How to build a wormery
A Wormery is an enclosed bin which uses special types of worms to help break down organic matter. They are available for sale but you can also make your own.
Suitable materials for your Wormery
- Recycled wood from old pallets (check that they are free from wood preservatives as they harm the worms)
- An old plastic/standard plastic compost bin
Building Your Wormery
Drill drainage holes around the base of a plastic dustbin, approx 5cm from the base., 25cm apart. Drill a circle of air holes 5cm from the top of the bin.
- Fill bin with 8-10cm layer of coarse sand or gravel.
- On top of this place a circle of of wood or polythene with holes drilled for drainage.
- Add a 7-8cm layer of moistened bedding material, such as well rotted compost manure or leaf mould.
- Place at least 100 worms in the bedding. Brandling/tiger worms can be obtained from a mature compost heap, a working worm bin or they could be purchased.
- Add a litre of chopped food to one side of the bin. Cover this with a well soaked whole newspaper.
- Replace the lid and and leave undisturbed for at least 2 weeks for the worms to settle.
Maintaining your Wormery
Worms will eat almost anything that will decompose. They should be primarily fed on kitchen scraps but they will process weeds and other garden waste.
- Worms like variety. Not too much of one thing!
- Large quantities of citrus peel, seeds and diseased material and meat and fish are best avoided.
- Worms can be killed by overfeeding. Don't add more waste until the previous addition has been composted.
- Keep container covered to avoid fruit flies.
- Don't allow the bin to get too hot or dry out.
- If the heap begins to smell (too wet), pull everything out, mix it well with brown material and return to the bin.
- If the heap remains unchanged (too dry) pull everything out, water it, mix it with green material and return to the bin.
- Ready compost may be stored in medium-sized sacks (30/40litre) in a cool, dry place.