Worm castings or worm poo is pretty much the best soil conditioner you can get. When added to soil before planting seedlings, or when included as you’re potting up a plant, you can be sure you’re adding a ph neutral chocolate-like substance that contains all sorts of goodies for your plants. Perhaps of even more use is the worm ‘juice’ that results from the moist environment worms love to be in. As plants can only take in nutrients in liquid form, this worm juice gives almost immediate results.
No photoshop tricks in this photo, those geraniums are really that red and the only fertiliser used on them since being planted a few years ago is worm juice!
So now you know how good worms can be for our garden, how do you best wrangle the little wrigglers? Enter the worm farm…
Types of worm farms
In Australia we’re lucky to have a number of local manufacturers that produce quality worm farms that are designed for our conditions. By ‘our conditions’ I mean they’re made from plastics that can stand our high levels of UV sunlight which we have an abundance of down under. Some manufacturers also use recycled and/or recyclable plastics which is great to see. Most worm farms have some form of ‘stack-ability’ which allows the worms to eventually leave their castings (or poo) and move onto areas in the farm where more food is available. The main thing to keep in mind when looking at a worm farm is drainage and the capacity to easily access the precious castings. Weight is also a consideration as these things get seriously heavy once filled with moist castings. The model I’m currently using has a number of stackable trays, a drainage plug and a couple of other interesting features which I’ll cover in more detail.
In Part 2 I’ll demonstrate a flourishing worm farm in action and show you how your worm farm can become a non-stop fertiliser factory!