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How to Start a Worm Farm in 7 Easy Steps

Turn kitchen waste into valuable fertilizer for your veggie garden, flower garden, or indoor pot plants. In just seven easy steps, you can make your own worm farm!

How to Start a Worm Farm in 7 Easy Steps

Having a worm farm is an amazing way to turn kitchen waste into a fantastic, free fertilizer. Follow these seven easy steps to create your very own worm farm. Bonus: This is a budget-friendly activity because you don't need fancy or expensive equipment!

What do you need to start a worm farm?

The critical component is, of course, the worms. The worms that turn kitchen waste into gardening gold are not just your garden variety earthworms. They are special composting worms called red wrigglers, or Eisenia fetida. You can source composting worms from a local worm farmer, order them online, or perhaps you have a green-fingered neighbor who would be happy to share some of theirs with you.

Here is the rest of your DIY worm farm checklist:

  • You will need a container to house the worms and the composting material. Two bins that can stack on top of each other works well. A taller bin with a lid (for the worms) and a shorter bin (to capture the worm tea, or vermitea, AKA liquid fertilizer) without a lid. You could also just use a plant pot inside an old bucket with a well-sealing lid.
  • Next, you will need bedding material to make the worms feel cozy. Coconut fiber works well for this. You can also use homemade compost, straw, or shredded newspaper.
  • A few pieces of newspaper.
  • A piece of natural fiber material (such as hessian) to cover the worm farm.
  • A drill.

Make your own worm farm: Step by step

Once you have your wriggly new friends and all your supplies, you are ready to start.

1. Drill about twenty quarter-inch wide worm tea drainage holes in the bottom of the top bin (the one that your worms will live in).

2. Use the drill to make ventilation holes about two inches from the top of the top bin. Prevent unwanted creepy crawlies from getting into your DIY worm farm by covering these air holes with shade cloth or gauze.

3. Cover the bottom of that bin with a few layers of newspaper.

4. Place the worms' bedding on top of the newspaper.

5. Put your worms into their new home.

6. Cover them with wet straw, or dampened newspaper.

7. Give your composting companions about one week to settle in before you start feeding them.

What can you feed your worms?

Worms can eat about half their body weight in food per day. If you throw away roughly 200g of household food scraps, you should start your worm farm with about 400g of red wrigglers. Wondering what to feed your new pets? Here is a list of dietary do’s and don’ts.

  • Banana peels.
  • Fruit off-cuts.
  • Vegetable peelings.
  • Tea bags and coffee grinds.
  • Cooked or raw pasta and rice.
  • Acid-free paper and cardboard boxes, torn up.

To prevent harming your worms and prevent your worm farm from getting a bit smelly, there are a few items you shouldn’t feed your composting companions:

  • Onions, garlic
  • Citrus fruit
  • Eggshells
  • Bread
  • Dairy
  • Meat

Get a wriggle on!

Not only is a worm farm a super environmentally friendly way of making the most of kitchen waste, but it is also a source of free garden fertilizer. Setting up your DIY worm farm is a fun kid-geared family activity. Like us on Instagram, share this post, and let us know how you are getting on as a worm farmer by tagging us in your pics. For more family-friendly activities and gardening tips, keep a look out for your weekly Save mailer.