Worms are not only the gardener's best friend, they are also the recycler's new found best friend as well. Nature's little waste disposal experts have found a new place in eco-conscious household's across the globe as more and more people are catching on to the idea of using worms' special talents to dispose of their organic household waste. If you have ever pondered on the idea or are in the least bit interested in giving your world environment a helping hand then you might like to delve a little deeper into the world of worms...
It is estimated around 30% of all household waste is the kind of organic material which worms thrive on. If everyone composted in this way there would be 30% less waste going into landfill sites, 30% less waste being transported on the roads with all the associated fuel emissions which coincides with this and subsequently less costs involved in the disposal of waste. In addition, you as a householder get a free source of fertiliser and liquid plant feed, cutting down on the use of chemical fertilisers and saving you money into the bargain. Vermicomposting makes sense!
How Does It Work?
Worms are like nature's garbage men, honing their waste devouring skills over the millenia to produce the perfect organic waste disposal system. They live all their lives just under the topsoil dragging down dead organic matter from the surface to be recycled and a wormery just harnesses this natural recycling system and puts it to good use on your kitchen waste. Once set up, a wormery is very easy to use and pretty much free of hassle. Just lift the lid, drop in your kitchen scraps and reap the rewards of free liquid fertiliser and plant feed later.
Where Do I Get A Wormery?
A typical wormery is a simple plastic bin divided into sections with a tap at the bottom to drain off the 'worm tea'. There are a few places on the internet which give you instructions on how to make your own at minimal cost but a shop bought wormery is a lot less hassle and more effective in the long run.
What Can I Dispose Of This Way?
Pretty much all your kitchen waste can be tossed into your wormery and the worms will dispose of it. This includes small amounts of meat and fish, vegetable scraps and peelings and even coffee grinds, paper towels and newspaper in small quantities. It is however best to mimimise the amount of pungent foods you add like garlic, onions, citrus peel and chillis and dairy products and animal droppings are best disposed of elsewhere. Garden clippings and cuttings should be composted.
Where Can I Put A Wormery?
Anywhere you like. Inside, outside, worms are pretty adaptable. A popular location is to place your worm composter just outside your kitchen door which leaves it easily accessible for quick disposal of your kitchen scraps without you having to share your home with them. If you have a decent wormery then escaping worms shouldn't be a huge problem.
Does It Smell?
Composting worms devour as much as half their body weight every day so you should find your kitchen scraps disappearing before they get a chance to smell unless you over-load it. The worm casts and liquid deposits themselves do not produce an unpleasant odour and many wormeries come with lids and filter to reduce odour further.
Why Not Just Get A Compost Heap?
Why not get both? Worms devour waste which you should not add to a compost heap like meat scraps whilst a compost heap is perfect for disposing of garden waste. Wormeries are also a great way to get children involved with recycling.
Mark Falco is the owner of the British gardening shopping guide http://www.ukgardeningsupplies.co.uk where you can find low prices on composters, wormeries and garden accessories available to buy online from top UK online garden stores.