How to make a wormery and produce liquid fertiler

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Questions and answers about Wormeries


  • What is wormery?
  • What are worms known as brandlings?
  • Which kitchen waste to use and not to use.
  • Equipment needed to make a wormery?
  • How to make home made liquid fertiliser using worms.
  • Easy to make wormery producing home made liquid fertiliser.


Worms in a wormery
Worms in a wormery

Click on the photo for more info about buying your worms

What is a Brandling worm? It is the worm used to produce liquid fertiliser


  • The Scientific name is Eisenia fetida
  • Habitat. It is usually found in garden compost, but also in wet, decaying leafs, organic-rich soils and manure heaps
  • DietEats rotting vegetation
  • Size. The adult worm is about 6cm long.
  • Discription. The body is stripy with dark red bands, with narrower pale pink or yellowish bands in between.
  • It is the worm used in wormerys to turn kitchen waste into liquid fertiliser.

10 tips to make it really easy to produce liquid fertiliser in a wormery.

  1. What is a wormery? A Wormery is an easy natural system using worms to convert kitchen food waste into liquid feed.
  2. Worm composting is a great  way of recycling vegetable scraps, banana skins and tea bags from your kitchen.
  3. A worm bin is a container housing a colony of special worms, known as brandlings, tiger worms or redworms. Worm bins are ideal for households with small or no gardens, as they produce  a liquid which forms a concentrated plant food.
  4. What does a wormery do? It composts waste using special worms known as brandlings, tiger worms or redworms and can be kept indoors, but is probably best kept outside near your kitchen door or in a shed or garage in the winter. Even if you haven't got a garden, it is great if you want to compost vegetable scraps, and tea bags and lots of other stuff, instead of sending it off to landfill.  You will produce  a small amount of compost and a liquid, which forms a concentrated plant food and is great for using in pots and containers.  You will be recycling about half of the waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill site, saving money and reducing the use of chemical fertilisers by using homemade liquid fertiliser.
  5. Stuff you will need to create a working wormery. You will need about 400 worms, a bag off gritty sand, a couple of perforated bin bags, shredded newspaper.and a plastic household waste bin, the larger the capacity the more worms and kitchen waste you can put into it and the more liquid fertiliser you will get out. If you have a lot of mouths to feed and intend composting a lot of kitchen waste, it is not the depth that is important, it is the surface area, so you may be better off constructing a rectangular shaped wormery using wood. A tap or tray to fix into the bin to draw of the liquid fertiliser, or if you make prefer to make holes in the bottom of the bin (as in the diagram)  place the bin in a bowl or tray to catch the  the homemade organic liquid fertiliser.
  6. How to construct a wormery. Drill tiny breathing holes around the top of the bin, not in the lid of the bin, this could let the rain in.  Fill the bottom of the bin with 3" of gritty gravel for drainage and place bin-bags over the gravel.  Place four inch deep damp shredded newspaper over the bin bags. Drill the tap into the bin just above the gravel. It is a good idea to place the wormery bin on blocks to give enough space to place a container under the tap. 
  7. Putting the worms in. Now make a small hollow in the shredded newspaper and place the worms inside. 
  8. Feeding the worms. Start feeding food scraps to the worms, making sure the scraps are chopped up well and placed no more than about two inches deep across the shredded newspaper. Cover the waste with a couple of sheets of damp newspaper to keep the whole thing moist. You can add more scraps when the last lot.has been eaten. This will depend on how many worms you have. Practice will make perfect so don't be put of if it gets a bit smelly, just reduce the kitchen waste. composting tips
  9. KITCHEN and GARDEN WASTE you can feed to your worms to make good safe liquid compost includes. Egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, cereals, fruit, annual weeds (not in seed ), bread, any green leaves, all chopped up vegetable and fruit, potato peelings and chopped up hedge trimmings etc.
  10. KITCHEN and GARDEN WASTE not to feed to worms, are Meat and fish, Grass, Weed seeds, Diseased plants, Rice or pasta, Baked beans, Cheese, Onions, Cooked potatoes and Cat or dog muck.  

Prefer to buy a ready made worm bin a selection available here

Do's and Don'ts when using a wormery

  • After about four weeks, you will be able to draw off some liquid fertiliser to feed your plants and depending on the heat generated in the bin (indoors or out) compost may be ready to use after a couple of months.
  • Never overheat the worm-bin thinking you will speed up the composting process, you won't and the food will start to rot.
  • When you use the compost, put the worms back in to start all over again.
  • If it gets to soggy, check that the liquid is being drawn off often enough, add a little less green stuff and a bit more dry stuff.
  • If it gets dry, sprinkle water over the waste and maybe add a bit more green stuff. 
  • A few flies and a bit of mould inside the worm bin are normal.

You will soon get the hang of making good liquid compost in a worm bin ending up with healthy well fed plants and a lot less stuff to send to landfill. Why don;t we all do it! ???