Saturday, 9 October 2010


Worms are good allies for the gardener. They aerate the soil, and convert vegetable waste into lovely compost. I don't really know why this is, but wherever you locate a compost bin, worms will move in pretty soon (as long as you don't site your bin on a hard surface). They just seem to spontaneously appear from nowhere! (Note to self: must ask my daughter Fiona whether she has got worms in her compost bin. She lives in a 2nd Floor flat, but she still makes compost on the balcony.)

I think it is because of the current weather conditions (moist but not very cold) that the number of worms in my compost bins at present has risen to an all-time high. Have a look at these pictures (or not, if you are squeamish...)

Worms around the lip of a compost bin

Worms in close-up!

More worms inside the compost bin
The worms eat the vegetable waste, which when it passes through the worms' digestive systems is converted into a rich friable substance very much like soil. If you keep worms in a purpose-built wormery (for instance, see ) it is possible to collect a sort of "juice" that is also produced. This is supposedly very good as a fertiliser, though I can't vouch for this.

You can see in the next photo loads of worm compost falling out of the flap in the side of my compost bin.

Worm compost spilling out of the compost bin
The best thing about worm compost is that it's free! You don't have to do anything apart from provide the worms with a supply of vegetable waste -- which you would have thrown away anyway.


  1. Wow I've never seen so many worms - not even on our compost heap! We've just turned out our first heap to dig into the garden, hard to believe that all the plant waste we've heaped onto it earlier in the year has become such dark crumbly goodness, there must be a lot of worms hard at work somewhere in there!

  2. My thought exactly - never ever seen so many worms! Seriously, that is alot of worms. I think you should win a prize for those photos.

  3. Odile (a friend of Fiona's)9 November 2010 at 18:49

    Oops---I just recommended worms on a more recent post about composting, but it seems yours are naturally occurring (we'll get nightcrawlers, but we have to add red worms ourselves, though they're very happy once in the compost).

    I can, however, vouch for "worm tea," since my mother has a worm farm. It is phenomenal---a black liquid that reeks to high heaven but does wonders on plants. Vermicomposting is a lot of trouble (more than I'm willing to take), but the worm tea is so powerful that my mother has been known to buy produce off the "as is" shelf at the grocery store just to feed to her worms.


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