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Building Worm Towers

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Sanna
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Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:57 am

Building Worm Towers

Fri Dec 25, 2015 3:04 pm

Everybody loves to build homes for the garden worms.. right?

By placing a Worm Tower in your raised bed, you basically create a nice little system for feeding the bed with nutrition, by feeding the worms. All you have to do is place some of your kitchen vegetable scraps in the pipe - and the worms will do all the job for you. After seeing really nice and pretty Worm Towers on Pinterest - I was more than ready to create my own. It was a quick and easy job.

All you need is a quite large PVC tube, a drilling machine with a pretty large drill and some type of lid (a regular clay pot will do..)

1. Drill several holes in the bottom part of the tube. They need to be big enough for the worms to crawl in and out through the holes. The holes need to be under the ground, so don't make them to high up on the tube.

Image

2. Bury the bottom part of the tube in your garden bed.

Image

3. Place some kind of lid on the top. Make sure the lid has ventilation. A up side down clay pot is a perfect lid.

Image

Than just find worms in your garden and place them in the garden bed. Feed them by simply lifting the lid and fill with kitchen scraps (only vegetarian scraps). The worms will find the feeding station by them selves. 

Related Posts:  
Before throwing Kitchen Scraps away.. check out what you can Regrow:


Ingela
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:00 am

Re: Building Worm Towers

Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:21 am

What kind of worms do you use?
Sanna
Site Admin
Posts: 755
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:57 am

Re: Building Worm Towers

Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:24 am

Good question.. I have absolutely no idea! Found them in the garden. They seem to do the job though! The soil seems to get a beter structure with worms in the bench. So I guess that you can gather any worm you can find. Or is there a risk of getting to many? 
Shaul
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:05 am

Re: Building Worm Towers

Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:11 am

In general, it isn't necessary to 'seed' your garden with worms when installing a 'Worm Tower'. The whole point of the tower is to attract the earthworms to the food source which will then go out and 'Cast' their droppings in the surrounding soil (hence the term: 'worm castings' ). The average garden earthworm lives at a depth of 2 meters (5-6 feet). it's tunnels and burrows allow plant roots to access soil minerals and nutrients not readily available closer to the surface as well as the worm's own rich castings.
 Worms don't actually 'Eat' the food scraps (since they have no teeth), It's the bacteria that 'eats' the food and the worms 'eat' the bacteria. Worms can only work on food in a very soft, liquid state. You can help speed up the process by freezing/thawing the fruit/vegetable scraps before adding them to the tower. Freezing (overnight in the freezer) and then thawing, breaks down cell structure and allows the bacteria easier work. If the worms have an accessible food source then they're more likely to multiply, thereby enriching the surrounding plants. If you find (over a period of time) that there is an improvement in the bed surrounding the tower (you can usually tell by how fast the food is disappearing inside the tower), then you might consider installing a Tower in the center of each garden bed.  Worms love: Pumpkin, Watermelon, Cucumbers, Squash, Melon, Avocado, Bananas, Strawberries, Corn. Give them what they like and they'll return the favor in kind.
 And finally - Just to set the record straight, a Worm Tower is not a home for worms. It's more like a pit stop, a place to grab a light meal, a sandwich and a cup of coffee (you can also add coffee grounds to the tower), during their work day. A 'home for worms' is more like a wormbin with redworms or one of the other species, with wet shredded cardboard as bedding and with a constant food source, moisture level, air flow and temperature range. The castings harvested can be used as fertilizer, soil amendment, or brewed into AVCT (Aerated Vermi-Compost Tea). But that's another whole topic of discussion.
Sanna
Site Admin
Posts: 755
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:57 am

Re: Building Worm Towers

Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:50 pm

Shaul wrote:In general, it isn't necessary to 'seed' your garden with worms when installing a 'Worm Tower'. The whole point of the tower is to attract the earthworms to the food source which will then go out and 'Cast' their droppings in the surrounding soil (hence the term: 'worm castings' ). The average garden earthworm lives at a depth of 2 meters (5-6 feet). it's tunnels and burrows allow plant roots to access soil minerals and nutrients not readily available closer to the surface as well as the worm's own rich castings.
 Worms don't actually 'Eat' the food scraps (since they have no teeth), It's the bacteria that 'eats' the food and the worms 'eat' the bacteria. Worms can only work on food in a very soft, liquid state. You can help speed up the process by freezing/thawing the fruit/vegetable scraps before adding them to the tower. Freezing (overnight in the freezer) and then thawing, breaks down cell structure and allows the bacteria easier work. If the worms have an accessible food source then they're more likely to multiply, thereby enriching the surrounding plants. If you find (over a period of time) that there is an improvement in the bed surrounding the tower (you can usually tell by how fast the food is disappearing inside the tower), then you might consider installing a Tower in the center of each garden bed.  Worms love: Pumpkin, Watermelon, Cucumbers, Squash, Melon, Avocado, Bananas, Strawberries, Corn. Give them what they like and they'll return the favor in kind.
 And finally - Just to set the record straight, a Worm Tower is not a home for worms. It's more like a pit stop, a place to grab a light meal, a sandwich and a cup of coffee (you can also add coffee grounds to the tower), during their work day. A 'home for worms' is more like a wormbin with redworms or one of the other species, with wet shredded cardboard as bedding and with a constant food source, moisture level, air flow and temperature range. The castings harvested can be used as fertilizer, soil amendment, or brewed into AVCT (Aerated Vermi-Compost Tea). But that's another whole topic of discussion.
Thank you Shaul! I actually thought that worms ate the scraps. Very interesting that they eat the bacteria and that you can speed it up by freezing the scraps. Do you know how Worms would react to Bokashi Compost? 
My Worm Towers have been working very well for the first two years. These specific beds have a Wicking Construction in the bottom, so no ground contact. I was a bit worried that the drainage would not be good enough or that the beds were to cold for the worms to survive the winter seasons. However the worms are alive and happy, and there are more worms now than I planted. Kitchen scraps is disappearing surprisingly fast. (Love the "Coffe Stop" comparison btw!) 
Do you have any experience in homemade Vermicomposting Bins? I started to research but never finished the project..  
Cuzziee
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 9:48 pm

Re: Building Worm Towers

Mon May 15, 2017 9:52 pm

Hi, love this idea, can I ask how deep do you need to bury the pipe? And how high above ground do you have it?
Many thanks :)
Sanna
Site Admin
Posts: 755
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:57 am

Re: Building Worm Towers

Tue May 16, 2017 5:05 am

Cuzziee wrote:Hi, love this idea, can I ask how deep do you need to bury the pipe? And how high above ground do you have it?
Many thanks :)
Thank you! Image They have been working really well! I have my pipe about 30 cm below ground. Initially I had it about 20 cm above the ground but I recently cut it to about 5-10 cm to be able to place cold frames on these Raised Beds.


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Kamsare
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Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:00 pm

Building Worm Towers

Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:42 pm

Will 3ft be high enough Stace? Wont the girls jump over?

I have a 3ft picket fence like that in my front garden - only 12ft - but even that was going to be about £100 including gate from the timber place - a builder wanted £450

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