Home Worm Farming – Worm Farm harvesting Worms cannot survive in worm cast, vermi cast so now is the time to harvest the worm cast and reset your home worm farm.
Harvesting Worm Cast, Vermi Cast
How to harvest your worm cast, vermi cast: After all of the hard work that the worms have done over the past few months consuming all your house hold organic waste and yard trimmings, you will have noticed that even with all the food and waste that you have put into the worm farm that the level has not increased, and is lower now than when you first started. If you move the top layer of material aside you will see that it has changed into a dark soil looking material. This is worm cast, vermi cast. Worms cannot survive in worm cast, vermi cast so now is the time to harvest the worm cast and reset your home worm farm.
If you notice that you have large numbers of compost worms you can:
- – Separate some and start another home worm farm.
- – Give some away so that other families can start their own home worm farm.
- – Move some to an outdoor compost pile or well mulched moist garden bed.
1. Make sure that you have some new bedding, moist and ready for your worm farm.
2. Remove the top three to four inches of material from your worm farm and put it aside, as this will contain lots of worms and mostly unprocessed organic material.
3. Empty your worm farm onto a large piece of clean plastic, and start to reset your worm farm – Put in a couple of sheets of newspaper to prevent the fine material falling out the drain holes.
4. Put the moist bedding in and then the organic material and worms that you saved from the previous worm farm set up. [The three or four inches of material off the top of you worm farm you saved.]
Now it’s the time to sort your worm cast.You should have a nice pile of worm cast, worms and some organic matter in a pile on a plastic sheet.
Methods of harvesting worm cast, vermi cast:
Method one: Sifting with a coarse screen-
The method that I like is when you have a pile of unprocessed worm cast on your plastic sheet (see previous description in part one.) I like to sort my pile with a sifter, I simply put a couple of hand full’s of material in my sifter, give it a few shakes and all the fine worm cast will fall through leaving only the worms and unprocessed organic material in the sifter. I then tip this in on top of the material in the worm farm, It only takes a short time to do the whole pile and you end up with a very fine pile of worm cast for your garden and the worms and unprocessed material back in your worm farm. The sifter that I use is just a round container with a coarse screen in the bottom that the material falls through.
Method Two: Dump and sort with light-
As before, continuing on from part one, you have the pile of worm cast, worms and organic matter on the sheet of plastic. Build small piles or heaps (I usually build four.) Place a light above the heaps so it shines down on them. The worms will then quickly bury themselves to get away from the light. Carefully remove the material off the top of each pile. As you start to see worms, stop and wait a little while and repeat the process over and over again until you only have a pile of worms left. Carefully put all of the worms back into the worm farm that you have prepared with the bedding. This method can be used with sunlight but don’t expose worms to direct sunlight, as it will kill them.
Method Three: Migration –
In this method you do not have to remove the cast out of the worm farm to harvest it. You move all the material in the worm farm onto one side and then reset the empty side with moist bedding. Now only feed and apply moisture to the new bedded side as required, the worms will move across to this new side. After 4-6 weeks all of the worms and newborn worms from the hatched eggs will be on the new side. You can now remove all the old material and put new bedding in this empty side. Any unprocessed material can then be returned onto the top of the worm farms bedding and you can start feeding on either side once again.
Worm Cast, Vermi Cast is the best natural soil improver money can buy.