About ten years ago every council in the country was pushing worm-based composting. Householders were offered generous discounts to sign up, with bins and worms being supplied cheaply.

Literature was provided, and hundreds of people took up the challenge. Over the years composting still remains popular but using worms seems to have taken a backseat. Setting up and running a wormery is easier than you might think so why not consider it for your garden.


Setting Up

The easiest way to get started is by purchasing a wormery kit. Many local authorities still have deals on offer, or you can get them online. You will need to look for brandling worms as these are the best for the job.

Once everything arrives, you will need to follow the setup instructions. Basically, the unit will need to stand on legs or bricks as there has to be space for the tap to function. Line the bottom of the container with a sheet of paper. Next soak the worm bedding (which should be included) in water.

Use warm water and allow the block to soak up some water until it is malleable enough to break down. Once you have mixed the bedding into a pulp, spread it in an even layer over the paper you already placed.

Now you can add your worms. Healthy worms will be a writhing mass and quickly start to burrow into the pulp you have just created. Now, this is where you start to have a use for all your kitchen scraps. Chop your vegetable peelings and scraps well and cover the worms with a layer. As the veggies rot, the worms will have a feast fit for a worm. Now you add the mat that comes with the setup and put the lid on. The bin should be stored somewhere sheltered but warm, and the worms will get on with their job.

Do not leave the bin in direct sunlight.

After a week or so check the tap and see if there is any liquid to come off. Drain the liquid regularly, and you have a potent fertiliser. You will need to dilute this with water to use, most people suggest one part fertiliser to 10 parts water. Obviously, you will need to continue to feed your new pets to make sure they stay alive and can do their job.

Be aware in winter they may need to be kept a little warmer, and this can be achieved by wrapping the container in cardboard and bubble wrap or old carpet and other soft furnishings.


So What Do Worms Eat?

Well, worms are highly efficient dustbins. They love things like old teabags, egg shells, veggie peelings and coffee grinds. They are not really huge fans of chilli and onion (who can blame them). But overall they have the ability to reduce your kitchen waste substantially and replace the trash with some excellent fertiliser that will really improve the quality of your soil for growing even more veggies.


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