What to plant in September
Beetroot Broccoli Carrot Climbing Beans Chinese Cabbage Lettuce
Peas Potato Onions Rocket Radish Spring Onion Spinach Silverbeet
Keeping a Worm Farm
Worm farms are great for small gardens that would struggle to fill a compost bin. They make nutrient rich castings (vermicast) that can be added to the garden as well as worm wee (vermiliquid) which is a fantastic soil conditioner and plant foliar feed. If you want to make your own worm farm have a look at the link below;
If you are buying a worm farm, there are a number of options on the market. Personally, I like the Can-O-Worms which is a round layered design available at most garden centres and Ecostore. You can buy square ones from The Warehouse or Bunnings, just make sure they have a tap on them for collecting the worm wee.
How to get your worm farm up and running
- So, assuming you have bought or made your worm farm, the bottom layer, with the tap, is the collector tray which catches the worm wee.
- This is the first working tray, put it on top of the collector tray and put cardboard on the bottom then ½ fill it with bedding. Use wet newspaper, peastraw or compost (if you have bought a worm farm use the coconut fibre bedding block provided). Spread tiger worms on top then cover with damp newspaper (you can buy tiger worms from www.ecostore.co.nz in north island or www.wormzaway.co.nz in south island). Put the lid on top.
- Collect up your kitchen scraps daily/weekly and put them underneath the damp newspaper. The smaller the pieces the easier it is for the worms to consume. Worms eat their own body weight every day and will regulate their numbers according to how much food is available.
Level 3 & 4
- When you reach the top of level 2, add level 3, it has little holes in the bottom of the tray. Put the new food scraps into level 3 and the newspaper on top of them. The worms will gravitate towards the food, leaving you with nutrient rich castings in level 2.
What to Feed the Worms
- Vegetable scraps, fruit and vegetable peelings
- Aged manure
- Tea leaves & coffee grounds
- newspaper, dampened egg boxes, tissues (wet)
- Crushed egg shells
Do not include;
Fish, meat, shellfish, garlic, onion, citrus fruits or any processed food. You need to add lime powder every now and then and a cup of water.
NEVER ADD cut grass to the worm bin as it heats up and will cook the worms!
Collecting castings and juice
- To collect the castings, take out the level 2 tray and cover ½ the tray with newspaper. Tiger worms do not like the light and will gravitate to the side where the newspaper is. Leave it for 30 minutes. You can then use the (relatively worm free) castings as a plant feed.
- Collect the juice from the bottom tray either through the tap or using a cup to scoop it out- dilute with water so it looks like weak tea and feed to plants.
Sarah Davies www.patchfromscratch.co.nz