Everything Wormery related – Buying, Building and Understanding

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Wormery Buyers Guide

Worm compost – the ‘black gold’ of the fertiliser world. It’s packed full of nutrients and is regarded by experts as the compost king. Investing in a wormery means you can make your own ‘black gold’ at home whilst doing your bit for the environment. A wormery is an efficient, low-maintenance method of home-composting. Often referred to as  ‘worm bins’, the clever compartment system of a wormery houses compost worms, which are gifted in the art of turning ordinary kitchen food waste – which we’re all guilty of producing – into Leachate (a liquid feed ‘worm poo’) and Vermicompost (an organic, nutrient-packed compost). 

A wormery is an inexpensive, easy way for us homeowners to manage our waste, do our bit for the environment and put a roof over the ‘heads’ of some wormy wrigglers. Granted, we have an ulterior motive as what we’re really doing it for is to have a supply of some incredible ‘black gold’ for our indoor and outdoor plants, but it’s nice to be doing our bit for the planet at the same time!

Best Pick Wormery

Green Tiger Rainbow Standard Wormery with 3 x Stacking Trays, Composter, Organic Compost Bin,
  • 3-Tray Stacking Wormery
  • Turns food waste into liquid feed and worm compost
  • Worms migrate upwards leaving compost in trays below
  • Organic Natural Product
  • Includes live Tiger worms, coir bedding, lime mix and instructions

Buying a wormery 

In terms of size, bigger is better. When you first begin your wormery, you’ll start off with just the one composting tray. The first step is to add worms and bedding, and then gradually start adding food cooked and uncooked food waste. Once you reach the point where the tray is almost full, you add the next tray and so on. The worms will move upwards as you add the additional trays, leaving behind a plentiful supply of Vermicompost and Leachate. You’re looking at about 8 weeks per tray for the process to complete – waste to compost – but believe us when we say it’s definitely worth it! 

Although 2 tray systems are available, you ideally want to be going bigger as with only 2 trays you’ll have the top tray filled with food waste whilst the bottom tray will still contain un-composted food so, until the worms are ready to move up, you’d be unable to add any more food waste as there simply isn’t the space. You can tell those worms to eat quicker all you like but it’ll do no good.

In contrast, if you’d gone bigger initially and bought a 4 tray system, by the time the fourth tray is full, the composting process in the first tray should have completed and all the worms have vacated and moved up in search of a fresh feed. 

At this stage, you simply empty the bottom tray onto your indoor or outdoor plants and begin the process again.

Building your wormery 

Choosing the right spot for your wormery requires careful consideration – compost worms are somewhat sensitive to temperature and so the time of year you purchase your wormery will dictate where you’ll need to put it.

Worm composting is not seasonal – make sure your wrigglers have the right conditions to work in and they’ll graft all year round, however, during the colder months, they’ll need to be ideally inside a shed or garage, or if this isn’t possible and the wormery needs to remain outside, then it’ll need insulating with old carpet or bubble wrap – if the temperature drops below 10°C, your worms will call it a day. They’ll be most active in warm, moist conditions, ideally between 18-25°C.

In contrast, compost worms don’t enjoy extreme heat either. Granted, the UK isn’t known for its tropical summers but you should still avoid putting your wormery in direct sunlight – if the temperature climbs to 30°C you’ll notice a significant decline in activity; go anywhere near 40°C and you’re risking wiping out your complete workforce.

Preparing for your wriggly guests

In the bottom of the first tray, lay about 8-10cm of bedding material, old compost is perfect.  Your worms will want a humid layer they can burrow in and begin to digest their food. Place your compost worms on top of their bedding and cover with 8-10cm of kitchen waste. Leave your worms to settle into their new home for about a week without disturbing them.

After the week, little and often is best when it comes to feeding your wrigglers. 

Best Budget Wormery

WormBox : Wormery composter 2 Black Trays - 32 liters
1 Reviews
WormBox : Wormery composter 2 Black Trays - 32 liters
  • 2 trays for a 1 to 2 person household - Volume of 32 liters - Interior use : kitchen, pantry, garage, ...
  • Ultra-strong : withstands a load of 100 kg - 15-year guarantee : Made in France - recycled plastic.
  • WARNING : Comes without the composting worms, you can order them from our Worm farm on Amazon, click on Ferme du Moutta on your right.
  • Package Contents : 1 lid + 2 black trays + 1 liquid collector with tap + 1 base with 4 wheels + 1 booklet (in French) + 1 sticker (in French) for the lid.
  • Scalable : Order additional trays as your processing volume needs grow.

Tips for feeding your kitchen waste

  • Worms don’t exactly eat at speed so break down your kitchen waste into small pieces so it’s easier for your wrigglers to tackle. 
  • Place the food on the top of the compost or bury it just below the surface in different spots; don’t mix it in.
  • If you’re noticing the waste is starting to build up, hold off feeding for a few days to give your worms chance to catch up.

What to put on the menu

Worms aren’t particularly fussy, most types of decaying organic matter tend to go down a treat! However, there’s a few to avoid:

Food types to avoidMore info 
Fat/grease, dairy, meat, fish and boneHighly likely to attract unwanted pests and flies
Large amounts of vegetation It’s tough for the worms to get through – it’ll slow the composting process right down
Garlic, raw onions, shallots and  leeksCan be added but only in small quantities or ideally cooked first
Citrus peelCan be added but only in small quantities or ideally cooked first
Seeded fruit and vegSeeds are likely to germinate in the wormery – it’s optimum growing conditions!

