On January 31st we hosted our first seasonal (summer!) webinar - talking all things worm farming!
Thank you to everyone who attended, asked questions and engaged with the polls - we loved it, and cannot wait for the next one.
This has been a great presentation. You covered so many things. Brilliant for beginners - Amanda
Thank you this has been very helpful - Monica
So that everyone can share in the goodness, we have compiled the information covered in the webinar on our Help Centre. Please follow the links below to browse through the articles relating to common questions, setting up your worm farm and help with operation and troubleshooting.
There were also so many curious, engaging and thoughtful questions sent in by attendees, and so we decided to share the answers to all of the questions below.
The Farm - how many levels should there be?
How do you empty the bottom container out without losing your worms?
Place your tray outside on top of a tarp, table or even your worm farm lid. Form the castings into a mound and come back every 5-10 minutes to scrap off the top layer. You should be left with a pile of worms and a few castings at the end. Add these back into your empty tray with fresh bedding and some food.
Are opened Nespresso capsules ok to put in your worm farm?
We don’t recommend adding capsules unless they are certified home compostable. Learn more about compostable and home compostable plastics and materials via our blog. We are currently testing some home compostable pods in The Farm so keep an eye on our social pages. And as always, coffee should be added in moderation to a worm farm.
I have a Maze worm farm but I get very little worm wee. It just doesn't seem to drain through. The farm is quite damp but not sodden. Can I just drop some castings in water for the same effect? Worms seem productive and active.
Check out this article, this should help you out! It sounds like the conditions are okay :)
Can you put guinea pig poo in a worm farm?
Nice question! We generally don’t recommend adding pet poo to a worm farm (unless it is a system that requires little maintenance and is installed away from edible gardens, such as the EnsoPet). This is because it is hard to tell whether the system reaches temperatures that kill potential human pathogens in the poo. As such, the pathogens may remain in the finished castings.
When you swap trays, where do the worms go?
The worms will move up (through the gaps) into the tray above (they follow their next meal once they are done with the scraps below)!
My worm farm has a metal grid, with a canvas bag underneath. All has collapsed into the canvas bag. Do I detach and put back on top of grid?
It sounds like that would be the best solution (although it depends on the system that you have). You might like to try a finer metal grid to hold the contents of the worm farm in.
How often do you add the carbon material?
Carbon materials are added for bedding and to balance out moisture levels in your farm, so, it depends. I like to add a little bit each time I add food scraps particularly those which are high water content.
What are castings?
Castings are ‘worm poo’ and a great fertiliser! They look like soft, often slightly clumped dirt and smell fairly neutral, like a forest floor! The castings are what remains once the food scraps have decomposed.
I have slugs, ants, spiders and other insects. Are they are problem?
Bugs, insects and other critters all co-exist in nature… and so it is no surprise they all want to shack up in your farm! Generally speaking, most of these visitors do not pose any issues in small numbers. If they begin a full on invasion, or if they are causing you concern, it generally means that your farm is out of balance. Head on over to this article to learn how to manage unwanted visitors.
How to avoid flies and insects?
See our article all about bugs and insects here.
How to prevent flies getting in if outdoors?
Make sure to keep the lid closed and try using a worm blanket. It is also good to store the food scraps in an air-tight container before adding them to the worm farm. If the farm is attracting lots of flies, you might have some rotting scraps (your worms aren’t getting to them quickly enough)! So, try reducing the scraps. In general however, flies won’t do harm to your worm farm but large numbers suggest an imbalance in your farm (e.g. too many scraps for example).
How do we get more castings?
Castings are worm poo so the more scraps that your worms eat, the more castings that you will get. However, worms can only eat so quickly - so, you can increase scraps as your worm population grows (and your castings will increase accordingly).
What is the name of the insulating product?
Planet protect packaging - collected from our local cafe for reuse - works as a great insulator and worm blanket in your worm farm!
Are ants a problem? They seem to live OK with the worms. Also worms seem to prefer the corrugated cardboard and egg cartons to some veggie scraps. Is this OK?
Ants are generally fine. Ants often occur in worm farms on the drier-side, so make sure to check the moisture levels (the castings should be about as moist as a wrung-out sponge). This is also why they preferred the drier materials such as egg cartons.
With The Farm models, is the green the same as the orange? Will the extra working tray fit both?
Yes they are all the same (just differently coloured lids). The extra working tray will fit both.
How do you use worm castings? Do you mix with soil? What type of soil should you use?
Absolutely - we highly recommend mixing it with your soil, it is a good fertiliser. I also like to place a little in with my seedlings when I am planting. The type of soil depends on what you are planting. Refer to your plant manuals for further advice.
My worm wee is very dark
That’s normal before it is diluted with water 10:1 before going on your plants. It should be the colour of weak tea.
Can you use newspaper as a blanket?
Absolutely - I would use a few pages folded to size and dampened.
Can you please review the process of starting the farm, with the two levels. When do you introduce the worms? Do worms only go into the top level?
Check out our video on how to set up your system here.