Worm farms are a fantastic and quick way to break down food waste at home. Worm farms can be set up quickly and easily with a ready made worm tower or you can make one at home out of an old Styrofoam box. Worm farms are worth it because they will help to reduce waste and make free fertilizer and soil improver for your garden.
If you are thinking about getting a worm farm at home or not sure if you should just make one this article will help you to decide.
Why worm farms are worth it
Whether you have a large yard or even a balcony, a worm farm is an easy way to reduce food waste. I have owned pre-made worm farms and worm towers and I have also made my own and both have their benefits.
Home made worm farms are a great start but as you get more experienced you will find yourself wanting more. That is when you might want to level up to a worm tower and take worm farming to the next level.
Benefits of a ready made worm farm composter
Worm farms that are specially made for this purpose have many benefits. From my experience these are actually easier to maintain, easier to clean and give you more room to grow your farm. Here are the top reasons to get a worm tower.
They drain well
One of the most important things you need for a successful worm farm is good drainage. Setting up worm that will allow the excess water from rain and the food scraps is important to prevent the worms from drowning or from the worm farm smelling.
Worm towers will have a whole layer at the bottom that is set up to catch the worm juice. This can then be released out of the bottom from a tap which can be closed. The tap can be opened when you are ready to dilute some worm juice from your garden.
Many worm farmers will actually leave the tap open and place a bucket underneath to catch the worm juice. This will prevent the bottom layer flooding if you forget to empty it or during heavy rain.
This worm juice or leachate can be diluted and placed into your compost bin or on the garden out large outdoor hardy plants. This liquid can sometimes carry plant material that has not been broken down completely and can damage delicate plants.
They keep the worms insulated
Worm farms will be made from a strong, usually recycled plastic. This will keep the worms protected and stop them from drying out. Worm farms should be kept in the shade so the plastic does not heat up in the sun.
The thick plastic is hard waring and a perfect place to keep your worms.
They have a tightly sealed lid
The benefit of a specially made worm farm has a lot to do with the lid. Lids are important for worm farms to prevent ants from raiding the farm for food. Fruit scraps can attract ants and even flies so a tight fitting lid will be essential.
The lid will have small breathing holes to allow air flow while preventing unwanted bugs or even mice from getting in. For home made worm farms it can be tricky to find a lid that fits well and prevents flies like a purpose made one.
You can add more layers
Once you become a pro worm farmer adding more layers will be one of the joys and signs of worm farming success. As the first layer fills up with worms and worm castings another layer can be added on top to make more space for the worms to breed.
The bottom layer can eventually be emptied onto your garden bed and the worm castings can be dug in to improve the soil and become free fertilizer.
It breaks down food quickly
Worm farms are one of the fastest easiest ways to break down foods scraps at home. Composting worms will rapidly break down food scraps turning them into sweet smelling worm castings full of organic matter.
While food scraps will eventually break down in a cold compost bin, a worm farm will be a much faster way to get rid of the scraps.
Making a worm farm for free
For beginners, recyclers or if you are looking for a starting point for your worm farming journey home made worm farm can be great. I have recently made a small, Styrofoam worm farm from a free box. The only cost was for the worms, some coconut coir and a worm blanket.
These are easy to make and are a great starting point and also a great place to breed up your worms. When you are ready you can then transfer them to a larger worm farm to breed and grow.
For more on how to make a Styrofoam worm farm, check out my previous article here.
Worm farms and kids
Worm farms would have to be one of the most fun ways to get kids interested in the garden and the environment. Worm farms combine the fun of creepy crawlies with the message of reducing waste.
If you are not ready to commit to a large work farm at home the kids will have fun with a small worm farm kit that they can set up at home.
Once they have the layers added, just add worms and you can see them do their thing and break down food before your eyes.
Are worm farms worth it? | Summary
Worm farms are one of the most fun additions you can make to your garden. They will break down food scraps, create free fertilizer and worms are amusing to watch.
Worms will rapidly breed from a few hundred to a few thousand and you might find yourself looking for a larger tower after a few months. Start small and work your way up to a larger tower when you are ready.
Happy worm farming.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.