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Worm farm questions

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#1 mylittlemen

Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:20 PM

In a bid to reduce our household garbage, I'm contemplating getting a worm farm.

We live in the eastern suburbs of Sydney aka cockroach nivarna. Would having a worm farm full of organic waste be the neighbourhood cockroach funfair?

What is the most cost effective way of a kit set up?  Is it best to just pop into bunnings or is there somewhere better online to order from?


#2 tick

Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:09 AM

We're in Melbourne and have quite a few cockroaches around lately but I can't say I've ever noticed any inside our worm farm!

Bunnings do stock a few brands, we've got a round one with legs and three layers and a lid.  They also sell boxes of worms (get the big box for a new setup) and the bedding blocks that you need to start a new farm.  Their prices seem reasonable enough IMO.  I say go for it!

#3 Chelara

Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:24 AM

We have a worm farm, I doubt cockroaches would ever get in there, haven't seen any, only those little vinegar flies. We also got one from bunnings, 3 layers too I think.

#4 laridae

Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:36 AM

I got mine from Mitre 10.  Its a rectangle one and 3 layers.  We don't have cockroaches really (at all), but the ants don't seem to get in.

I saved money on the actual worms (rather than paying Bunnings or Mitre 10 prices) by getting them from a small fruit & vege place that grows their own stuff.  I've also seen people ask for them on freecycle.  You need special composting worms - you can't just use normal earthworms.  They breed a lot so you don't need to buy that many, they just won't be as efficient until the population grows.

#5 Roselet

Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:40 AM

You do need to keep your numbers of worms up. Bunnings worm boxes are not always great - sometimes they have been on the shelf too long and the worms aren't in great health by the time you get them home. However, if you look after them they will recover and breed up to produce enough to process the amount of food you give them. there is a lot of info on organic and other gardening websites telling you how to keep your farm healthy, things like don't let them get too hot, water them in summer (yes, you water the worms - but make sure you have the bung open because they like being wet but will drown if it doesn't drain) have a hessian or newspaper cover on the top to help keep them cool, they like it if their food comes in small pieces - some people whiz the vege scraps in the blender / food processor before chucking it in, no onion or meat (althugh some people do manage that if the farm is really thriving), etc etc.
I live in Perth and it's an absolute bugger trying to keep them alive over our long hot summer, and I do get yucky flies and things in there when the worms aren't doing well.

#6 kazzamama

Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:55 AM

Not sure how close you are, but when we lived in Newtown we went to a worm-composting workshop with the Watershed (on King Street) - maybe call them to see if they can give you any more local info? Depending on your council area you may be able to get a free worm farm when you go to the workshop (worms not included - but they're only about $30 from memory). If the farm is set up properly, it shouldn't be too bad for cockroaches - I think they can get in but the food isn't rotting so it's not smelly IYKWIM. When I open mine up there are always a few fruit flies and silverfishes, but they're part of the ecosystem and they don't bother me.
It's a great thing to do - have fun!

#7 mylittlemen

Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:08 PM

Thanks guys. Sounds like it definitely is worth reading up on and getting ready for one (don't want to kill them all through ignorance!). Thanks for the tip on the local council thing too - we're in Waverley council and I've seen they do run various environmental workshops so might do a worm farm one too.

One more question - what happens if you go on holidays?  Eg if we were away for a couple of weeks, do we need someone to keep giving them scraps?

#8 laridae

Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:12 PM

QUOTE (mylittlemen @ 05/03/2012, 10:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One more question - what happens if you go on holidays?  Eg if we were away for a couple of weeks, do we need someone to keep giving them scraps?

No - just give them some before you go, cover with wet newspaper and that will do.

#9 Kitty Fantastico

Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:14 PM

I've tried the worm farm thing a couple of times, but it gets too hot here and many die. I also have too much green waste so it's easier going down the composting route. You shouldn't have trouble with cockroaches, they can't get in if you have the lid on properly.

