Make a Worm Tower – Worms are so great for composting there’s no reason to hate them. These humble yet super achievers provide gardeners with excellent soil conditioner they process from organic waste. Many gardeners are into worm composting or vermicomposting. Worms are used to process huge quantities of organic materials and turn them into extremely rich compost which is later harvested for use in the garden.
The worm tower concept eliminates a few stages in the composting process, making composting a speedier affair. With a worm tower, the worms and their castings are set up directly where they are needed – your garden.
Constructing a worm tower is simple enough. All you need are:
– a piece of PVC pipe about 15 cm wide
– the length of the pipe is up to you (3-4 feet is what’s commonly used)
– drill and 5mm drill bit to make holes
– a terracotta dish or pot to be used as cover/lid
– compost worms
– worm food (organic waste, food scraps, cardboard, newspaper, etc.)
How to build your worm tower:
1. Drill holes in the pipe to create airflow within.
2. Select a spot in your garden bed and dig a hole to your desired depth.
3. Position the pipe in the hole. Make sure there is about 15-20 cm of pipe above the surface. Backfill around the outside of the pipe with soil.
4. On the inside of the pipe, add bedding material for the worms. Start with a thick layer of dry carbon material (about 10cm) like straw or dry grass. Follow it up with a layer of wet carbon-rich material like soaked newspaper strips. Alternatively, you can use manure as the base bed for your compost worms.
5. Add your compost worms.
6. Add the worm food.
7. Cover the lid of the pipe with your terracotta dish or pipe.
Now you have your worm tower! Those wriggly creatures will chomp down organic matter pretty fast so be sure to keep checking on them from time to time and add handfuls of organic matter for them to chow down as needed.
You should also keep your worm bed nice and moist. A dry environment discourages compost worms from working at their best and also attracts insects like ants.
Empty your worm tower every 6 months, scoop up the worms and fork the castings into surrounding soil. Set up your worm tower in another area in your garden to make sure it is evenly conditioned.