Make your own home made wormery and start composting kitchen scraps

The easiest recycled wormery I’ve come across is at the Yalding Organic Gardens in Kent. It’s made with three fairly large polystyrene boxes – the type used for packing vegetables or fish. Ask around your local market for spares. Quite often, they’re left at the end of each day for waste collection, so it shouldn’t be a problem finding some. Each box usually comes with a lid, but you only need one: discard the others or use them as seed trays.

Make a hole in the centre of the bottom box, 2.5cm (1 inch wide. Place the box on two small columns made of some scrap material like old wood, bricks or concrete blocks. The hole in the bottom box allows excess moisture to run out. Place a small container underneath and then dilute the liquid that collects and use as a plant food. It’s powerful stuff – use ten parts water to one part worm juice. Take the second box and make seven or eight holes in the bottom. These holes are for the worms to climb up and down between the boxes so they need to be at least worm-sized (remember that baby worms grow fatter every day!). Place this box on top of the first. Take the last box, make the same number of holes and place on top of the second. Put the lid on top.

To start, place kitchen scraps and small amounts of scrunched-up (not flat) cardboard in the bottom of the first (single holed) box (or some shredded bills mixed with a few leaves) for bedding, along with 100 tiger worms. Keep on filling with kitchen scraps and a little bit of cardboard and paper. When the box is full, place the next box on top of it (one with several holes) and start filling it. When that is full, do the same with the top box. The worms will move through the holes between layers in search of food. By the time the top box is full of food waste, the bottom box should be full of worm casts. Take it out and empty the contents (being careful to lift any worms you dislodge back into the wormery). You can put it straight onto the soil or use it as part of a mix for potting compost.

For more info get hold of The Little Book of Compost.

You can get worms from (prices start at £15.00), (prices start at £11.00), (prices start at £12.50).

5 Replies to “Make your own home made wormery and start composting kitchen scraps”

  1. were can I get Tiger worms from? You did not say
    and what is the cost as I would like to set up a
    On reading your instruction I got confused ,
    In box one you make a 1″ inch hole
    In the second box you make seven or eight holes Do you put worms and kitchen scraps in together in this box and leave the top box empty.
    Please exlain.
    Thank you.

  2. Hi Gordon

    Apologies for the confusion. You first of all work with the bottom box – the one with a single hole. Add bedding and the vegetable scraps as they arise until that box is full. You should put the single lid you saved on top of that box. When the box is full take the lid off and put the second box with more holes on top. They should stack neatly together. Polystyrene boxes usually do. Once you start filling this box up the worms will start traveling up through the many holes you have made in the bottom. Now that you are using the second box you can put the lid on top of the second box. Once this box is full, take the lid off and put the third box on top. Again start filling the third box up with material and put the lid back on top. By the time the third box is full, the first box, the one with only one hole should be full of worm castes and ready to use. Take this box out, empty the worm casts on a plastic sheet, remove any worms you find in there and place back in the box. Put the box back at the bottom of the stack and start filling up with more kitchen scarps and bedding. By the time this box is full, the second box should be ready to use and you can then empty this box in the same way, being careful to retain any worms you find when emptying. When this box is full you can empty the top box, and so on. The worm castes themselves can be used to top up the soil in your house plant pots, added directly to the soil, or mixed with other compost and soil to make a rich potting compost.

    You can get tiger worms from Prices start from £12.50. Prices from £11. Prices from £15. You may also be able to get them from a fishing tackle shop.

  3. Please could you send the composting ideas to boftheblog for the use of EdgeLane Allotments, I’m sure all the Allotmenteers would be very interested.

    Many Thanks
    Great site.

  4. Excellent! I’m so excited to do this with my kids! I’ve wanted a wormery for ages now, but with four kids, just haven’t had the extra cash to splash out a hundred bucks on a Can O’ Worms setup. Thanks so much!

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