Creating plant food from worms

I try to recycle as much of my rubbish as possible. However, I have always had problems with cooked food. You should not put cooked food onto compost heaps because, although it will compost very well, it will also attract rats and mice – visitors you do not want to your garden. That is where the wormery comes in.


Put simply, a wormery is a sealed container holding a special species of worm which will digest your spare food and convert it into usable plant food. However, it isn’t quite as simple as that. Yes, you can use an old dustbin but in very short order it will smell and become water logged.

The advice from professional worm farmers is that a large surface area will help worms process organic waste quicker and leads to even greater worm cast harvests, so when first making or buying your wormery, you should take this into account.

The other thing is that you want your wormery to be close to your kitchen door, so that disposing of your organic waste is easy – even in bad weather.

Harrod Horticulture sell some very nice looking (and very practical) timber wormeries. They are flat pack and come with step by step assembly instructions so that there is a real sense of accomplishment even before you harvest your first plant food. They are made from stout FSC timber which has been pressure treated and is guaranteed for five years. They are also (in my view) really good looking.  The only other thing you need apart from the Wormery is the worms themselves and some bedding culture so that the worms can start to work (and reproduce)  as soon as you introduce them to their new home.

Wormeries do not replace the compost bin but they do make fantastic companions to it. Compost bins produce large amount of general soil improver whilst wormeries produce worm casts which is the highest quality organic fertiliser there is. It is rich in minerals and micro-organisms which are essential to the healthy growth of plants.

Worms also produce liquid which when drained from the wormery which can be poured onto your compost heap to accelerate the rotting down process or it can be diluted to spray onto lawns or plants as a rich feed.


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