Do you have a worm farm?

Hugh explaining how to care for your worm farm at a workshop
Hugh explaining how to care for your worm farm at a workshop

Worms are wonderful workers and are the best (and cheapest) way to produce quantities of fabulous organic fertiliser for your trees, but like all workers, they’ll give you their best if they have excellent working conditions.

Throughout summer, but particularly in a heat wave, it’s really important to give them some extra care and attention.

Climate change means that summer conditions are becoming more extreme (as we’ve already noticed here on the farm), so here’s our top 4 tips for keeping your worms happy in a heat wave:

  1. Keep your worm farm as cool as possible. Worms don’t like extremes of temperature – either heat or cold. It’s also best if you can put your worm farm somewhere where the temperature stays relatively constant and doesn’t fluctuate too much – a cellar is ideal, but a garage or even laundry (depending on size of the worm farm) is also good.
  2. Make sure the worm farm is not in direct sun, as worms also don’t like direct light.
  3. Cover the top layer of your worm farm with something to help keep the moisture in and the hot dry air out. Newspaper, cardboard, old carpet or underfelt (woollen) can all be given a good soak and then placed directly on the surface of your worm farm – it’ll make a huge difference. (Just be careful with old underfelt as sometimes it might have been treated with insecticide.)
  4. Keep your worm farm moist. This is probably the main reason worm farms fail. There should always be a bit of moisture dripping out of the bottom, or if you grab a handful of the contents it should feel very moist, and you should even be able to wring a couple of drips out.
Hugh with a handful of happy, moist worms
Hugh with a handful of happy, moist worms

If you follow these tips there’s no reason why your worms won’t happily keep devouring your kitchen scraps and other organic waste right through the hottest weather.

It sounds simple, right?

Unfortunately we find that a lot of people have trouble with worm farms, or worse – assume a worm farm is too much work, and never try to start one in the first place.

That’s why we created the 6-unit short course Give Worms a Warm Welcome, which includes all the detail about how and why it’s so important (and rewarding) to achieve success with a worm farm in your garden, no matter how big or small it is.

If you’re yet to venture into the wonderful world of worms, please take the time to find out more about how to reap incredible benefits from these powerhouse workers in your garden.

A miracle-worker worm in the compost
A miracle-worker worm in the compost
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