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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to our most commonly asked questions. But if you can’t find what you need to know below - please get in touch.  

Worm FAQ's

When should I get Earthworms?


If you can’t find any worms in your garden you might want to introduce soil dwelling earthworms or inoculate (technical term) your soil or raised beds with earthworms. When you find only very few worms and you want to have more and different species you can introduce a mix of soil dwelling earthworms.

Please do not introduce compost worms when you need earthworms living in your soil. Compost worms live mostly on top of the soil and eat litter and organic waste.

To add soil dwelling earthworms, dig a shallow 5 cm deep whole in your soil or raised garden bed, make sure the soil is loose and damp – not soaked with water or powdery dry – place some earthworms in the whole and cover with damp soil. If you add earthworms to your turf just lift the grass sod and place the earthworms where the roots are growing. Put the grass sod back on but do not compact the grass sod the same day. You can safely compact the sod the next day. Keep the soil moist where you introduce the earthworms.
  • If you want to, you can place the grass sod upside down which gives a loose and safe place for the earthworms to start their work.
  • In gardens where you water your plants and beds you can introduce earthworms any time throughout the year. You should not do so when soils are too dry or cold. Soil dwelling earthworms are dormant in summer when soils are getting dry and in winter when soils are cold or even frozen. This means they are digging deeper into the soil and curl up doing nothing but waiting for moist and warm soil conditions. So, when you are looking for earthworms in summer and winter and don’t find many, this is why.
  • If you have free ranging chicken in your garden, you should keep the chicken locked out for a few hours. Keep the soil moist for the next few days.
  • Remember that you need to feed your earthworms even if they are living in the soil. Use some mulch, not bark or wood chips, rather leafy material like grass clippings. Leave some organic residues in the soil to decompose in the soil or at least apply compost to your soil.
As most orchards and pasture are not irrigated, we strongly suggest introducing earthworms in spring when soils are moist and earthworms can migrate into the soils. As farms and orchards require bulk supply, we can supply these only in springtime as our soil dwelling earthworms are dormant from summer to winter. Please contact us for details.





Vermicast FAQ's

How much and when do I apply vermicast?


From more than 12 years of experience in applying MyNOKE vermicast, our customers recommend following application rates: Orchards: 20 t/ha of MyNOKE vermicast either as band or broad spread for initial application or when the soil fertility is poor e.g. new orchard. In the following years application rates may be reduced to 10 t/ha. Ideally applied by the end of winter or early spring. MyNOKE vermicast can be applied throughout the year depending on access to orchards. Maize and cropping: 20 t/ha of MyNOKE vermicast for maintaining the humus level and improving root development. After conversion and contouring up to 50 t ha (7 mm) can boost soil humus content, stabilise soil pH, and establish a productive cations exchange capacity CEC. Application best after soil tillage (if any) and before planting. Pasture: 20 t/ha before renewing pasture to improve germination and root development of new pasture. On established pasture either 10 t/ha in spring or 5 t/ha twice a year as split application after grazing or mowing. MyNOKE vermicast can be mixed with RPR, lime, farm manure if required. Please also take a look at our knowledge resources for more information.




What are the benefits of vermicast?


MyNOKE vermicast is pure earthworm casting, rich in soil humus with a high cations exchange capacity CEC. Earthworms produce gibberellins and auxins like plant growth promoters, which trigger root development and growth. Vermicast contains natural phosphatase that unlocks the phosphate of your soils. MyNOKE vermicast is rich in bacteria and fungi (mycorrhiza), calcium and magnesium too. Deeper and more roots in combination with a higher humus content improves water holding capacity which helps plants grow longer during droughts. Nutrients and fertiliser are less likely to be washed out of the root zone into the groundwater. This saves on fertiliser costs and reduces nitrate emission.





Waste FAQ's

What volumes of organic resources can be vermicomposted within a year?


At all MyNOKE vermicomposting operations together we are vermicomposting 250,000 tonnes of organic resources per year and are steadily growing. The smallest municipal ‘worm farm’ we are operating is at Maketu with approximately 250 tonnes intake per year. What range of moisture content of organic waste is suitable for vermicomposting? Vermicomposting is the ideal technology for wet organic wastes such as sludge and semi dewatered materials. Worms require a moisture content between 60% and 90% depending on the structure of the ‘feedstock’. At MyNOKE we are combining wet resources with semi moist materials. Sludge with no structure will be mixed with carbon rich fibre to provide the structure compost worms require.




What range of moisture content of organic waste is suitable for vermicomposting?


Vermicomposting is the ideal technology for wet organic wastes such as sludge and semi dewatered materials. Worms require a moisture content between 60% and 90% depending on the structure of the ‘feedstock’. At MyNOKE we are combining wet resources with semi moist materials. Sludge with no structure will be mixed with carbon rich fibre to provide the structure compost worms require.




Can I use anaerobic digested sludge for vermicomposting?


Yes – with some limitations though as anaerobic digestion is reducing the carbon content in the organic waste but increases nutrient content such as nitrogen. High ammonia concentration in the digestive can be toxic to earthworms. At MyNOKE we are buffering the nutrients with fibrous resources to balance nutrients and fibre for the wellbeing and performance of our earthworms. Plastics including bioplastics will not get digested in a biogas plant and remain in the digestate - earthworms don't like plastics, therefore we can't take this type of waste.





General Questions

How much does your service cost?


How much does your service cost? There are a range of prices associated with our services, depending on what you need and where you’re located. Here’s a few things to consider before getting in touch for a quote - as it will help us to provide a more accurate breakdown of cost.

  • Do you know if you need pure earthworm castings to apply to the soil or a liquid Vermicast extract to spray onto plants, or put into your irrigation?
  • Do you know how much you need or would you like us to calculate how much you need?
  • If you need earthworms, do you need them for composting or for living in the soil?
  • Is it for your garden or for an orchard or a farm?
If you want to enquire about the collection of organic waste, we need to know what type of organic waste you would like us to handle:
  • Industrial food processing waste, canteen waste?
  • Does it include napkins, paper towels, office paper or cardboard?
  • Is it sludge from a wastewater treatment plant? Or other, like lake weeds?
  • And do you want to bring the waste to us or would you like us to pick it up?​