SGO: How to ‘build-your-own’ wormery

Right now, finding easy ways to sustain your garden is popular. A friend of mine recently made a wormery for her garden and has found it amazing.

Wormeries work by turning old vegetable peelings and other substances that decompose easily into compost. It involves placing worms in-between the layers who, in turn, eat what is put in to the bin to create compost.

Copyright Mike Linksvayer, sourced with thanks via Creative Commons

Wormery image copyright Mike Linksvayer, sourced with thanks via Creative Commons

To make a wormery is quite simple and by creating one now, you’ll have all that fresh compost for when spring comes around next year. First, you need to get everything to make it!

  1. Large plastic box with a lid
  2. A drill
  3. 2 pieces of wood or similar to stand the box on
  4. Newspaper
  5. Worms and worm bedding

Step one:

Take your box and drill some holes in the base of the box. These holes make sure that there is a good supply and flow of air (worms needs that too). Ideally, you would use a 12mm drill piece, but any reasonable size will do. Don’t make them too small as they could block up easily.

Step two:

Lay your pieces of wood (or similar) on to the floor where the wormery will live, then place the box on top. This stops the holes on the base being blocked and the worms struggling for air. Another great way to do this would be to use some old bricks, just anything that raises the box off the surface.

Step three:

Find some old newspaper, cardboard or similar, and use it to cover the bottom of the box. This will create a layer that will allow air to travel through the wormery, yet stop the worms falling out! You don’t need to build a prison, as the worms will be quite happy in there. They will only really start to become unhappy if the inside starts to become acid if citrus or onion is added too often.

Step four:

Drill some more, smaller air holes along the top sides of the box. Only a few are needed each side. Any more and rain will be able to get in.

Step five:

Now, you the need to add the bedding. This is important, as this is where your worms will live. The best thing to use is worm compost; it contains all the microbes they need for their health. Whatever bedding you decide to use, though, make sure it is damp.

Step six:

Now to add your worms! You can get worms easily from a fishing tackle shop or a compost heap. A healthy wormery will have several thousand worms living inside; you will only need around 300-500; how ever many you can get your hands on really. The more you have, the quicker your wormery will grow and produce compost.

*Earth worms (from the garden) are not suitable for wormeries.

Step seven:

Add a small supply of food to get started. Items such as tea bags, vegetable peelings, banana skins and coffee grounds are really good. You need to avoid adding items such as onion skin, citrus fruits and also spicy and oily foods. You also need to make sure that you add about 20% carbon rich matter to the wormery. This could be cardboard, news paper or wood chip (similar to what you find in playgrounds).

And that’s it! Regularly add food to your wormery to keep it going and you will soon build up a good compost stock ready for spring!

For some more information and a video showing you what to do, click here to go to the BBC website!

by student blogger, Alex Hurton

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Categories: Edible Campus, Student Green Office | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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