Introduction: Wormery (Worm Composter)

Picture of Wormery (Worm Composter)

I didn't want to pay loads for a wormery so built my own from storage containers from the ASDA and basic DIY bits from B and Q. It takes a couple of hours and some basic DIY skills.

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

Parts need to build:
3 x Plastic Storage Boxes
1 x Plastic Storage Box Lid
1 x Waterbutt Tap
2 x Spacers (I used cut up drain pipe) Bricks will do
Split Pins
Fine guage mesh (I used 6mm) enough to cover bottoms of 2 boxes

Tools For the job.
Drill + Bits (25mm Spade,10mm and 4mm)
Jigsaw (My motto is 'never work harder than you need too') hand saw would do
Marker Pen
Tape Measure
Glue
Knife
Tin snips or something to cut the mesh

Step 2: Bottom Box

Picture of Bottom Box

The bottom box collects the worm juice produced as they eat. This is great liquid feed but strong dilute 10:1.

To get the Juice out I installed a tap in the middle of the bottom box by drilling a 25mm hole with the spade bit. Then the tap can be installed.

Then to create a collection area and stop your worms drowning, I added to spacer blocks glue in these are square drain pipe about 75mm square, but bricks will do.

Step 3: Worm Boxes

Picture of Worm Boxes

I made two of these, if you have lots of food waste then make more.

The boxes are marked on the bottom and two areas are cut out using a jigsaw. Then smooth the edges with a knife or sandpaper.

Step 4: Adding the Mesh

Picture of Adding the Mesh

For each box:

Cut the mesh to size using tin snips.

Then lay the mesh into the bottom of the box and using a marker draw six dots where the split pins will go.

Then remove the mesh and drill 4mm hole on these dots.

Placing the mesh back in, push the split pins through the holes ensuring one leg goes either side of a piece of the mesh and open out underneath.

Step 5: Adding Worms

Picture of Adding Worms

Place you completed wormer out side in a sheltered spot, on some blocks so the tap is usable.

Place on of the worm boxes in the bottom box a rest on the spacers. Then place a sheet of damp newspaper over the bottom to prevent you worms falling through.

Worms need beding you can buy this or use a mix of soil, compost and shredded paper.

Now add your worms you need tiger worm sold over the Internet or in bait shops and about 250g of them(the do multiple quickly is happy).

You can now start to feed your worms, once the first box is full add the next and the worms will move upwards once they have finished with the first.

Important! remember to drain off worm juice regularly.

Step 6: Keeping Worms Happy

Picture of Keeping Worms Happy

Worms will eat almost anything that will decompose

Fed on kitchen scraps but not too much of one thing and little and often

Large quantities of citrus peel, seeds, meat and fish are best avoided

Keep container covered to avoid fruit flies

Don't allow the bin to get too hot or dry out

Comments

jimwoodman (author)2012-05-29

Thanks for the clear instructions. I want to make one and propose starting with a single box. When I put the box inside the "base"box there will be a gap - do I need to seal this to prevent the worms escaping. Thanks.

pudtiny (author)jimwoodman2012-05-29

That would probably be a good idea. You could stuff it with newspaper or old material just to help the worms stay

moxley (author)2009-09-29

Great idea but can't find suitable boxes anywhere. Tried Asda but they dont have them. Only ones I can find in B & Q are clear plastic and wont be suitable?

pudtiny (author)moxley2009-09-30

Worms like the dark, I guess clear plastic ones and a coat of paint is one possibility. Have you tried places like QD and Staples or maybe even Ikea.

shabbysquire (author)pudtiny2011-05-19

Same here. Most containers for sale are clear. Would'nt be a problem if the wormery is stored somewhere dark, i.e. a cupboard.

cynthia.burke (author)2009-05-12

I tried setting up one of these small scale withe 6qt boxes just to see how it worked. By the second day all of the worms were dead! Matter of fact some of them look like they were torn apart or exploded or something, their guts are all exposed. What did I do wrong?!?

j0hnk377y (author)cynthia.burke2009-05-19

Make sure you ahve the right type of worms for tray composing. The larger worms that you can get at the fishing stores are not suited for warm weather or tray living. The type of work I would recommend is either "Red Wigglers" or "European Red Wigglers (my favorite because of the increased size, better for fishing)". I would not use Nigh Crawlers as they like cooler weather and also like to live in permanent holes not in a tray environment.

