Friday, December 2, 2011

Worm farm maintenance

As the warmer weather is upon us, my worm farm seems to need some tender loving care. I currently have two "stacked" active worm digesting layers, with the worm juice collecting tray below these.

The "first" worm containing layer (the bottom of the two) has mostly worm castings, but I still seem to have quite a few worms wiggling about and I am hesitant to start harvesting the castings for fear of losing some of my precious worm population into the garden, where they currently won't be much use to me. And I am certainly not desperate for this enriched soil in my garden at present (despite my previous post about poor soils).

The "second" worm containing layer is still to build up in significant worm numbers, but nonetheless is churning along. However, it appears I have an extra (unwelcome) visitor in this layer, which appears to me to look something like maggots. After some research, it turns out that these white pupae looking things are in fact entrachyadids. They aren't harmful to my worms or my worm farming, but they do indicate that my worm farm's conditions may be a little acidic at present.

Another thing I have noticed recently is a trail of small brown ants entering over the lip of the "first" worm containing layer. I figure these little creatures certainly have the potential to prey on my worms and so they have to go.

So, what am I planning in the way of maintenance. Firstly, I am going to add a handful of lime to my worm farm once a week in order to neutralise the acidic conditions. Secondly, I am going to add some small "trays" (bought some small terracotta pot trays) under the legs of my worm farm and place a small amount of water in them to discourage the ants. Thirdly, I will move the worm farm a little to try and trick the ants (whoops I lost a worm farm). And lastly, I have read that placing a piece of wet white bread in the middle of the layer will act as an attractant to the entrachyadids, which then allows you to easily remove them. So this will be done in due course.

Will keep you posted to see whether any of my tricks work.

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