Worms are one of the most efficient ways of converting kitchen waste into something you can use in the garden. Worm compost is a very rich source of nutriment for young plants and in it’s liquid form for top dressing the garden in general. The wormery above was bought from our good friend Heather at Wiggly Wigglers and of course Farmer Phil. Basically you start with three trays, a base which holds the liquid sump, a lid, worms and a bedding mix. The worms supplied are chosen as the most suitable for composting rather than others which can be bought for earth working.
The wormery can handle a variety of food waste but is best to go for vegetables, fruit and peelings. Contrary to popular demand, worms do not eat meat, that’s a maggot diet. They are not too keen on dairy produce either, but you can add bread and rice. Citrus fruits should be avoided at all cost as the oils are poisonous to the wormery. In fact you can change the balance of the colony with putting in too much of anything which is acidic or caustic. Too much onion can turn the wormery sloppy and acidic, much like the effect it can have on the human stomach.
To keep this in check, lime can be added to change the acid balance and handfuls of shredded paper. Wormeries are also excellent places to get rid of old egg shells. Simply dry them in the oven and then break them up in a pestle and mortar. Add a handful from time to time.
Harvesting the compost is done from the lowest tray first. Swap this to the top and leave the lid off and the worms should descend into the tray below. The compost collected is perfect for potting and for nourishing containers. One final tip, the worms are not to be encourgaed as a fishing bait by your father in law !!!