What is a Wormery?
A Wormery is a very simple but highly effective (and environmentally friendly) method of turning dead organic matter (such as cooked and uncooked food and kitchen waste) into a superbly high quality worm cast compost (Vermicompost) and a nutritious liquid feed (leachate), which you can use in your garden and around your home.
Worm compost, like that produced by our Wormeries, is often referred to by the experts as ‘black gold’ as it really is the best and most nutrient rich you can get. A Wormery is an expertly acclaimed method of obtaining this ‘black gold’ worm compost as well as reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill at the same time!
What are the different types of Wormery available and which is better?
There are two main types of Wormery available and choosing between them is not much more than personal preference. All of our Wormeries work well from a technical perspective. They all do the same job and do it very well, but you may find one is more suitable for your needs than the other.
The two types we offer are our Classic range of “all-in-one wormeries” The Original, Junior & The Midi Wormery and “the multi-tray system” The Tiger Wormery.
The Original Wormery is the first ever commercially available domestic Wormery and has remained the best seller for a very long time (although it has gone through considerable development, improvement and refinement over the years). With its “all-in-one” design, the waste and liquid is all self-contained inside the bin, with an internal drainage platform separating the solids from the liquid and allowing you to catch and tap-off the leachate liquid feed.
It works well because the worms are ‘surface-feeders’. That means that even as the top section of the bin (where the solids are) fills, the worms tend to remain close to the surface – turning the waste into compost which they leave lower down. That means that emptying it is relatively straightforward when full. You simply trowel off the top few inches and put this to the side. Empty the worm compost out from underneath. Then pop the top few inches which you have put to the side back in the bin at the bottom.
Our “multi-tray system” removes this element of initial separation by using multiple trays to house the compost and waste. Each tray has a perforated base which allows the worms to move freely between them. You start off feeding your food waste into the bottom tray and as each tray fills, the worms move to the waste in the next tray upwards, leaving behind compost as they work their way up through the trays. So, by the time the worms have moved up to the top tray, the bottom tray should be ready to harvest and can simply be removed and emptied (before being placed back on top). It’s a bit like a game of ‘hands on top’!
So, you can see that each Wormery works in exactly the same way, but the method of harvesting the compost is different. Whichever Wormery you think will be easier for you to use is the one to go for and if you’re still not sure then you might be reassured by the fact The Original Wormery has been the bestseller for nearly 20 years!
How much of my food waste will my Wormery cope with?
It varies by the size and capacity of the Wormery, but all of ours are designed to take the majority of the average daily waste produced by its user. The Junior Wormery, for example, is designed for single person use and it will cope with the average food output of a single person. The Original Wormery or The Worm Works are both designed for family usage of, say, 4 people.
Why should I buy my Wormery from Great Green Systems?
We simply offer the best range of great value, but high-quality Wormeries on the market today.
Our customer service team are very highly experienced in resolving any issues or answering any questions you might have before or after you buy from us. We offer the best value in the country and, remember we supply Tiger Worms!
What are the main benefits of a Wormery?
A Wormery will divert your cooked and uncooked food waste, along with things like shredded newspaper, cardboard tubes, tea bags, egg cartons etc... Etc... away from landfill. In the UK, about a third of what we throw away is food waste which could otherwise be composted in a Wormery. In fact, we throw away nearly 7 million tonnes of food waste and peelings every year.
Not only that, a Wormery is also giving you something useful back. The highest quality compost you can get and a liquid feed which you can use to feed indoor / outdoor plants.
Where is the best place to keep my Wormery?
The best place to keep your Wormery is anywhere with a relatively stable temperature that is out of direct sunlight and preferably frost free. Most people keep their Wormery in their garage or next to the back door. A shed is also a popular location for a Wormery – you can also keep it indoors if you feel confident enough – and have space under a worktop or similar.
What is the best temperature for the Wormery to operate at?
Worms operate year round, but they work best within the temperature range we humans tend to feel comfortable in.
What foodstuffs should I avoid putting into the Wormery?
Whilst worms will eat fish, we generally advise against it as it can get smelly quickly – where a Wormery is usually not smelly at all. Small quantities of cooked meat however are fine.
Try to avoid using acidic foods in quantity as the worms find acidic conditions uncomfortable. We do, however, provide all our Wormeries with an ‘anti-acid’ lime mix which helps.
Other than that, pretty much all of your cooked and uncooked food waste can be added straight into a Wormery, although cutting up thick fibrous waste such as broccoli and cauliflower stalks can be helpful.
What is the anti-acid lime mix and what does it do?
Essentially it is a gentle form of calcium which reduces the acidity. Most food waste is mildly acidic and worms thrive best at a broadly neutral pH (7). A small handful sprinkled over the surface every 4 to 5 weeks will keep the conditions sweet. Crushed up eggshells (which are essentially calcium oxide) have the same effect.
What type of worm is best in my Wormery?
There are 28 species of earthworm native to the UK and of these 3 are particularly suitable for composting. We strongly believe that Eisenia Fetida (or the Tiger Worm) is the best at the job. Essentially it survives in a wider variety of conditions and has a better appetite so deals with more food waste.
Other suppliers of worm bins use Dendrobaena, which is more widely available (and significantly cheaper) they are widely used by anglers as bait.
Can I put worms from the compost bin into my Wormery?
If they are the small red wriggly worms rather than the mineral soil dwelling earthworm (lob worm = lumbricus terrestris) the simple answer is yes. That said there should be no need to as we provide plenty to start with and they breed well in a Wormery.
How long do the worms live?
Tiger Worms typically live for between 6 months up to 2 years.
If I cut a worm in half, do two worms really survive?
No! This is a myth. It is possible one half of the worm may survive (but not definite), but you definitely won’t end up with two worms.
Will I need to keep buying more worms for my Wormery?
No. The great thing about worms is that they breed rapidly. In a Wormery operating as it should be the worms will renew themselves so you shouldn’t need to reintroduce new worms. However should you have a disaster and need more worms we can of course supply them at a very reasonable cost.
Will I end up with too many worms in my Wormery?
No. Worms are ‘clever’ with their breeding in that they will never overpopulate. They regulate their reproduction based on their environmental conditions, the space they have available and the food supply. Pity mankind hasn’t learnt this trick yet!
Will the worms escape?
It depends on the type of Wormery you have. From a home-made or poorly made Wormery escapees are likely. Our Original Wormery has been designed to keep worms in as it is a fully sealed unit, but it is possible you might have some ‘escapees’ if you opt for The Worm Works in the early days.
As the worms settle, they explore. This is perfectly normal. Losing a few worms is nothing to be particularly worried about, however, as there are plenty enough supplied to continue breeding.
Once the Wormery has been established and the worms have settled it provides them with their ideal environment and conditions. The worms are in an excellent and near ideal environment inside the dark, cool, Wormery so won’t want to get away even if they could.
If your question is not covered in this section, please contact our customer help line on 0800 731 2572 (UK only)