Hi folks! This post contains an affiliate link to the Worm Factory 360. If you choose to buy one from the link provided below, I will receive a small percentage of the sale (at no extra cost to you). This small commission helps me run and maintain this blog. The purpose of this post is NOT to sell you anything but only to tell you how much worm farming rocks! Thanks!
It’s been a long time coming, but this is something I’m so excited to tell you guys about. I’ve been worm farming or rather, vermicomposting, for almost a year now. When I started gardening last year I was determined not to make the same mistakes, so after much research I decided the most sustainable and eco-friendly/natural way I can garden and maintain that garden is through worm farming. Sure, they may seem nasty but these little guys are a gardener’s best friend. I wasn’t sure how well the worm compost would work for me or even if I could do it! But I just felt so guilty throwing away scraps, and my hot compost bin wasn’t working, really it was just attracting pests, so I decided to start my worm farm. I found really easy ways to make my own, but for my first worm bin I wanted to ensure success and didn’t want to take chances on messing up my own DIY bin. What if my worms found a way to escape? Or worst, they died! So I ended up buying the Worm Factory 360 off Amazon and am so glad I did. I had some gift cards I could apply to it so I ended up getting it for a steal. It came with a ton of instructions and a book on vermicomposting that answers a ton of questions. I still refer to it often, plus it came with really great supplies that I wouldn’t have thought of making my own – like a shovel, a scraper and a thermometer. To me all that, plus the starter kit was totally worth it.
I followed all the instructions that came with my snazzy new worm bin and set up my first tray. At first I had it inside the house (don’t judge, they said I could in the videos.). But that lasted less than a week, I ended up moving it outside in the shade, protected from rain.
Ok, now I’m going to tell you how I got my amazing worm compost! Ready?! It’s SO EASY!
This is a shot of my worm farm outside already in action. You can see some scraps to the sides and some coconut coir to the right and newspaper around the scraps. Worms are buried under there, just chillin’ minding their business, making my compost.
Below, are the extra kitchen scraps that I didn’t want to throw out. I chopped them up kinda chunky-small and shredded some old junk mail and newspaper. I set the food to the sides of the bin, leaving a space that has no fresh food so the worms are not smothered. (Actively composting food can get hot, and worms need a cool place to move to in case it gets too hot for them.)
Next, cover up the worms with some damp newspaper. This helps keep critters out and the worms cool and happy.
I learned the hard way, that keeping a worm bin outside has it’s challenges. One morning I found my worm bin ransacked and toppled over, apparently a racoon or some other scavenger got to it eating the scraps and more than likely some of my worms. So now I bungee cord the top on and have had no issues since. You might also be wondering what that white dusty stuff is, that is Diatomaceous Earth and it is safe for worms but keeps the bad critters out like ants, beetles and other potential worm predators. I had some red fire ants invade the worm bin at one point so I dusted it and got them outta there quick!
Here’s a close up of the top of the bin. It gives you some great tips on how to care for your worms and what they like and don’t like.
End result? All those kitchen scraps and old newspaper turned into this pic below!! The most amazing and nutritious compost!!! Amazing right?!
Wondering what worm compost can do for your garden?? Check out what it did for mine. I’m not kidding, this is the first year of gardening that I have had a tremendous yield and tremendous success. I only garden naturally, so I never use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. I give credit for last season’s plentiful harvest 100% to worm composting, regular watering and weeding.
Pretty cool right?! What do you think? Comment below and if you worm farm, I’d love to hear about it too! 🙂
Gardening, one of my fav past times. I’ve been trying to perfect my garden for a while now, about three years, on and off. I remember thinking it would be easy, “Oh, I’ll just throw some seeds into some soil, water and sunlight and we’ll be good to go!” Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. NO. Boy, was I wrong. Well, after 3 years of many failed attempts and many dead crops, my brown thumb has finally started to turn green.
