Apr 11, 2012

Composting Worm Tower

Composting, let the worms do the work!

It wasn't long after planting my first vegetable garden in Southeast Idaho that I longed for soil that wasn't clay.  So began my efforts to improve the soil in my garden by composting.  Sure I could have bought bags of soil conditioner.  But composting is free, (one of my favorite words) at least I thought.  Besides, composting keeps my grass clippings, leaves and kitchen waste out of the landfill.  So composting is a win win.  Over the years I've tried different systems, once I even tried a "Worm Factory."  Today I'm going to make what some people call a worm tower or a worm cafe.  We'll see if I have better success with this idea.  I've read some good results so why not give it a try.  I know improving the soil with worms will take time.  But like I say it's free.

I've seen plans using large plastic pipe or wood but I want this to be as cheap and easy as possible so I'm using a 5 gallon bucket that I have.  I think the larger opening will make it easier to add items to be composted.  The idea is to put the compost where the worms already live, in the soil.  As the worms come and go they will improve the soil with their castings and tunnels.

I could have cut off the bottom of the bucket, but I thought it would be easier to drill a bunch of  1 inch holes in the bottom.  I used a 1 inch drill bit.  The small holes were already in the bucket.

I drilled some holes on the side, not going above 10 inches up.

I put the bucket in the torn box to catch the mess.

Ready to "plant."

I dug a hole in the soil of my raised bed large enough for the bucket and about 12 inches deep.  This leaves 4 inches of the bucket above the ground.

I put some wet brown leaves in the bottom then added some partially composted kitchen waste from my compost pile.  Later I will put waste from the kitchen directly in the bucket.

I didn't have the lid from the bucket so I covered it with a lid from a metal bucket.  I put a rock on top to keep the lid from blowing off.

Now I just have to wait to see if this idea works.
Today is April 11, 2012.  I will update in a few weeks, it is still cold here so it will take a while to see any results.  I wanted to put this in the soil before I planted my peas.



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