18th May, 2017
The Worm Man BLOG
Hi everyone 🙂
Today, in my blog, I’m going over some fundamentals of worm farming – including the very important and useful “Pocket Feeding System” that I teach.
You may even think of them as Frequently Asked Questions 😉
For MUCH more information, see my FREE FAQ Guide which can be downloaded at: https://gum.co/Worms-FAQ
What is a worm farm, even at its most basic?
A worm farm can be anywhere that materials and conditions suitable for the worm species encourages them to grow and work.
Some quick examples of this are
Contained systems. The worms are contained in a vessel and generally speaking, cannot escape.
– a simple plastic box
– a stacking farm such as the WF360 (also sometimes called vertical migration farms
– a 5 gallon bucket
– a bathtub
In ground systems. These systems see the worms in a more “natural environment” – but conditions still have to be met. Worms may leave the system if they are unhappy.
– a simple mound of material, perhaps contained within 4 pieces of wood, with a rain cover over the top
– leading to more “commercial” types of installations like a windrow
– a wedge system (AKA walking windrow or wave)
Another bin type you may see talked about is the more sophisticated Continuous Flow Through bins (AKA CFT/Flow Through Reactor)
What Are The Basic Requirements Of Worms?
Worms have several requirements.
– moisture, controlled correctly. Their skin needs to be wet to breathe. They can suffer when conditions are too wet and become “anaerobic”, or lacking in air.
– air & oxygen. A common occurrence in home made plastic box farms is lack of air. It causes the worms to try to escape. Generally speaking, you’ll need 2 holes that are about 4 x 6 inches each in the sides of the box – or one hole twice that size in the lid.
Holes can be covered in window screen to keep insects out. Drilling holes is inefficient and would see you drilling thousands of holes to equal the necessary air flow.
– food. We call the green/nitrogen rich component of what we add “food”. Examples of this are food scraps from your kitchen.
– bedding. Both as a starter and an equal amount of bedding added with every feeding. we call brown/carbon rich material bedding – it’s a safe space for them to retreat to, and they eat it as well. Bins lacking browns will end up slushy, muddy and wet – driving oxygen out and the worms will suffer. Some examples are cardboard, newspaper and well aged grass clippings or leaves.
– minerals. AKA “buffers”. These are things such as eggshells, garden lime or rock dust. They are added to the farm to give the worms grit, control acidity and add minerals valuable to the worms’ diet. They also supply calcium for making cocoons and supplying the calciferous gland.
(By the way – NEVER use wood ash in a worm bin – it will drive the pH right up into the alkaline region. A proper buffer will stop acting when the bedding is neutral – NEVER driving the pH above neutral)
How Do You FEED A Worm Farm?
I teach and recommend the “pocket feeding system” for domestic worm farms.
The bigger, in-ground, commercial and CFT setups are different of course 😉
The BENEFIT of this system is that it helps the farmer to easily see, follow and understand how much the worms are eating. It also limits food juices, or leachate, seeping through the bedding. Overfeeding is one of the most common causes of worm farm failure.
The reason that I don’t like freezing and grinding worm food is that can lead to food juices leaching into the bedding. This unseen food then builds up and causes the bedding to go anaerobic.
The grinding also sees food seem to “disappear” quickly. Ground up food is hard for the farmer to see as the worms drag it into the bedding. When you grind food the amount looks smaller too, leading to overfeeding. Pocket feeding is best 😉
To pocket feed:
– dig a hole in one corner
– add dry hand ripped bedding
– add the equal amount of food to the bedding (about 2 to 4 cups to start with – dependent on how many worms you have)
– add buffer
– cover with what you dug out.
For a video showing the process, heres a link to my Youtube channel:
How MUCH To Feed At A Time?
Ignore what you may have read about eating their body weight each day – that’s in perfect laboratory conditions – and includes bedding.
More accurately in the real world, worms eat their weight in food once a week and the same amount of bedding.
For each 1000 worms you have, feed them 2 cups of food per week (and the same in new bedding).
Alter this up or down depending on what you see them eating.
In time, a populations MASS doubles approximately every 3 months – until maximum population for the system is reached.
When to feed again and how to know they are eating it?
In the second week, repeat the feeding at another location in the bin – for instance feeding in each corner in a square farm.
On the third week, check what you fed the first week – replace it only if it’s if gone.
Decrease or increase how often and how much to feed as suitable – watching the feedings from 2 weeks before.
So this ends my post today – thanks very much for reading my blog – and HAPPY WORMING
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For Further Worm Farming Info:
I have that FREE FAQ Guide – you can download it at:
Remember – you can also “Ask Brian A Question” on my website at:
You can investigate the questions that have already been asked and answered at:
If you want to get SERIOUS about Worm Farming – OR thinking of starting a worm business?
Do you want to produce a LOT of VC – getting more SERIOUS about worm farming?
Maybe you’ve thought about getting into business with worms?
I REALLY advise you to go check out the Worm Farming Alliance.
There you can get all the mentoring, training and information that you need. Check it out here: