Q. How do I look after my worms during hot weather?

A. There are a number of very simple things you can do to ensure your worms survive the summer:

1. Your worm farm must be set up in a cool, shady area, where it will not get any sun on it at all.

2. Make sure you don’t have a build up of uneaten food scraps in the worm farm. A lot of organic matter together will generate heat as it’s breaking down.

3. Leave the lid off the worm farm to prevent hot air building up inside.

4. Place a solid block of ice in your worm farm in the morning. Have an ice cream container, or a number of bottles of water, in the freezer ready to go

Q. What should I do before going away?

A. Take them with you! They’ll enjoy a trip to the seaside (unless there are hooks involved!).

If you are going away for a short length of time, just make sure the worm farm is in a cool place & has been watered well. Do not add extra food to the worm farm. If you wish to add some extra moist, shredded paper that will be fine, but not food scraps. The worms can go a long time without food, but you must make sure they will be cool & moist.

If you are going away for an extended time or during the height of summer, then it would be best to put the worms in a nice place in your garden. If you have a tiered worm farm, place each tray singularly, side by side, on the soil, in a reticulated area of the garden.

Place a bag (or two, or three, depending on how long you are going away) of sheep poo or horse poo on the soil around the trays. Use a large piece of carpet, or similar, to cover over the trays. This will be kept moist by the reticulation. When you come home, start feeding in the trays to encourage the worms back in (you may need to wait for them to finish the manures first before they head home).

My worm farm seems to be infested by a very small red mite like insect. Is there any way to get rid of these without harming the worms?

The red mites are not a problem. They will not harm the worms, they will also help to break down the food. Red mites tend to come & go, appearing when particular types of food are used, like yeast products. If you want to get rid of them, try sprinkling on some dolomite (garden lime).

When I check my worm farm, there are worms on the inside of the lid and trays, are they trying to escape?

If there are masses of worms congregated together in the corners or up the sides of the farm, then this could indicate a problem with their bedding. Otherwise, if there is the odd worm here and there, they are probably just having a wander around, especially if the trays and lid are moist from condensation.

Q. I have had my farm operating for a while now, but it seems to be taking a long time to fill up with Castings?

A. It is very important to add plenty of shredded paper on a regular basis for the following reasons:

• It helps to aerate the bedding.

• It creates more surface area for bacteria to colonise.

• Worms need 4 times more Carbon (paper, cardboard etc) than Nitrogen (food scraps/green waste).

• As food scraps are mostly liquid, the paper adds bulk for the worms to process.

How do I keep ants out of my worm farm?

Stand the worm farm legs in containers of water & add a few drops of Methylated Spirits or Kerosene. To prevent attracting ants in the first place, make sure you bury food scraps completely in the bedding & do not overfeed.