Feeding a worm farm is easy. Once you understand what your worms can eat, maintaining the farm is simple.
Your worm farm will thrive on kitchen scraps, your worms prefer soft foods and as you get used to them you will notice that they develop a preference for certain foods.
Foods the worms will eat include :
Kitchen greens, vegetable scrapings from plates.
Potato and other veg peels.
All Fruit: Feeding the worms a lot of fruit will increase the acidity of the farm due to the high sugar content. You can add agricultural lime into the farm to balance the Ph. Be careful that the fruit has no insecticides on it as this can kill a farm outright.
Egg shells: These should be ground up before adding them to the farm. Egg shells are great for balancing an acidic farm.
Paper products and cardboard: These should be shredded and soaked in water first.
Hair and nail clippings.
Leaves: Try not to put too many hard wooden bits into your farm and do not add leaves that have been sprayed with pesticides.
Grain and grain products: These should be ground up and added in moderation. Be careful not to add too much as grain may attract rodents.
Tea Bags and Coffee grounds.
Horse and cow manure, this is the worms natural diet and they thrive on it.
Foods not to feed the worms
Meat and dairy products: Your worms will happily eat the meat but it will attract pests like flies and maggots. Meat can also rot in your farm and cause bad smells, germs and an unhealthy farm.
Worms do not like Citrus Fruits, onions and garlic.
Pineapple: Contains an enzyme that will kill your worms.
Fats or Oils.
Salted or Pickled foods.
Toxic house plants.
Fresh cut grass and weed clippings as these will heat up and kill the worms.
Fresh raw sawdust as it will heat up and kill the bin.
Some hard wood sawdust is also toxic namely oak and cedar.
Spoiled swelled canned goods.
In ideal conditions worms will eat their body weight in food daily. Do not overfeed your farm, keep an eye on the amount of excess food that builds up in your farm and reduce feeding accordingly. Only add fresh food as the old is consumed. Overfeeding will cause smells and can kill the worms while underfeeding will starve the worms and reduce the rate at which they breed.
It is best to cut the food into small pieces which will help the worms eat the food easily. Blending the food in a blender with water willl make a nice mush for them to eat, freezing and defrosting food will help the food breakdown easier which means the worms can eat it faster.
I have another question - how moist is moist enough? When I have put damp paper on top, I have often found that small pools of water appear after a day. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?
Your farm should drain naturally into the bottom bin. The worms can quite happily live where there is a lot of water (I have heard of them living in an aquaponics filtration system) but need plenty of oxygen. If your farm restricts airflow then the lack of air together with the water will kill the worms.
Good Day all, My worm farm was doing good until yesterday, when I realized that my worm were rising above ground and crawling on the side of the bucket .. not all of them but a good 15/20 worms.. my bin don't smell nasty, I got no Potato, Bread, onion, citrus or nasty food.. can some one help
Usually the factors that affect the worms are the Ph of the bin, ie. it becomes too acidic, there is too much food in there that is rotting or sometimes a good rainstorm will also bring them out.
I would monitor the bin closely and see if the situation improves or worsens. If it worsens try removing the food in the bin for a day or so and also dig in some shredded paper or coir.
You can recycle dog poo but bear in mind that it can contain harmful pathogens. As such if you put dog poo into a farm you should not use the castings on your food crops, it would be fine on your normal garden flowers etc.