Worm farms produce huge amounts of worm wee, a super-rich liquid fertiliser-like rocket fuel for your garden and pot plants. They also produce solid worm castings (worm poo) that you can harvest and use as a powerful nutrient additive for your soil. Worm castings and worm wee are the very best source of natural, organic fertiliser in existence. They are packed with beneficial microorganisms that create healthy, fertile soil.
Worm wee is continuously collected in the pan under your worm farm. Before giving it to plants, dilute it with water about 10:1 to the colour of weak tea.
Once a tray is full of broken down food and worm castings, it's time to harvest your soil fertiliser.
Swap the trays so that the one with the most worm castings is on the top, then remove the lid and leave the tray in the sun for about an hour. The worms will burrow down into the tray underneath to avoid the light.
To get as many worms out of the castings as possible before harvest, gently scrape the worm castings to expose them to the sun, encouraging the worms to burrow deeper. You may want to remove castings one handful at a time to ensure you remove as many worms from the castings as possible. Just put the worms into the tray with food in it - it's ok if some castings go with them.
Once you have removed all worms and castings, you can store the empty tray underneath your working tray to save space. Or if the top tray is already close to three-quarters full, you can put the empty tray directly on top and start putting in food scraps.
- You can store worm wee in old glass jars or plastic containers. You may want to label them as worm wee to avoid surprises later on!
- Spraying diluted worm wee on the leaves of plants make the leaves healthier and stronger and protects them from pests.
- You don't need to worry about emptying worm castings more than every six months or so. When you do, add some moist shredded newspaper in the new empty tray as bedding for the worms.
- Worm castings should be used soon after harvest, before they dry out.
Did you know?
You can mix your worm castings with soil in a 1:1 ratio and spread it around plants. To make potting mix, combine the castings with either soil, compost, sand or vermiculite at a ratio of 1:4, and mix well.
Note that sandy soils don't have enough structure or biology to retain many nutrients. To add structure to sandy soil, first use a large amount of compost or mulch, then combine with worm wee and castings. By doing this you'll quickly start to build up rich, dark soil.