If you like fishing, breeding worms is a great method to save money on bait. They’re also a great method to dispose of food waste and paper in an environmentally friendly manner. Set up a plastic or wood container with drainage holes at the bottom to breed worms. Fill it with soil and bedding made from compost. Then, once a week, add your worms and feed them food scraps, paper, or manure. Harvest your worms after 3-6 months by separating the soil and transferring half of the worms to a new container.
Setting up Your Habitat
1. To house your worms, choose a small plastic or wood box. Worms don’t mind a lot of room, but if your container is too huge, it could be difficult to locate your worms when you need them. For every 2 lb (0.91 kg) of worms you intend to house, choose a container that is at least 3 ft (91 cm) wide. Your container must be at least two feet long and two feet deep.
- Plastic is the ideal material for your box since it is simple to clean. However, if you choose, you may use wood. If you’re going to utilise wood, avoid chemically treated timber.
- When it comes to composting worms, the more area you have, the better.
- To keep the worms inside and any predators out, your container must have a lid.
2. Outside, embed a container with no bottom 1–2 ft (0.30–0.61 m) in the ground. If you wish to keep your worms outdoors, use a tool knife to cut the bottom out of a plastic container. Outside, bury it 1–2 ft (0.30–0.61 m) deep beneath a canopy or shelter. If you feed the worms regularly and maintain the environment warm, they will not leave. Predators will be present, so maintain a strong cover on top of your worms to keep foxes, birds, and rodents out.
- Worms want darkness to reproduce, so acquire a container with opaque sides and set it beneath an overhang, roof, or canopy.
- Worms need a temperature of at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius). If you reside in a location with a long or cold winter, don’t keep your worms outdoors.
3. Drill 12-18 drainage holes on the bottom of the bin. Puncture 12-18 holes in the bottom of the bin using a drill or screw, depending on the size of the container. To guarantee that rainwater drains correctly and the soil is exposed to air, make each hole at least 1 in (2.5 cm) in diameter. Don’t be concerned about your worms crawling out; if you feed them frequently and maintain the temperature comfortable, they won’t have any reason to go.
- If your bin is embedded in the earth outdoors, you won’t need to build drainage holes.
Many breeders maintain the worm box in a tray or pan with a broad lip so that if any worms escape, they may be quickly returned to their proper place.
4. Fill your box with compost bedding and organic soil. Fill the bottom of your habitat with organic soil to begin. Spread out the dirt as you pour it and avoid compacting it. Add a layer of manure, leaves, paper, or salt-free food waste when you’re within 10–12 in (25–30 cm) of the container’s rim. Then keep adding soil until the compost layer is covered by at least 6 in (15 cm) of soil.
- The worms will utilise the compost layer as a construction and bedding material. This layer does not need to be replaced. When you feed the worms, they will refill it on their own. They’ll break it down into rich soil that may be utilised as fertiliser over time.
- The soil pH level should be between 6.8 and 7.2. A bag of dirt has the pH level written on it. Buy a digital pH probe and place it in the soil to test it on a regular basis.
Getting Your Worms
1. If you wish to compost using red worms, you should buy them. If you want to grow worms for composting, red worms are the finest option. They consume a lot of food and reproduce quickly. If you’re purchasing red worms for composting, purchase 2 pounds (0.91 kilogramme) for every 1 pound (0.45 kg) of rubbish your home generates on a daily basis.
- Red wigglers are another name for red worms. Although some breeders refer to bigger red worms as wigglers, they are essentially the same.
- A form of manure worm is the red worm. The capacity of manure worms to devour organic stuff is well recognised.
- Vermicomposting is the process of composting using worms.
2. If you wish to utilise the worms as fish bait, use nightcrawlers. Nightcrawlers, also known as earthworms, are the most common worms seen by the side of the road after rain. They’re bigger than red worms, thus they’re better for fishing. They do, however, reproduce more slowly than red worms. Purchase as many nightcrawlers as you want to grow for fishing.
