How To Make A DIY Wormery

Helpful advice for those of you feeling adventurous!

If you are reasonably competent at basic DIY projects and work then making a Wormery is not a daunting task. That said and as with so many DIY matters a little pre thought and planning goes a long way.

Perhaps the simplest approach is to start with a suitable plastic container such as an old waterbutt, dustbin or the like. However you can, of course, start from scratch and build your wormery from wood or other material depending upon availability and your expertise. Car tyres seem to be a popular choice but watch out for escapees!

The first issues to consider are about design and the following questions should be addressed :-

  1. Do you mind some worms escaping as long as the wormery works (Probably not sensible if located inside!)
  2. Would you be put off with flies in your wormery?
  3. How much of what type of waste do you want the wormery to cope with?

What follows assumes that you are starting with a suitable plastic bin or container ready for conversion. Even so the principles involved are applicable to a build from scratch approach.

If either (or both) of 1 and 2 above are important to you then you will need to consider how to make your wormery sealed yet sufficiently aerated to allow the worms to thrive. Depending upon your type of lid, then some judiciously applied draught excluder and some clips or weights to hold the lid closed should work well. For aeration the smallest holes you are likely to be able to drill will almost certainly permit the ingress of flies to your wormery and the egress of worms from it. The best answer is to drill several holes small holes and then edge stick a piece of gauze on the inside.

You now need to drill your tap hole and fix your tap. As with most design problems a compromise is required here. To maximise the liquid that can flow out of the tap without tilting the Wormery you want the tap as low as possible. On the other hand to harvest the liquid you want the tap accessible to a watering can or similar so want it located higher.

Our recommendation is to drill the tap hole so the centre is at least 1" (25mm) above the base of the bin and then to use bricks or blocks to raise the unit for easy access. A 25mm (1") diameter hole will be right for a standard plastic water butt tap.

Next is the vital matter of creating a separate platform that will keep worms and solids above whilst allowing the easy flow of liquid into the sump created beneath the separating tray. Getting this right is central to the functioning of your DIY Wormery.

Ideas for this include fine mesh supported on bricks; a cut to size piece of wood or plastic with holes drilled in again supported on bricks or the like. Another option is the suspension of a porous sack from the rim of the wormery so it hangs to about an inch above tap level. The choice is yours, but the simple objective is to facilitate good drainage and thus avoid water logging.