Tuesday 29 May 2012

worm tower

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One of the clever things I saw at a local Permaculture garden recently was a worm tower. I'd never seen this idea before and I think its great! The idea is basically to put a simple worm farm directly into your raised garden bed. The worm farms are then fed with kitchen scraps by the handful, straight into the top.

To make the worm tower you simply take a wide pipe, pvc in this case, and drill lots of holes into the lower half which then goes underground. Bedding materials like compost or aged manure are introduced into the bottom of the pipe, allowed a day or so to settle and then the worms are added to the pipe. Once they are settled you should be able to feed compostable worm food, i.e. vegie scraps into the top, the worms will then consume them and leave wonderful worm castings in return, which they also distribute through the bed, coming and going through those handy holes you made. You can cover the new worm hotels with a pot base or an upside down pot, like I have with one of mine, or a plant pot as I've done here.

Here are a couple of good local videos explaining how to make and use these towers.

I love my garden which is full of favourite plants, but its mostly been ornamental. I've always been jealous of people with big vegie gardens. The Mr did make me a wonderful wooden raised bed a couple four! years ago which is  working quite well since it was moved into a sunnier spot, but once a feral tomato plant and a self sown rocket plant take over there isn't much room for anything else. After my garden visit, I realised its something I really want, to grow more of my own vegies, so I had the idea to change a garden bed where plants never thrive due to root competition and poor soil into raised garden beds instead. This space gets sun in winter and summer and there should be room for a few more crops.

It was council chuck out here over the weekend and we managed to find and use salvaged timbers for both surrounds. The PVC was also being thrown out. We filled the beds with the contents of an old disused compost bin and an ancient and smelly bag of rotted chook manure to give them a headstart. Each bed then had its own worm tower installed and today I brought home the new tenants from the local garden centre. I also bought seedlings and seeds, and there are those garlic bulbs in the mail!

I'm thinking of this as a 'before' post in my mind, and hoping I will be back in time with a positive progress report. Fingers crossed!

Also new is the side garden where we've pulled out the concrete and the fly ash fill at last, a big job, and put in drainage and soil with a paver path. This once hot sunbaked area is hopefully going to become a shady green oasis with camellias and climbers on one side and perennial planting on the other, with a few ground covers growing around the paving path and the poor lemon tree which had to move a few metres along espaliered and thriving in its new lovely soil. It hasn't died, so that's a start!

Do you vegie garden? Have you got worms(?!)What are you growing and do you have any great advice for me?


  1. Those worm towers are a great idea, thanks for sharing. I am excited about finally having a garden in a couple of months, and am hoping to grow some vegies, so I will follow your vegie gardening posts with interest!

  2. I'm still marvelling at those purple berries! Are they really that colour? So amazing.
    What a fabulous idea the worm tower is. One day we'll get back to gardening I hope.

  3. what great looking worms! wow im feeling all inspired, i feel like getting out into the garden after reading your post! mezz


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