If you find joy growing your own vegetables, then the more pleasure you’ll have when you see your vegetables growing healthy and lusciously. With fertilizing come healthier vegetables; but, you need not use chemicals to fertilize your backyard-raised fruits and vegetables. Instead, raise some composting worms too. If you are daunted by the thought, start small. With worm farming best practices, you might even go beyond a simple personal use worm farming scale.
As the worms proliferate, you might discover so many little tips and tricks that can make worm farming a prolific venture. If you want to slowly inch your way towards a more successful project, stick to worm farming best practices.
What are some of the worm farming best practices that you must integrate in your own farm? Here are some great ideas for you to ponder upon:
1. Building the Worm Bins
• If you are starting worm farming as a hobby, you need not spend on the worm bins. If you have some excess planks of wood from previous projects, you can use them to build the worm bins.
• If you have plastic containers, these may also serve the purpose. But, remember that plastics poorly provide aeration which is why it is important to drill holes on it for the air to enter and circulate.
• You can do a little research to be able to setup your own worm bins.
• But, if you have no recyclables, you can buy from local shops. Research about the best types of worm bins; pick the ones that will suit your purpose and your budget.
• The size of the bins is not really important; it can be sized depending on the amount of space available. So, even when you are living in a cramped space with a small garage, you can fit in a small worm bin that can help you make compost out of your biodegradable wastes.
2. Making the Worm Beds
• Start with the bottom. Use moistened black and white pages of the newspapers. Add a layer of cracked egg shells and top that with soil.
• Make these damp, but not soggy wet. Worms love moisture because they breathe through their skin (cutaneous respiration) that needs to be kept moist. Making the worm bed too wet, however, can drown the worms.
3. Keep the Bins Shaded
• Worms hate being exposed to direct light. Keep the bins tightly closed particularly if you are raising the European night crawlers.
• But, if you live in places where there is winter, keep them warm on those days when the air is too cold outside.
4. Feeding the Worms
• To prevent the fouling of the worm bins, estimate the consumption of the worms in the bins. Voracious eaters can consume kitchen scraps equivalent to about 50 to 100 percent of their body weight. Young and reproductive worms also consume more food.
• Put the food in just one spot in the bin to easily monitor consumption. Feed when the previous food has been consumed already; the unconsumed food causes the fouling and acidity of the worm bins.
• You must dust with lime the surface of the soil from time to time to treat the acidity of the soil. This can negatively affect the health of the worms.
• Generally, worms like eating food that consists of 70 percent kitchen waste and 30 percent carbon (paper, cardboards, egg cartons and paper towels). They hate acidic foods like citrus as well as onion and garlic.
5. Maintaining the Bins and Harvesting
• Prepare new worm beds when there the top layer already show signs of too much castings.
• Prepare new beddings and lay it side by side with the old bedding; the worms can sense the presence of fresh bedding and will migrate accordingly.
• You can harvest the worm tea daily, mix it with water and use it to fertilize your own garden or sell it. Castings and composts can also be regularly harvested and sold.
There is nothing intimidating about raising your own worms to keep a healthy organic vegetable garden. In due time and with worm farming best practices, you may even reach a point when you can make money out of the products you make from your worm farm. Remember that the profitability of worm farms depend on hard work, technical knowledge and skills.