For those of you who don’t yet own a wormery and wonder quite what all the fuss is about read on…
In short, a wormery is a fantastic way of taking your kitchen waste and transforming it (in the form of ‘castings’) into a compost so high in nutrient value that I often refer to it more as a fertiliser than a mere compost. It diverts such kitchen waste from landfill (if your Council doesn't already collect it) but also saves you from having to then buy in compost and mulch later in the year when you need it in your garden. A wormery will also produce a fantastic liquid fertliser that, when watered down at about 10:1, will provide organic feed to all your plants and vegetables thereby saving you yet more money. If you don’t have plants to feed then just adding it to your borders will help improve the structure of your soil with a multitude of friendly nutrients and organisms. If you don’t have plants or borders I’m sure there will be gardeners a plenty happy to take the castings and liquid feed off your hands (at least if they realise how powerful it is).
Composting with a wormery is a great way for people without the room for a compost bin or heap to compost. They are generally small and neat and can be kept close to the house to save the trip down a cold and windswept garden in the winter. “Eww, but what about the smell?”, I hear you say. Simple, there isn’t one! Really, if a wormery is working correctly the compost should have a slight earthy smell and not cause any problem at all.
They come in all shapes and sizes as well but generally consist of a number of trays and a sump. Once the first tray is full you add the second and the worms will wiggle their way up through the holes in the tray above to get to the layer of new waste (generally once they have finished the tray they are currently in of course). Once that tray is full you add another and the process continues until the last one is full, by which time the bottom one should now consist of a beautiful black gold, known as vermicompost, ready to be applied to plants as a top dressing, mixed with other compost to make a potting mixture or just added to your borders as a fertiliser-come-mulch that will feed the plants every time it rains as well as improve the quality of your soil in the long run.
|Bottom tray, ready for emptying|
For help with how best to empty the bottom tray please read http://blog.sherlock.co.uk/2009/03/emptying-bottom-layer-of-your-worm-bin.html
Wiggly Wigglers no longer sell wormeries but they do still sell the necessary items for keeping them in tip top condition - http://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/composting/wormery-extras/wormery-accessories.html
Worm City sell a British built stacking wormery - http://www.wormcity.co.uk/wormeries.htm