Wednesday, 21 May 2008



The idea is to have a perforated tube permanently placed into a hole in the garden and to place kitchen scraps into it and have resident compost worms continually moving in and out through the holes, decomposing and distributing the waste out into the garden for you.

Hopefully I won't need to empty it ever - Deb has had hers in the same place for years - because the worms take it all out through the holes in their travels. It is a good idea to put this one near some perennial vegetables (or fruit trees) with deep roots, so they can get the most benefit from the compost down deepest.

I would put the lid up the other way but it would just get full of mosquito larvae in a bout 5 minutes. Maybe I will try it though in hot weather.

This is not my only worm farm. I also have a traditional one so I can collect the liquid to water my seedlings.

A few days ago I finally got around to making this easy worm farm. I had been looking for the right receptacle for years (not an exaggeration!) until I saw that Deb had used 2 pots joined together at their openings. Brilliantly simple, thanks Deb.

1.So here you can see the 2 large plastic pots, one inverted onto the other and then joined with wire.

2.What is now the top has had the whole lid cut off it and is then a tube.

3.Lots of holes are then cut all over all the remaining surfaces,including the bottom, leaving a band without holes around the top half of the top pot.P1020737

4. Dig a hole deep enough for all the holes in the the new worm farm to be fully below soil level so no flies or vermin can get in.( Later, when I cover this area with a layer of compost, the soil level will be nearer the top of the pot.) Place the worm farm into the hole and back fill thoroughly so that the soil is up against the outside of the pots so the worms can easily wriggle in and out of the holes.

5. Place a spade-ful of compost in the bottom, then some kitchen scraps or green leaves or grass etc the a shovel-ful of worms.( Mine have been breeding up in the traditional worm farm so I took some from there.)Add a bit of water to dampen - not too much.


6. Cover the surface with a small piece of hessian.(My mother recently gave me a stack of hessian she got from who knows where. Why is it that old people seem to have supplies of things like hessian, string shopping bags, terracotta pots etc?)P1020743

7. Find a lid. Mine is a glazed pottery saucer from another large pot. I hope soon to find something better, preferably with a handle or knob to make it easier to remove with one hand.


8. Let the worms settle in for a bit and don't tip scraps in until they seem to be getting through what you have put in at first. Once their numbers build up they will require more feeding but because they have access to the surrounding soil you can go away and leave them for a while without attention.


Pattie Baker said...

This looks awesome. I'm sending this post to my friend Richard. I think he'll love it.

Jumbleberry Jam said...

What a rockin' worm bin! I've been trying to come up with a strategy for our tiny sun-drenched garden. I have just the place for this. Thank you!!

Rachel said...

That's an awesome idea. However, with a very inquisitive 3-year-old running riot, I think an in-ground farm would be too much of a temptation for the young lady to plop herself inside a vat of wormies! I'll file it away for a few years from now, though, for sure!

One question: will you be removing the compost from time to time, and if so, will that be complicated by the design at all?

Veggie Gnome said...

I like the simple design. One thing that strikes me, though. You can't collect any worm juice, can you?

Anonymous said...

I too have 3 similar worm farms scattered through-out my garden and I use a green "Tuscan" saucer for the top (can be purchased from any garden centre) It has a lip around the top of the saucer which holds it in place and the "bowl" of the saucer fits inside the pot opening, which can then be kept filled with water for the birds, plus helps to keep the worms cool on a hot day.

Kate said...

I am updating this post with a bit more information to answer these quaetsions.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! I will make this tomorrow. I've been looking for just ths sort of thing for about 2 years.

Rachel said...

thanks for the explanation. I'm trying to espalier two dwarf fruit trees - maybe I'll give it a go between the two of them. Or, as I said above, at least file it away for future use!

Anonymous said...

I have made one out of a dustbin. Drill a hole near the bottom then fit a tap so that you can collect the juices. Fill the bottom with about 8-10 inches of peagravel, then put some kitchen waste in, beg some worms from a friend with an established wormery and off it goes. I now have a dustbin of high class compost and some worms to give back to the friend who started me off - she made the mistake of washing out the bin when she had emptied hers and I think the worms decided that was too much!! The bin cost me about £12 and it can be moved around the garden if you need to!

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