Building your own wormery is a much cheaper option to buying one. A wormery is simply a container that provides an ideal habitat for compost worms. Once you understand how to build a wormery, the container you use will be driven by what is available to you and the size of wormery you choose to make. There are no right or wrong wormery plans. In tests, run by Garden Organic in Ryton, the wormery that came out as the most successful was a homemade design built out of a polystyrene/Styrofoam fish box.
If you want to have a go at making one yourself use the following instructions;
You will need:
- An old dustbin with a tight lid, or any other container with a lid that is made from a robust or non biodegrabeable material
- Clean gravel or stones
- Newspaper or weed suppressant membrane
- Shredded paper - enought to give a 10 cm deep layer at the bottom of the bin
- Some finished compost or leaf mould for bedding, home compost is best but garden centre compost will do
- A bucket of water
- Bricks or building blocks to raise the wormery off the ground
- 1 Water butt tap (available from garden centres). N.B. Check you have right size drill bit and buy if necessary.
- Compost Worms, 500 to 1000 for a dustbin sized wormery – available for free from a compost heap or pile of manure, alternatively buy them from specialist web-sites or angling shops.
What to do:
- Mix the shredded paper with the compost in a bucket with water enogh to cover the contents. This will form the bedding
- Drill 6-8 holes in the base of the bin and also around the top edge to provide air.
- Drill a hole for the tap near the base then fit the tap
- Place the bin on the bricks/building blocks with a drip tray underneath.
- Fill the bottom of the bin with a 10cm layer of gravel or stones for drainage.
- Place several sheets of newspaper or weed suppressant membrane on top of the gravel to prevent compost blocking the gaps.
- Place the damp bedding in the bottom of the bin, then add the worms.
Once assembled leave the worms to settle for a day then add some food for them, small amounts to start with, adding a little more when the first lot is almost gone. Do not over feed your worms especially at this early stage as they need to get themselves established. Make sure you check regularly for lechate build up as they are most ot risk of drowning when there is little depth to the vermicompost. Follow the guidelines for looking after your wormery day to day
If you have any stories to share about building your own wormery, we would love to hear from you.