A lot of organic gardeners keep a worm farm at home, but recently a friend introduced me to an idea for setting up a worm farm directly in your garden. It’s called a ‘worm tower’. You just tip your organic waste in the top of the tower and the worms break it down, releasing the goodness into the surrounding soil.
Here’s what you need to make one:
- A piece of PVC pipe, about 150mm wide and 50cm long.
- A drill and 5mm drill bit to make holes
- A terracotta dish to act as a lid
- Worm food like vegie scraps, newspaper, cardboard and of course…
- Compost worms… about 50 or so is plenty to get started
Start by drilling lots of holes in the pipe. This creates airflow and allows worms to come and go as they please. Then choose a spot in your garden bed and dig a hole around a spades depth. Position your pipe in the hole – you should have roughly 20cm of pipe above the soil surface – then backfill around the outside with soil. On the inside, add some bedding material for your worms starting with compost, some finely chopped vegie scraps, lawn clippings and finally, some strips of wet newspaper. Then, in go your worms. Don’t forget to put on your lid to keep your babies warm and safe.
Those worms will chomp into that pretty quickly, so just check on it from time to time and add more bedding material as needed, and every six months or so, empty the whole lot out, harvest the worm poo or leave it in ground and start again in a new spot.
First published: January 2011