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Free plant food, waste food eaten, - why not try a wormery?

I've been a worm fan for 12 years now.  That's how long ago I got my first junior wormery. 

The first one, wasn't a great success. I drowned my first set of worms after only 3 months. They were producing me plenty of Leachate (worm wee!) and I wasn't draining it off to feed my plants on a regular basis.

CanOWorms A year later, I tried again with a Can-O-Worms. This was a layered wormery, with stacking trays that your kitchen waste, plus cardboard can be fed in to at a regular intervals.

I had a lot more sucess with this one, and have been composting with worms ever since.

Worms are hungry creatures and can eat up to half their body weight in food each day.

They love vegetable peelings, uneaten fruit, saladings and tea bags. They are great at eating cardboard loo roll middles, egg boxes and other un plasticized cardboard. They are not great fans of too much onion skin or citrus, and avacado skins and egg shells go mostly untouched, so they go in my compost bin.

I also use my shredded security paper (envelopes with addresses on, old bill etc) as a layer to keep the bin oxygenated and stop it going soggy - they won't eat the plastic windows from envelopes, so they have to be removed, but I feel very safe knowing that my confidential papers are being eaten and used to provide great garden food.


Once your wormery is up and running, you can drain off the liquid food and dilute 1 part liquid to 10 parts water to water onto your plants. Tomatoes love it, but as a good all round food, all your border and pot plants will benefit. - Free, organic food is good for you and the garden.

In 11 years, i've had a couple of spare legs, i've added a new tap, and i'm up to 4 layers. My worms have survived even the toughest winters, (yes that is more than a foot of snow) and have multiplied themselves so that i've helped several other people start wormeries, and have now got a new one for myself.

The Worm Cafe is the new updated version of the CanOWorms, - it has a hinged lid, that doesn't let in rain, so doesn't need a separate cap. It is square so will fit in a corner easily but other than that, it is as easy to use and a great starting point for home composting. 

The great joy of the layered wormeries for the squeamish is that you don't have to touch the worms. At some point when your worms have eaten their way through your food mixture, they will have produced a vermicompost which is great for top dressing houseplants, or adding to borders to improve the soil. More importantly, they will have disappeared up the layers of your bin, so you don't have to handle them.

I'm often asked how to compost with very little space, and this is a fantastic solution to reducing your waste and creating great food for the garden.

If you'd like more Worm information, the latest catalogue from Wiggly Wigglers has a great article "Secrets of a Master composter"


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Martyn Cox

I've had a worm bin for years and think it's the best way for someone who has a small garden to do some composting. However, you do have to drain that worm tea regularly or the bin will start stinking like a sewage farm.

Claire Brown

yes I can testify to the stinking liquid as I hadn't emptied mine this week, and the worms have been hard at work!

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