stopherbailey (author)j0hnk377y2011-04-26

The type of worms I use in mine is the Dendrobaena -these are sold in fishing shops in the uk as well as what we call lob worms-lobworms are the type we find in our garden-if lob worms are used in your wormery and one dies for any reason it seems to poison the rest of the worms-thats why I use the Dendrobaena  as this doesn't happen.

cynthia.burke (author)j0hnk377y2009-05-23

Thank you :) I did use Night Crawlers as they were the only thing easily accessible to to me and I just anted to do a small scale test. Maybe once I've moved and am settled I'll try again.

pudtiny (author)cynthia.burke2009-05-13

Sorry I don't know sounds like the worms may have been of poor quality. I can't imaging the could have overheated that much to explode!

bruinjon2010 (author)2010-07-29

I know I have to be nice, but I do hate it when all these people pile on with their own versions of someone else's great idea. That said, if anyone wants to know more about worms, try checking out urban-worm.com. This design is great, I appreciate you taking the time to post. Although tempting I'll try not to pick it apart and suggest a million different ways to do the same thing... :) Was that tactful enough? It's just being honest, not mean, promise.

Being nice - I regard this as SPAM - quoting an address outside of here that navigates to a page that receives money for clicks..

Pizzapie500 (author)2009-11-12

...Tiger worms? ALL the other ones say red wigglers aka red worm, super worm, or european nightcrawler...

pudtiny (author)Pizzapie5002009-11-13

The Tiger worm to a certain degree is a myth, it obviously exists but is not a distinct breed as is commonly thought. The scientific name is Eisenia Foetida, also known as Redworm, Red Wiggler, Brandlings or Manure Worm amongst other names.

Pizzapie500 (author)pudtiny2009-11-15

Cool I bought 1lb of red wigglers for 27$ they came on thursday. It was funny I had to cut so much card board and paper that my scissor became worn out and my hands hurt. The next day like 4 escaped they were right next to the bin. My dad sewed together 2 cut shirts to make a basket thing and put them in now they can't escape. Oddly now they don't want to. When I opened the lid none of them were at the top wheras before 20 were there odd....

moxley (author)2009-10-01

Intending to try IKEA. I think one other possibility will be a black plastic dustbin. There are wormerys for sale which appear to be just a plastic container (about size of a dustbin). Could put a platfom a few inches from the bottom and put a tap in it. Reckon this might do the job.

pudtiny (author)moxley2009-10-02

They work very well. You just have to sieve the worms out when you empty the bin

j0hnk377y (author)2009-05-19

I made some worm trays out of wood and I have to say this approach is much much better! The only question is have is the weight of a fully loaded "tray". I wonder what the weight per "tray" is when you are ready to either add new bedding or harvest the soil. Great, simple design!

weeta (author)2009-05-10

what is between the top and middle box? i don't get how the top box is staying up. the spacers are in the bottom box...are you just putting the top box on top of the bedding or what??

pudtiny (author)weeta2009-05-11

The top box can go on top of the bedding, but in my design the top box sits on the fittings that come in the stacking boxes to allow them to stack.

tlcanfie (author)2009-05-10

You don't have in your instructions any where about drilling some holes for oxygen. Is this an issue with your design?

pudtiny (author)tlcanfie2009-05-11

These boxes are stacking boxes therefore don't form that good a seal to need extra oxygen holes. Also as the lid if frequently taken off the box to feed.

halrob (author)2009-05-08

Would steel window screen work for this or would it not allow for good enough drainage?

pudtiny (author)halrob2009-05-10

I don't think the worms would be able to climb through when you but the next box on. If you are just making a single layered box then it should be fine.

Lylec (author)2009-04-24

For the second worm box... Do you put a lid on the first box, with holes cut in the top to allow the worms through?

pudtiny (author)Lylec2009-04-24

The worms climb through the mesh holes in the bottom of the second box. As they are stacking boxes they sit on top of each other.

Numpad (author)2009-03-21

Could you not use a staple gun for this bit?

pudtiny (author)Numpad2009-03-22

I guess so, but you would then need to bend all the legs underneath to hold the mesh, the mesh I just was quiet springy so needed some taming.

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Bio: I am a senior laboratory technician in a analytical facility by day and by night I make and fix things. I prefer to work with ... More »
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