Building your own wormery can be a fantastic way to get “hands on” time in your gardening and composting. You’ll be producing an efficient and high quality compost that you can use for many different gardening and growing applications. Plus, it’s actually incredibly easy to set up and get started with, making wormeries continually more popular all of the time. Take a look at these seven steps to building a great wormery for your garden.
1. Choose your Bin – You can use almost anything to house your wormery, although the most common choices are old aquariums and large plastic bins. Wooden crates can also be used, as can galvanized tubs, specially made contraptions, rubber bins and more. If you want to use wood, make sure the wood is untreated as otherwise it could actually kill the worms (treated wood often contains highly toxic substances.)
2. Set it Up – The best setup for a wormery typically has the bin elevated off the ground by using some bricks or something similar. The bin itself should also be ventilated with rows of small holes in the bin. You’ll want to cover the top with a burlap sack, a canvas tarp or something else that can be easily removed. The cover prevents the compost from drying up. In the case of an aquarium, or a plastic or rubber bin, you can use the typically provided top that came with the bin.
3. Buy your Worms – While you technically could just go out and find some worms in your backyard for the wormery, it’s wise to purchase the worms that you’ll use. A few common varieties that are used include Red Wigglers, Tiger worms and European Night Crawlers.
4. Get it Started – To get your wormeries started, you first want to create a “bed.” This can be done simply by placing a layer of shredded newspaper on the bottom of the bin, which provides fiber. Add to this some moss and even a bit of soil if you choose. Water the mixture and let it soak overnight, so it’s saturated but not pooling with liquid.
5. Add the Composing Material – Now you actually want to add the material that you’ll be composting, such as your leftover fruits and vegetables, crushed raw eggshells, used coffee grounds and tea bags and so forth. On top of that add another layer of newspaper and moss.
6. Put the Worms to Work – Now it’s time to put the worms into the wormery and let them go to town. Add more fruits and vegetables about once per week, and more newspaper and moss about once per month and you’ll be providing a steady flow of material to maintain the wormery.
7. Harvest the Compost – After about three months your wormeries should have compost that’s ready to use. Put on some gloves, open the top and shine some light into the bin, which will send the worms deep into the bin, allowing you to easily remove the ready compost from the top. Use it for potting your plants or add it straight to your garden, then reload your wormery bin and get started with another batch!