Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Vermicompost- worm composting

In addition to the new compost bin, for a while now, I've thought about getting a worm composting kit. The downside being they can cost between £40-£80+. So I thought about making my own and did no more than do a Google. Here's a quick guide to what I did; I bought (from the man whose shop sells everything!); x3 black plastic storage boxes with clear lids (£8 total) and a 99p water carrier (for the plastic tap only). Have a look:

I drilled and widened a hole at the bottom of the first box, which will secure the tap in place. After the tap and rubber seal were fitted,  it wasn't water tight (it was 99p!). So I put epoxy around the seal inside the box which solved the problem.The bottom box is to store the liquid fertilizer (worm juice) and also prevents the worms (which will be housed in the middle box) from drowning in their own filth. I've also put a brick into the bottom of the first box. This will weigh it down and also raise up the level of the middle box to allow more worm juice to be stored.

I added a few more ventilation holes which will also allow excess fertilizer liquid to flow out.

I drilled lots of small ventilation holes towards the top of the middle box which allows the worms to breath. I also drilled slightly bigger holes in the base of the middle box to allow the worm juice to drip into the first box. The bottom of the middle box will be lined with dampened newspaper which stops the worms from falling through the holes but allows the worm juice to filter through. I also put the worm bedding into the middle box. The bedding is made up from shredded newspaper, a handful of compost, some vegetable waste, used tea bags and coffee grounds.

Ventilation holes.

Drainage holes.

Damp newspaper.

Shredded newspaper.

Shredded newspaper (sprayed with water) and compost.

Veg waste, tea bags and coffee grounds.

Lucas wanted to add a whole carrot.

Worms (Dendrobaena - 500g, £10)

Layer of damp cardboard (egg boxes).

Final later of damp shredded newspaper.

The top box is where the worms will migrate to when they've done their job and the rich compost has been made, and is ready to be taken out. I've drilled fairly wide holes in the base of the top box. This box will eventually sit in the middle box so the worms can crawl up. To attract the worms from the middle box to the top box, I'll put in fresh bedding and food. Once the worms have moved to the top box and the compost has been removed, I'll re-line the base of the middle box with dampened newspaper and tip the worms in from the top box. Then the process starts again.

Finally, I used insulation and gaffer tape on the undersides of the clear lids to block out any light.

The worms can live here in the back garden whilst it's not too cold.
Total = £18.99!