#10 mylittlemen

Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:34 PM

Thanks for the tip Kazzamama. I've just been onto my local council's website and they run composting/worm farm courses. At the end you get to pick either a free compost bin or a free worm farm!

#11 gravychic

Posted 10 March 2012 - 02:59 AM

I got my worm farm (3 tier round one on legs, with a tap for juice removal) from bunnings and it works pretty good, i lived next door to a subway and red rooster with a maccas across the street for a couple years and there was ALWAYS roaches around (mmm fast food dumpsters) but i never noticed any in/on the worm farm; guess they couldn't get inside. I did however spray barrier spray on the legs of the farm cos i was paranoid, don't know if that helped either.

http://www.kookaburrawormfarms.com.au/index.aspx?page=14 was where i got my worms from, they came fresh fat and wriggling! Also have gotten the worm eggs from them as well and everything went great. I got my worms online cos the bunnings ones i got first time around seemed a little lackluster and sickly.

#12 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 10 March 2012 - 05:00 AM

We have one and it's pretty good. We have these big white maggot things in there though which makes my stomach churn. Apparently it's pretty common and they coexist with the worms, but they make it smelly.

We googled worm farm and the local area and got a bunch of suppliers near us. We were going to buy the bunnings worms but opened the box up and had a look. It was completely dry and we couldn't see any movement at all so we didn't buy them. From memory, they were about $30 from the worm guy and are kicking on well.

#13 mylittlemen

Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:06 PM

Thanks everyone. My free worm farm is on it's way from our local council!!  And they provide the worms too (they ask you to make sure you can set up the farm on the day you nominate for delivery so the worms don't have to wait too long so hopefully they are good ones or I'll look into some of the other suggestions).

I'm getting excited now.

#14 KristyMum-

Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:51 PM

be great to hear how you go with your new 'pets' original.gif

They really are brilliant in what they take care of and what they produce.

#15 ~iMum~

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:31 PM

Posting here to keep all the worm farm stuff together. Re, the maggots in the worm farm, I've had my farm for about 3 weeks now and noticed today there's a heap of maggots in there  sick.gif The manual that came with the farm says it's normal but that if you want to get rid of them to place a milk-soaked piece of bread in there on top as it will attract them. After a few days you apparently scoop it out (pass the shovel please!) and bury it. Has anyone done this and did it work? I don't want to go anywhere near the maggots any more than I have to. I guess I could always feed them to the fish, though?

#16 fionah

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:39 PM

We have the maggots. We just leave them in there, there is no smell.
I tried the bread thing and it didnt work.

I find this site perfect for worm farm info.




#17 TwiceThe Woman

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:49 PM

We've had our worm farm for about 3 years - tried ++ before but they died.  Went to a council worm farm seminar and never looked back.  We've never had maggots or cockroaches in it sick.gif but we don't put any animal stuff in there - only vegetable.  We now keep ours in the shed for longevity and have managed 2 summers now without total loss.  So far, so good.
Everything thrives with the worm juice - it's just amazing stuff.  Our veggie garden yielded 2-3kg zucchinis!
Good luck with it all and have lots of fun with your garden.

#18 laridae

Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:18 PM

I've not had maggots in my worm farm - are you making sure the lid is tightly closed so flies can't get in and if you store the food scraps before putting them in, make sure its a sealed container so flies can't get in & lay eggs.

Maggots turn into flies eventually, so you could just let them out once they do, then shut the lid.

#19 i-candi

Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:31 PM

The only downside to the white maggots is that they are hungry and will eat more of your scraps. Great if you have too much scraps!!!

I don't think the maggots in the farm are like blow fly maggots though????

Those with problems with heat in long summers to help cool down your worm farm have a frozen block of ice (made in an icecream container). Pop on top of your worms (probably over the newspaper) and they will go towards the ice when it is hot or if it is cool they will go down the bottom.

It's best to have two ice cream containers in your freezer, on freezing then one in the farm!! Mum has no problems with her worm farm in the hot dry Perth summers.

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