Worm conditioners help to improve the quality of your worm farm by providing the worms with essential nutrients and minerals.
But How and what’s in it? Can you make it yourself? We answer your most pressing questions!
Worm farm compost conditioner is a treatment for your worm farm that works by keeping the soil bacteria optimal, and balances pH levels and moisture in your bin.
Worm Farm compost conditioner is made out of varying ingredients, depending on the product, but they all serve the same purpose – to keep your worm farm’s environment optimal and your worm bins productive.
We will learn the most common ingredients used in worm farm and compost conditioner further in this article.
Let’s get straight to how we can help keep a healthy worm farm!
What Is Worm Conditioner?
Worm farm compost conditioner usually contains a specially selected blend of the mineral-dense composition of crushed rock including:
- Ag lime (calcium carbonate).
These ingredients will make the nutrients in your worm farm more available to plants as well.
It is because the rocks used to make the compost conditioner provide a slow release of minerals, which makes them readily available to plants over an extended period.
Worm compost conditioner may be added to a compost bin to help with the decomposition process…but more on this in the next section.
Worm conditioners are an excellent way to improve the quality of your soil and provide your plants with the nutrients they need to thrive.
There are many different types of worm conditioners available on the market, such as the tumbleweed worm farm conditioner.
What Does Worm Farm and Compost Conditioner Do and How Does it Work?
If you add one or two teaspoons of conditioner to your worm farm, it can help to balance the system by adding natural minerals which may improve:
- worm farming efficiency
- worm health
- improve liquid nutrient content
- help worms digest larger quantities of food scraps
When used properly, it can help improve drainage (in worm farm and compost heaps suffering with too much moisture) and aeration while also increasing the amount of organic matter in the soil.
Worm farm and compost conditioner can also help to increase the population of beneficial microorganisms in the soil, which can help to improve plant growth and the quality of castings you worms output after consuming your food waste.
NOTE: It’s important to note that the worm conditioner is not a fertilizer and should not be used as such.
Fertilizers provide nutrients that are immediately available to plants, while worm conditioners provide a slow release of nutrients into your worm bin over time.
Do I Need Conditioner for My Worm Farm?
You may need to use a worm conditioner product for your worm farm if:
- your pH is too high or low (it balances ph levels)
- you have too much moisture (though shredded paper or similar can do that job)
- you’re suffering from certain pests and infestations
- you want generally more healthy soil
- your worms aren’t eating as much and you want them to digest larger quantities (though be sure there isn’t another problem at play)
Based on research, the use of a worm conditioner may help to improve the physical, chemical, and biological properties of your soil.
It also helps reduce odors, helps balance ph levels and control pest infestations which keeps your worm farm and compost in a healthy condition.
When you add worm conditioner to your compost bins, the beneficial microbes in the worm castings help to break down organic matter, making nutrients more available to plants.
The humic acids in worm castings also help to promote plant growth by improving the uptake of essential nutrients.
A side effect is that it can help improve the quality of your worm tea if you collect it from the bottom of your farm.
It’s rich in nitrogen, potassium, and other minerals that are essential for healthy plant growth. Worm conditioners can help increase the concentration of these minerals in the worm juice.
The worm tea that is produced as a by-product of vermicomposting can be used as a liquid fertilizer or foliar spray.
The addition of a worm conditioner to your compost bin can help speed up the decomposition process too to help your worms eat more efficiently.
It’s important to note that not all worm conditioners are created equal.
Some products on the market may contain chemicals or other additives that can be harmful to your plants.
Can I Make Homemade Worm Farm Conditioner?
Yes, you can make your own homemade worm farm conditioner with the following ingredients:
- Zeolite and some specially selected blend of natural minerals and rock dust which may be produced in Australia because of their color helps in controling of pest infestations.
- Calcium Carbonate is a natural mined product that is used to sweeten the soil. It helps balance the pH levels in the worm farm and compost bin.
- Garden lime, is a component that helps in neutralising the acidity and helps reduce odours in the worm farm. (This component also aids worms to digest larger quantities of food waste faster.)
