Talkback: Wormery composters

Funny this post came up today. We are having unseasonably warm weather, and decided to clean out the worm composter we made this spring.
We used an old garbage can that had the bottom broken. We cut the bottom out, drilled a few holes around the bottom edge so we could "pin" the can to the ground and just started adding food waste - and we use cooked food waste (no meats or fat though) too. After a few months, we could tell that there wasn't much worm action (and the can was about half full of ook), so I posted to Craigslist looking for someone who had some worms to spare and a nice couple let me come to their rabbit farm and take as many as I could shovel (and each shovel had hundreds of worms!). We only took about half of a 5g bucket worth and added it. After a few months we could tell that stuff was happening as we had finally filled the garbage can, but each time we needed to empty the kitchen can, there was always room.

Anyway, today we took a look to see what was happening and we had a garbage can full of "vermipeat". We forked it over to the open compost bin (made from pallets) and now this spring we will have some nice fertile loamy stuff to add to our beds!

I LOVE worms!!!


  • Me too! I have had my wormery for many years and compost my kitchen waste and that of my neighbours. My worms don't care for onion skins or citrus fruit but process everything else and I crumble up eggshells to give them some grit. I feed them and the birds before myself. The productivity in my garden is amazing and all due to vermipeat and worm wee!
  • On the subject of egg shells. I put them in an old plastic container with a few golf balls and shake. Produces nicely ground egg shells which I add to my wormery.
  • I have a conventional green compost bin with a lid and little sliding door at the base. I added a few worms when starting out a couple of years ago and now keep two bins on the go, rotating waste between them as the levels drop.
    I occasionally turn the compost with a fork and it now resembles spaghetti under the surface with thousands of worms which seem to live and feed happily under this environment. It is really rewarding and encouraging to see this wonderful compost being made for free!! Love it.
  • I would so love to keep worms going but I have failed miserably. I am coming to the conclusion that they do ned to be kept in a shed over the Winter - a protected place outdoors is insufficient (in our part of Wiltshire anyway). They became another mouth to feed and we were always surprised at how little waste they can deal with. The three bin tower is brilliant for making comfrey fertiliser though!
  • I bought a "wheelie bin"-type worm composter about 15 years ago. According to the leaflet that came with it you could even "keep it in your kitchen"-as it was odourless". As I'd bought it in winter I decided to start it off in my garage. The worms wouldn't stay in the bin. Every day the floor around the bin was littered with dead worms. Lord knows what my kitchen would have been like if I had kept it in there!
    When I eventually put it outside, the lid fitted so badly that every time it rained, it filled with water and drowned the worms. I gave up in the end.
  • I purchased the original bin wormery many years ago now. The problem with a wormery of this type is that you can forget to drain the liquid off regularly (I have no experience of the tray wormery)and once the compost gets too wet it can lead to problems such as flies and ultimately your worms may die - lost my original worms this year! I have now connected a hose from the drain tap to a collection vessel and leave the tap open at all times to avoid the above problems.
  • I have just read through previous comments. I purchased an insulation coat for my bin wormery from the supplier and leave my wormery outside the backdoor 12 months of the year. I have no problems with escaping worms or smell. I agree about keeping citrus peelings and onions out of the bin - they go in my garden compost bin.
  • Can you help me I would like to start a wormery as my husband go fishing regularly, Is this possible as the cost of worms are expensive. What would I need to do to get one started, would they produce enough to warrent the initial out lay. Please advise. Josie
  • Reply to Josie: I've never bought worms for angling, so don't know how much they would cost, or how many would be needed.

    Anyway, the worms used by anglers are exactly the same worms that we use for composting.

    Provided you can supply regular kitchen waste like potato and carrot peelings, banana skins, uncooked veg waste, crushed egg shells, etc (you'll get full instructions with any bin you buy), then why not invest in a worm bin. However, by regularly taking out worms you'll gradually reduce the worm population in your bin. Provided you aren't too greedy you should be OK.

    Do let fellow bloggers know how you get on.
  • Sadly my husband has developed Alzheimers and has recently been provided with equipment to make life a little easier - especially useful is his bedside commode. His nightly pee is now next morning added to our compost bin with spectacular improvement to a previously slow and dry process. He thinks this is highly amusing and it brightens his mornings considerably to think he still has a useful purpose in life.
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