I’ve used an old wheelie bin to make a worm bin. It was a quick and painless operation once I’d found the bits I needed. When the worms do their job and eat the waste you feed them there is an excess of liquid from the broken down organic matter which is your liquid gold. This needs to be drained off, so the first thing I had to do was add a tap to the base of the wheelie bin. I used one sold for rain barrels. Once this was fitted I needed a way to suspend the worm’s home within the bin, and found a wire basket that just fits, inverted in the base. On top of this I simply added a layer of damp cardboard then some compost out of my normal compost bin, still active with tiger worms. This is their bedding. Lastly I needed some worms. Digging around in the compost and under the woodpile we’ve accumulated did the trick. Worms installed, I fed them with a small amount of coffee grounds, tea leaves, a bit of cabbage leaf and a few potato peelings. They’ve been in there about three weeks now. If I come across and tiger worms I add them.
If I listen closely when I feed them, I can hear them moving around. The underground world isn’t as silent as you might think!
For those of you new to organic gardening, worm compost and the liquid yielded by making it are in fact gold for the organic grower. The liquid should be diluted about 1:10 with water before feeding your plants with it. The compost that results is very concentrated feed, too, and should be blended with ordinary compost or used in the border or vegetable bed. It will scorch plants if used on its own. Be careful not to feed too much at first, until numbers of worms have built up, as this will result in the organic matter heating up, which will kill the worms.
As worms don’t make a pretty picture, today’s photo is from our recent visit to Barnsdale (see last post), the late Geoff Hamilton’s gardens in Rutland.