- Field worms are another species of worm that resembles nightcrawlers in appearance. They don’t produce better bait than nightcrawlers, however, and they’re more difficult to breed.
Nightcrawlers may be too large for smaller fish if you’re attempting to grow bait for them. If you like, you may always use red worms as bait.
3. Purchase worms from a trustworthy worm supplier. Worm breeders offer their worms to anyone who want to utilise them as fishing bait or compost worms. Find a worm vendor near you online or ask your fishing mates for ideas.
- Because worms don’t really convey their health in any apparent manner, it might be difficult to tell whether you’re obtaining healthy worms from a reputable source. The good thing is that they’re inexpensive, so you can always try again with a different buyer if you receive a terrible batch.
- If you like, you can go out and locate earthworms on your own. They often appear on the soil’s surface after rain. Red worms are more difficult to discover in the wild, however they may be found beneath leaves and in compost piles.
4. Fill the environment with your worms. Add your worms to the top of the soil to begin breeding. Allow them to dig and discover the compost layer by closing the lid and leaving them alone for at least 24 hours.
Maintaining Your Worms
1. To keep your worms healthy, feed them once a week. Animal dung, food leftovers, shredded paper, and cardboard are all edible to worms. To begin, feed the worms 2–3 lb (0.91–1.36 kilogramme) of food every 1 lb (0.45 kg) of worms purchased. Check to see whether your worms are eating it after 12 to 24 hours of feeding. Remove it if the worms are dying. Keep track of how long it takes them to finish the meal you gave them. Adjust the quantity of food you give them in the future so that they can finish it in about a week.
- When it comes time to harvest your worms, the feeding cycle is critical. It will be more difficult to harvest them if they are not on a defined cycle where they get nourishment on a certain day. On feeding days, the worms will naturally migrate to the top of the soil, allowing you to remove some of them when it’s time to grow your collection.
- If the worms die after you feed them, discard the meal and try a new feeding source. If you offer them food scraps, make sure it’s salt-free. Sodium has the ability to destroy worms.
There is no correct or incorrect quantity of food to feed your worms. The idea is to get your worms on a one-week cycle where they are fed on a certain day each week. The worms must consume all of the food within 6 days. As you learn how much food they consume and how fast they eat it, adjust the quantity you give them. Trying to find out how much to feed the worms might be a trial and error procedure.
2. To keep the soil moist, mist it 1-2 times each week. Worms thrive when there is a little amount of moisture in their soil. Fill a spray bottle with tap water and sprinkle the surface of the soil 1-2 times a week as required to keep your worms happy. Spray the top of the soil 5-6 times each misting to provide a layer of moisture. But be cautious not to completely wet the soil; if you do, the worms will drown.
- If you inspect the worms 1 day after the misting and find them rising to the surface of the dirt, you’ve added too much water.
3. To keep the worms happy, keep them in the dark. Worms are nocturnal and avoid direct sunshine. Keep your worms in low-light situations as much as possible to keep them happy and healthy. When going to examine their environment, it’s OK to switch on the light for a few minutes; but, if you keep them exposed to light for more than 6-7 hours, they may start to die.
- If you’re storing your worms outdoors, make sure they’re shaded for the most of the day by placing them beneath a canopy or overhang.
4. Maintain a temperature of 60–80 degrees Fahrenheit (16–27 degrees Celsius) to encourage breeding. Worms don’t like the cold and will die if they are exposed to it. Keep the room temperature between 60–80 °F (16–27 °C) to keep the worms happy and boost reproduction. Alternatively, keep your heater on or store them someplace consistently warm.
- If you can’t bring the worms inside during the winter because it’s too cold, invest in a heat lamp and a wire cage. To keep the worms warm, place the habitat inside the wire cage and place the heat lamp on top.
