The Tale of Two Wormeries

As a child, I liked worms and would frequently take them indoors to let my mother see them. She was tolerant! The humble worm is a busy little worker and is one of your best friends in the garden. It carries on day after day producing one of the best composts you can get. It’s a little processing machine, undemanding, helping get rid of decomposing plant matter and turning it into gardening ‘gold’.

I made my first wormery from a black plastic box and it did well but it wasn’t watertight and with no tap, it required frequent draining to save the worms from drowning. I was given a wormery, just a standard green plastic box of trays and a sump. It did well, I had red wrigglers to start with (Eisenia foetida) and inherited ( (Dendrabaena veneta) with the wormery. The two lots got on fine together but it was no better than having caged chickens and since my neighbour’s cat had fallen out of her window onto the wormery breaking the lid twice, I felt they should become free-range, so I set them free. I still have the wormery minus its lid, if I ever want to go back to that. However, I have found, what I think, is a better solution.

My raised bed No.1 is a deep one and raised off the ground on a pallet, so not so good for getting worms into it on their own accord. The last two raised beds I made follow a specific mix of compost and I would prefer not to interfere with that unless I have to. The first two beds however, were made up of some of the spent compost I had from emptying the pots, plus a good helping of alpaca manure.

I can’t claim any credit for thinking up the idea. The good thing about gardening forums, is someone always seems to come up with a solution to your problem, and I found it in a YouTube video, thanks to a link someone posted. I made it from ventilating tubing, drilled some holes and sank it into my raised bed. It’s a dining room for worms, open all hours and they are still free to come and go as they please. Protected by a net, the raised bed is a safer haven for them and will protect them from birds.

Feeling a bit guilty at not using fresh compost, I saw the ‘raised bed wormery’ and thought it an excellent idea. I do hope the worms think so as well. I did have to round-up a few homeless earthworms to rehome them.

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