Wormeries

Wormeries recycle kitchen waste into a very rich compost and fertilising liquid.

What you need to get started:

Container

Starter kits are available from most good gardening centres, however, you may also consider making one yourself. You could use a small plastic dustbin. Try drilling holes in the base for drainage and in the side for ventilation. The container would need to be placed on bricks to be raised from the ground - and you could put a tray underneath to catch excess fluid, which can go straight onto the soil, or use it diluted as a plant food. Make sure your wormery is kept out of direct sunlight and make sure your container is closed with a lid.

Material for bedding

Worms will love shredded newspaper, cardboard, dry leaves, mature compost or manure. This should be kept moist. Add more bedding from time to time to keep plenty of material there.

Worms

The worms to use are Eisenia foetida - more commonly known as the Red Wriggler or brandling worms. These can be bought at most fishing shops or may be found in aged compost heaps. Don't use large dew worms (the ones usually found in soil) as they aren't likely to survive.

Food

This should be added gradually to the top of the bin. As a rough guide, two kilograms of worms will digest one kilogram of materials each day. Kitchen waste can be added including coffee grounds, tea leaves, carrot peels, banana skins, lettuce, apple cores etc.

Try to avoid salty, fatty or acidic foods. Don't add meat bones, fish, citrus fruit or dairy products.