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Posted on Nov 8, 2017 in Soil management | 0 comments

In-ground Worm Towers

In-ground Worm Towers

I think we are pretty decent recyclers in our house. All biodegradable material goes into our large compost bin, the worm farm or in-ground cardboard worm towers located in the garden beds. Whilst this has been great for waste reduction and improving the garden soil, it has some drawbacks.

Firstly, I’m maintaining 3 systems, with the compost bin needing the most attention. It requires regular turning, finished compost must be physically moved to the garden beds and it needs to be watered as it tends to dry out which attracts pests. Secondly,┬áIMHO its a bit of an eyesore.

The time has come to find an alternative to my traditional compost bin. In its place, I’m going to expand on the worm tower system already in place. The logic behind this being, worm towers require less maintenance, the compost/castings are created in the garden beds where they are needed and being underground they should hopefully attract less pests.

To date, my worm towers have consisted of heavy duty cardboard, with holes in the sides and a mesh lid. These have worked well as the cardboard breaks down naturally in the soil over time, leaving wonderful rich soil for the plants roots to grow into. These towers are basically the same thing as the PVC worm towers listed below but are biodegradable.

I’ve decided to create multiple worm towers of different sizes and from different materials with the view to see what works best for my situation.

I planned to create a tutorial on this but found there were already lots of great ones out there. So instead I’ve create a post with links to the best DIY pages I could find and add my 2 cents worth on each option. Let me know how you go leaving a comment below.

My favourite DIY worm towers

PVC worm tower

PVC worm tower

  • PVC is the most popular material for building DIY worm towers. They are very durable and easy to make.
  • If you choose a threaded PVC pipe and matching cover you’ll also have a simple but secure unit.
  • If you want a larger worm tower, apply the same procedure to a bucket or bin to suit the size required.
  • If rodents are a problem, use a bucket or bin with a bottom or cover bottom with mouse mesh (.5mm apertures).
  • For a less visible unit, paint the visible parts of your PVC a dark colour to blend in with garden shadows and place under or behind plants.

Wire mesh worm tower

Cylinder made from mesh

  • Wire mesh towers can be made to any size but are not as durable as the PVC types due to the flexibility in the wire.
  • They have better aeration which would be good in wetter soils.
  • As they are not enclosed they may attract more pests. Cover well, including sealing the bottom by folding the mesh over.
  • An added benefit of mesh over PVC, is the larger holes for plant roots to grow through.

Pre-made in-ground worm farms

Not everyone has the time or inclination to make their own worm farm. If that sounds like you, see the consider a commercially available in-ground worm tower. These are available from garden centres, hardware stores and online. Expect to pay from $5AUD for a set of cardboard towers with mesh covers and from $29AUD for one made from plastic or PVC

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