Wormery Buyer's Guide
It may be strange to say, but wormeries can make a great present, or personal reward, for a keen allotmenter. They can also be excellent at motivating children to become involved in gardening through the enjoyment of feeding the worms.
Why are wormeries so good? It is because they make compost fast, and the waste from wormeries makes excellent plant food.
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Wormeries offer the ability to make compost faster for the home gardener or allotmenter - in around 3 months once established. Perhaps more important is the gorgeous liquid that oozes out of the freshly made compost, ideal for use as liquid plant food when diluted. The best wormery for you will depend upon how much waste you want to recycle and the amount of compost you need.
Best Wormery - Buying Considerations
Not all wormeries are the same. Some designs are much better at overcoming common issues and make owning and using a wormery much easier. Here is a list of considerations for the best wormery.
Wormeries are usually measured according to the amount of waste they can hold. This is typically much less than a normal household compost bin of 220 litres. The best wormery for a typical household is likely to hold between 75-100 litres. Once the wormery is mature, it will require about two to three kilos of household vegetable waste to be added a week.
There are broadly two styles of wormery design. One is a typical wheelie bin shape with a tap at the bottom to draw off the liquid. This design is very simple but has two issues: if the liquid is not emptied then it can build up and drown the worms; the best compost is at the bottom of the bin - and the whole bin needs to be emptied to get to it.
The second design is one that allows compost, food and worms to be added in trays, starting with one and then progressively adding more as the trays fill up. A feature of the best wormeries is to have a sump or container collecting liquid at the bottom of the wormery. This helps protect the worms from drowning, and also provides storage capacity for lots of nutritious plant food.
The best wormery should not fall over when full. If a wormery has legs they should be checked carefully. Otherwise look for a wormery with a broad base. Wormeries need to be placed on firm level ground.
- UV Resistance
A wormery should not stand in an area that receives prolonged direct sunlight. Worms can die if the temperature inside the wormery gets too high (or too cold). The best wormery will have plastic that is UV resistance to prevent the plastic deforming or changing colour.
After all, wormeries are about recycling, so why not look for a wormery made out of recycled plastic itself, and perhaps made in Britain too?
- Instructions / Guide Books
Wormeries do not work without worms, so looking after the worms is a priority. Some manufacturers provide more help and support to new wormery owners than others. Common pitfalls are overfeeding the worms, worms drowning in their own waste, and perishing through too much heat or too much cold. All are straightforward to remedy, but a manufacturer can help by sharing practical tips and experience.