Thankfully, I gave myself pep talks along the way, convincing myself that all of my failed experiments are lessons learned on what not to do. For example:
Don’t throw an entire seed packet of tomato seeds into seed pots and expect them to grow properly.
Matter of fact, don’t put more than 2 or 3 seeds per hole and be prepared to pinch off (aka kill) the weakling plants. (I had a hard time justifying why I should thin seedlings out…. silly I know, but I just feel awful pinching off something that has so much potential!)
You DON’T have to pinch off seedlings, you can transplant them safely, just try not to plant too many seedlings all at once or you’ll find yourself having to pinch them off because there are just too many. You can plant 2 or 3 seeds in one small seedling pot and separate the seeds a bit, then when the seedlings are about 3 or 4 inches high, you can water the soil to make sure it’s moist then get the soil pod out (seedlings intact) and gently drop them on a hard surface so that the roots and soil soften. Gently separate the roots and keep them moist, and transplant these babies right away.
Don’t underestimate the power of soil testing! This was the first year I tested my soil and I was able to plan my garden with the current state of the soil and also amend it for certain crops. I bought my soil test kit at Home Depot, a few bucks well spent.
DON’T over-water your plants, muddy swamp is not conducive to a healthy garden, in fact, it will either kill or stunt growth of all your plants. (Lesson learned in season one). Strive for a drip irrigation system that waters by the roots instead of watering the leaves.
Weeds suck… literally, they suck the life out of your plants. Take time each week to weed. I moved to container gardening this year and had great success with very little weeding necessary, but I still had to dedicate some time to manually pull weeds out before they took over.
And probably the most important lesson I learned that ultimately led to my success in gardening was to fertilize religiously…. once a month, and mark my calendar. I only do organic gardening, because if I’m going to go through all the effort of growing my own veggies, then I will be eating the most healthiest veggies I possibly can.
Below is a few pics I took of my tomatoes when they were ripening on the vine. I think at my best point I had over 30 tomatoes on 1 plant!!! Total of three tomato plants, that was a lot of ‘maters! LOL…. All this was achievable because of the pointers I gave above, dedication and TLC.
Below is a pic of my green pepper seedlings. They are much bigger now and have peppers all over the place! I’ll have to take a pic and update soon.Here is my vertical salad garden. I just repurposed an old shoe holder that was hanging around in our garage and put peat moss, and good soil and grew some lettuce from seed. It’s delicious and so easy!!! I put it in a mostly shady spot so that it doesn’t go straight to seed in this hot Florida weather. My kids also enjoy gardening with me. I think it’s great to include them in the weekly gardening excursions, including the hard stuff! My big kids were out there countless times, helping me pull weeds, fertilize and enjoying the fruits of our labor! Here’s my daughter who harvested a few lovely carrots from our garden to include in our dinner.
It was my first year getting eggplants too! Four plants and each had about 20 eggplants growing on them. They were of the finger variety and they were soooo tasty! Here’s a pic of my first harvest, about 23 altogether in this first batch. 🙂Pretty amazing stuff right? I honestly didn’t expect such a great yield this year, I was amazed at how well I did, and finally feel like I’m getting the hang of things. There is truly so much to learn, and gardening is an art. If you’ve ever felt like giving it a try, I’d highly encourage you to! Don’t expect great results the first year, consider it a learning season, and if you get a harvest then that’s a bonus!!! You’d obviously have a better green thumb than me too! hehehehe… If you do start gardening, please do yourself and your family the best favor you possibly can and try your best to garden organically. Major retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s have a great organic selection. I used some of their organic selection, but also discovered an amazing organic fertilizer that I can make myself, worm compost! More on that in later posts, it’s truly amazing and I can’t wait to share it with you! 🙂
I would love to hear from you if you have any thoughts or comments on my garden, or about your garden! Excited to learn more about my worm compost? It’s AWESOME!!! Can’t wait to share. Till next time!