted compost bin and turner or worm farm and worms - delivered straight to your door!

Visit Compost Revolution and get started today! Find details on dimensions and prices on our Products page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Worm farms with live worms take 2-3 weeks to arrive. If you are planning a trip away it may be best to place your order after your return. Alternatively please organise for someone to check your mail for the Australia Post 'awaiting collection card' and take to your nearest Post Office for collection to ensure the safety of the worms.

Worm farms are now out of stock until 2016. Any orders placed now will be prioritised for delivery in February 2016. We care for our worms so as it's simply too hot to transport worms safely over January and our worms need a break to restock their numbers, worm orders after the above dates will be on hold until early February 2016. Thank you for your consideration! 

Environmental Trust, NSW EPA

This project is supported by the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.

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Worm-farming is a great way to recycle food scraps, make compost and keep some interesting pets!

Good materials for worm farms

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Tea leaves/bags and coffee grounds
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Vase flowers

Bad foods for worms

  • Dairy and meat products, including fish, fat, and oil (avoid - these will attract pests)
  • Citrus e.g. oranges, lemons *
  • Onions and garlic *
  • Paper and cardboard (e.g. shredded egg cartons) *

    * Use these in small amounts

Setting up your worm farm

  • Purchase red or tiger worms through local nurseries or look under 'worms' in the telephone directory. Start with about 1,000 - 2,000 worms.
  • Bed the worms in the worm farm in a mixture of shredded newspaper, leaves and finished moist compost or soil (or fibre material supplied with the worm farm) with a 10-15cm deep layer. Add the worms to the surface of the bedding and cover the bin with a natural material (e.g. moist newspaper or hessian bag).
  • Leave them for a few days to get used to their new home.
  • Add food scraps to the top of the bedding - start slowly (worms find smaller pieces of scraps easier to digest - they have no teeth!).
  • Add more scraps when the worms have started eating these.
  • Store the bin away from temperature extremes.

Harvesting the worm castings

Worms create a material called castings when they eat food scraps. This is basically the organic material that has been digested by the worms. Worm castings contain many beneficial bacteria and enzymes that can help in growing healthier plants, improving soil texture, and providing water-soluble nutrients to the plants. Worm castings have the texture of coarse coffee grounds or peat moss.

Worm farms also create liquid castings that can be used as a liquid fertiliser for your garden.

Step 1. Empty the worms and bedding onto a surface and scrape the castings from the outside as the worms move towards the centre.

Step 2. Use the ball of worms for a new bedding OR

Step 3.
Move all of the castings to one side of the bin: add fresh bedding to the empty side. Many of the worms will migrate to the fresh bedding in a few days.

Once you have your castings they can be used as:

  • Plant food - add a 3-6cm layer around plants and drip line of trees, and cover with mulch.
  • As a potting mix - add 10-20% castings to a poor potting mix.
  • The liquid can be diluted and used on your pot plants.

Further information on worm-farming

Visit the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Work Farming webpage for  further information on worm-farming.