- Epsom Salt provides magnesium and sulfur to the plants.
- Dolomite Lime, is a source of calcium and magnesium carbonate.
- Gypsum, helps to improve the soil structure by binding clay particles together. You can also add other ingredients such as kelp meal, wood ash, or coffee grounds to your homemade worm farm conditioner.
Just be sure not to add too much of any one thing as this can throw off the balance of your worm farm.
It’s best to find out what is throwing off your worm farm and compost balance so you can add a healthy, specially selected blend of the above ingredients. You may not need them all.
When using a homemade worm farm conditioner, it’s important to mix it well before adding it to your worm bin.
You should also add it slowly over time so that the worms have time to adjust.
Worm Farm Conditioner Alternatives
You may not need all of the ingredients we mentioned in commercial worm conditioner products.
Sometimes it could just take one or two ingredients to get your worm farm’s environment back on track:
- Eggshells – are an easy fix for your worm bin if it has become too acidic. They have a high pH and will balance things out. Just be sure to crush them into a fine powder first so your worms don’t cut themselves.
- Carbon materials – like peat moss or shredded paper. This will remove ammonia from a bin that’s too alkaline. You can also add coffee grounds, peat moss and even a minimal amount of citrus peels to add some acidity back!
- The above materials also work if your problem is too much moisture as these carbon materials will absorb excess water. Just be careful not to go too far the other way and make your win bin too dry.
- Worm Tea – worm tea or “vermiwash” as it’s called in one study can also keep pathogens and pests away! Just spray the worm tea back into the soil and you may be able to help control pests and destroy diseases.
Tips to Keep Your Worm Farm Healthy So it Doesn’t Need Conditioner
The food and kitchen scraps you feed your worm farm will have the main impact on the nutrients available to the worms and the overall system’s microbial content.
Your worm farm will benefit from a wide range of nutrition from kitchen scraps, and quantities of food waste.
The following list covers some of the best foods to feed your worm farm and what they do for your worm compost bin and its environment:
As with anything, these are basic guidelines and feeding too much of any of these sources, ironically could cause your farm and compost bin to need balancing using worm conditioners
1. Fruit and vegetable scraps: Fruit and vegetable scraps are an excellent source of nutrients for your worm farm.
Just make sure to avoid any that are too moldy or spoiled.
2. Coffee grounds: contain high levels of nitrogen, which is essential for healthy plant growth. Just be sure to avoid adding too much at once, as this can cause the pH level of your worm farm to become too acidic.
3. Tea leaves: a great source of nitrogen for your worm farm. They also help to aerate the soil and promote drainage.
4. Eggshells: a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong plant growth. Just crush them up into small pieces before adding them to your worm farm.
5. Grass clippings: excellent source of nutrients for your worm farm. Just make sure they’re from chemical-free lawns.
6. Manure: contains high levels of nitrogen and other essential nutrients that are great for your worm farm.
Just be sure to add it in moderation, as too much can make the soil too acidic.
7. Leaves: Leaves are a great source of carbon for your worm farm. They also help to aerate the soil and promote drainage.
Just make sure to avoid any that are moldy or diseased.
8. Ashes: Ashes contain high levels of potassium.
Worms are a gardener’s best friend and worm condition keeps your worm farm healthy for your wriggly friends.
They improve drainage and aeration while also increasing the amount of organic matter in the soil.
With the use of a worm conditioner, the availability of nutrients and the population of beneficial microorganisms in the soil is increased.
With the right control of these factors, you may expect healthier worm castings, and thus healthier plants and more quality harvests.
If you are thinking about starting a worm farm, or if you already have one, consider adding a worm conditioner to your compost bin if you see your worms trying to escape or eating slowly.
It’s an easy way to give your plants a boost and improve the quality of your soil at the same time.
Adding this healthy blend of a selected blend of natural minerals to your homemade conditioner will help in controlling pest infestations, keep your compost sweet, neutralize acidity, reduce odours and add magnesium, sulfur, and calcium to your plants.