What your wrigglers will enjoy:

  • Raw & cooked vegetables
  • Tea bags, eggshells, coffee granules and small quantities of bread, including the crust
  • Small quantities of newspaper, shredded paper and cardboard
  • Small quantities of soft garden waste 
Yorkshire Worms TIGER Worms - Suitable for Composting, For Bait For Fishing and Wormery Starter Packs (500g)
  • The Tiger Worm (Eisenia Fetida) is one of nature's compost creators and perfect for rapid processing of organic waste into Nutrient Rich Compost
  • They are easy to care for and mix well with other species such as dendrobaena worms to make the ideal combination
  • Tiger Worms are perfect to use as bait for fishing or for Wormery starter kits
  • Simply add them to your compost bin with old fruit, vegetable or other plants you want broken down and then watch them go.
  • All Official Yorkshire Worms Products will arrive in a branded box, don't accept anything less. We make sure the worms are packed up safely and securely to avoid any damage to the livestock during transportation

Maintenance

Organic decomposing waste generally has a high moisture content. Providing the lid of the wormery is kept secure, it’s unlikely to dry out. You’ll only need to add water if the wormery appears to be drying out.

Once you’re wormery been up and running a good while, you can get away with not adding waste for up to around 28 days. However, your worms will still be composting so bear in mind the Leachate will continue to build up; to avoid a flood, you’ll need to keep draining. 

In terms of checking on your wrigglers, less is definitely more. Compost worms don’t like to be disturbed when they’re working! From time to time, either when you’re draining the Leachate or adding waste, gently turn the compost over with a hand fork or trowel to check your worms appear to be in good health and haven’t staged a walk-out!

How to avoid a whiffy wormery

  • Don’t overfeed the worms – if too much waste is added for the worms to get through, then the wormery is likely to get a bit pongy. Consequently, this can attract unwanted visitors to your garden – pests such as flies and possibly vermin. 
  • The general rule of thumb is to wait until the worms start digesting the top layer of waste before adding any more. 
  • Another potential cause of a whiffy wormery is if it becomes too wet. To avoid this becoming a problem, drain off any surplus liquid and add some shredded newspaper to absorb any excess moisture and increase air circulation. 
  • If you notice your wormey start to smell, it’s always worth checking if your wrigglers are still alive! All that uneaten waste combined with decomposing worm really isn’t going to smell great! 

Best of the Rest

Wormcity UK Made Wormery 4 Composting Trays (100 Litre Size) Black - INCLUDES 500g WORMS
145 Reviews
Wormcity UK Made Wormery 4 Composting Trays (100 Litre Size) Black - INCLUDES 500g WORMS
  • Best Selling Wormery With Fabulous Reviews
  • 100 Litre - 4 Trays=36% Bigger Than Our Rivals **DON'T BE DUPED INTO BUYING SMALLER**
  • 500g Worms, Full Colour Instructions, Bedding & Worm Food INCLUDED ** Do Not Buy A Wormery With Less Worms **
  • Made In England NOT Imported (like all the others)
  • Also Available in GREEN (B004E9IYBK) & Without Worms Search B004XTKBZS
Sale
Anself Worm Factory 4 Tray Worm Composter
  • Composting with worms allows you to turn kitchen scraps, paper waste and cardboard into nutrient-rich soil for your plants
  • With our Worm Factory, the entire process becomes quicker and easier
  • Simply add a handful of worms and your organic waste to the bottom tray
  • The worms migrate upward to the newest food source leaving the bottom tray full of nutrient-rich compost
  • This makes it possible to harvest organic liquid fertilizer right from the spigot
Roundpoint Extra Large Easy to Use COMPOSTING WORMERY with WORMS(Black)
  • A neat and eco-friendly way to compost your food and garden waste; this Compost Wormery is a great way to get started with composting. Children can learn about nature by way of the worms, and you can have the benefit of 100 litres of composting space - big enough to break down the compostable waste of a small family.
  • Easy to Use Design makes the set up very simple and easy. The product has an innovative design to reduce space when not being used but assembles to a 100 litre capacity. The Compost Wormery also has very stable legs which raise the trays off the ground to keep away unwanted pests.
  • The base or home tray has been designed with a dome to stop your worms drowning and also a tap so the nutrient rich water can be drained out of the the Wormery. This water is excellent plant food.
  • The Compost Wormery is deliberately black in colour meaning it absorbs the heat from the sun very well keeping the worms warm and healthy.
  • Comes with 500g of live worms to start your composter immediately!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use normal worms in my wormery?

No, you cannot use ‘normal’ worms in your wormery. Earthworms live in the soil whereas composting worms live in decaying organic matter; they’re darker in colour than Earthworms and are smaller in size. Composting worms are referred to using various names including brandling, manure, red and tiger worms; to give them their proper titles, the composting worm species are Eisenia Fetida, Eisenia Andrei and Dendrobaena.

How should I use the fertiliser from my wormery?

The Vermicompost can be used as you would a standard compost. The difference being it’s supercharged with nitrogen and potassium!! The Leachate (the liquid drained from your wormey) can be used as a liquid fertilizer on garden plants. Dilute it first (1 part leachate:10 parts water).

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About Francesca Fitton 92 Articles
I have a passion for gardening and being outdoors. I blog about plant care, technology and tools that I love to use outside and invite you along to watch.

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