Harvesting Your Worms
1. After 3-6 months of feeding, harvest your worms. The worms will have had enough time to spawn and develop once you’ve regularly fed them every week for 3-6 months. Replacing the soil and constructing a new home for your surplus worms is part of the worm harvesting process. You’ll be eliminating worms before the young worms have had chance to grow if you harvest your worms before 3 months have elapsed.
- Worms spin cocoons and produce immature worms in about two months. After hatching, the baby worms will need at least another month to reach their full size.
- If there aren’t any more worms than usual when you go to feed them, the infantile worms aren’t fully matured. In a month, revisit them.
- You can narrow down the worm population by harvesting them, which will keep them happy and healthy. This will also encourage the worms to reproduce.
2. Prepare a second home for the growing worm population. You’ll need a second habitat to keep your worms if you’re not out fishing with them and want to grow your population. If your worm population has increased, your environment was properly constructed. Make a second habitat that is the same as the first. 6 inches (15 cm) below the top, add your soil and a layer of compost.
Tip: If your worm bins get overcrowded and you no longer want or need them, you can always throw part of them outdoors on the soil. The worms will burrow and find their own new home.
3. Stop providing food two weeks before harvesting. Stop feeding your worms two weeks before you wish to harvest them. This will encourage the worms to migrate to the higher layers of the soil, making harvesting them simpler.
4. Remove the top layer of soil and place it in a different container. Get a container that’s about half the size of the habitat. This container should be made of plastic or rubber and should not have any holes in the bottom. Place it near your worm habitat. Turn on a strong light and use a hand scooper to gently scoop the dirt into the bin. Continue scooping dirt until the top half of your soil is in the rubber or plastic container.
- Scoop up the dirt and compost layer together.
- With the light turned on, your worms will begin to dig further into the dirt. When you switch on the light, you’ll scoop out around half of the worms that don’t make it all the way to the bottom half of the dirt.
- You may use a shovel instead of a scooper if your collection is very enormous.
5. In 10-minute intervals, remove layers from your new container. Allow 10 minutes for the worms to dig further into the dirt by leaving the light on and placing your new container underneath it. After 10 minutes, scrape up the top 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) of dirt using your scooper. After that, wait 10 minutes and repeat the procedure. Repeat until virtually all of the dirt has been removed. Discard the surplus dirt or use it as fertiliser in your garden.
- If you want to limit the amount of mess you cause, do it outdoors.
- Take your time between scoops since the worms take a long time to travel down a few levels.
- The deeper you go, the kinder you should be. If you don’t want to smash any worms, put on some gloves and remove the remaining 2-3 layers by hand.
6. Replace the worms in their new environment. Fill the new habitat with food scraps or manure. After that, gently place the worms you retrieved in their new habitat. The worms will eat and begin laying down a new bedding layer.
- Any dead worms you come across should be picked up and discarded. It’s normal for a few worms to perish throughout the breeding process.
7. Remove the dirt from the original habitat. Put your hands in a pair of gloves. Push the dirt to one side of the container where your worms were initially kept. To keep the worms on one side, pile the dirt as high as you can.
- If it’s simpler for you, you can use the scooper.
8. Fill the vacant side with new dirt and some food. Grab a new bag of dirt after half of the container is empty. Pour it into the side of the bin that doesn’t have any dirt in it, then top it up with some food waste. Because the new soil is richer in nutrition, the worms will naturally go toward it. The worms will be enticed to remain on that side of the habitat by the food.
- Continue to feed the worms on top of the new dirt. This will guarantee that the worms choose to live on the fresher side.
9. After 2-3 weeks, replace the old dirt. You’ll need to remove the old dirt once your worms have had some time to settle into the new soil. Remove the side with the old dirt with your scooper carefully. There shouldn’t be many worms in there, but if there are, place them on the fresh side of the soil. To restore the habitat, fill the half that was emptied with new dirt.
- To keep your worm collection expanding, repeat this technique every 3-6 months.