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How to make your own worm farm

What you'll need

  • two broccoli boxes (available at your supermarket or fruit shop)
  • newspaper
  • brick or ice-cream container
  • compost or potting mix
  • worms.

Your worm farm will cost approximately $50 for the worms.

If you reuse materials around the house, your worm farm will be free.

Step one

  • Make holes in the bottom of one of the boxes to let the liquid drain.
  • Worms breathe through their skin.

Step two

  • Place the box with the holes on top of the other box.
  • Optional: make a tap in the bottom box to let the liquid drain.
  • Worm juice can also be collected by removing the top tray and pouring liquid from the bottom tray into a container.
  • Put the upturned ice-cream container or a brick in the bottom box to help the worms climb.

Step three

  • Make the bedding: soak a few layers of newspaper in water then place in the bottom of the top box.
  • Add compost over the newspaper, to the thickness of your palm.

Step four

  • Add your composting worms - earthworms are not suitable.
  • Worms can double their population in three months.

Step five

  • Add food scraps: put your kitchen scraps on top of the bedding regularly, but in small amounts.
  • Over time as more worms breed, you will be able to give them more to eat.

Feeding worms

  • Don’t add too much food at once.
  • Avoid feeding the worms meat, bones, fatty food, bread or dairy products.
  • Worms don’t like citrus fruits, raw onion or raw garlic.
  • Some foods such as fruit, form acid. Add a little wood ash, dolomite or garden lime every few weeks to prevent the worm farm from becoming too acidic.
  • Wait until the worms have burrowed in the bedding before applying lime or wood ash.
  • Worms can eat up to their body weight in one day.

Step six

  • Cover the food scraps with newspaper or a piece of hessian, and place the lid of the broccoli box on the top.
  • Add water to the box whenever it gets dry. It should be the consistency of a damp sponge. If it is too wet, mix dry shredded newspaper throughout the bedding.
  • The worms should be placed in a cool and shady spot in your garden or garage.

Step seven

  • Harvest the worm castings by moving it all to one side of the farm.
  • Add fresh bedding to the empty side.
  • Many of the worms will move to the fresh bedding in a few days.
  • Collect the worm juice from the bottom tray.

Worm farm and worm supply

Contact your local hardware to see if they supply worm farms and/or worms.

We can help you

If you need more information about worm farms, please contact Waste Services on: