Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Film #5: How to Make a Worm Tower

Worm towers are a super simple way to turn your food scraps into fabulous plant and soil food - in situ in your vegetable garden - no double handling.

It's a great urban garden strategy - easily tucked into small space gardens. I love them in my no-dig gardens, but they are suitable too for raised beds and even large pots.

Take a look at this short film (7 mins) I just made in my garden to explain the concept and show you how to make one.


Also take a look at a previous post I have written on this topic:

If you

Take a look at my other short films:


In my award-winning garden, Crystal Waters Permaculture Village. I'll be teaching a Permaculture Design Course here from August 29 - Sept 9





Film #2: Our Permaculture Life: Community Permaculture Garden (9 mins 30 secs)


At the Yandina Community Gardens - I'll be teaching a Permaculture course there each Friday from 23 September.


In my award-winning garden, Crystal Waters Permaculture Village








My presentation at the Queensland Garden Expo in July 2016 about the incredible edible plants I love to have in my garden and why.

6 comments:

  1. I started my wormery 3 years ago, the worm tea gets used on tomato plants and the compost I mix with soil and sand to make my own potting compost the wormery is great and very low maintenance :-)

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    1. Yes, worm farms are fabulous for making your own potting mix, and take little effort to look after. Such a great addition to a garden system.

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  2. Hi Morag. I love the idea of worm towers. When I watch you dig your hole though, I feel green with envy. My soil is not as good as yours yet and I would struggle to get even half that depth without hitting rock. How deep does the tower need to go to ensure it doesn't get too hot and smelly in there? Thanks . . . Angela

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    1. The worms really need 30 cm depth so they don't get too hot in midday sun. Also needs well drained soil to make sure that the tube doesn't get waterlogged. In your case, they might work better in a raised garden bed, or thick no-dig bed. They can also work well in very large pots.

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  3. I like the process of worm towers for the ease of use. The issues you have with it are because they are not related to biological agriculture. In one of your videos, the woman giving the talk states she knows less manure seems better but she didn't know about adding fertilizers. This is just one of the issues. Worms are biological. They make their own fertilizer from the food they are given. They don't do it alone. As I write this I see Angela's comment. I don't know whether she actually meant "rock" or a cemented layer that was as hard to dig. Either way the answer is the same. Before, she can dig comfortably thru the soil to get the worms to survive, the biology to aggregate the soil has to be there for her success with worms. She will not have success until the environment at the depth of the worm tower is acceptable for the worms. If it is acceptable for the worms, it will have the soil foodweb (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, microarthropods, etc.) that is acceptable for the worms. Worm compost is called the "cold weather compost" because they tolerate extreme cold but do not tolerate temperatures above 85 degrees F. They also require more moisture than other microbes. They require 50-60% moisture vs 40-50% for other microbes. In southwest USA, we have a hot and dry climate with soil that has been badly abused for many years. There is little LIFE left in the soil and people have given up on trying to get the soil to produce. We are beginning to have success with TRUE biological agriculture--that is management of the soil foodweb which takes into account temperature, moisture, etc. We are learning how to make thermo-compost that is an incubator for a full diverse microbiology. Theoretically, when a full diverse microbiology is back into the soil, it should be acceptable for verma-culture. The worms themselves do not make that nice rich soil. You can see the worms with the naked eye. The real workers must be seen with a microscope. I want to get a group of homeowners in our community to build these towers with the assistance of compost tea full of diverse biology, moist from the monsoon season and a cold winter to see if we can get the worms to survive. We will be monitoring the soil foodweb from start to finish with a shadow microscope. We will begin with heavily mulched with organic matter (food for the microbes), moist soil from the monsoons, then an application of compost tea. (You can't make compost tea from verma-culture because the worms will not survive. The 'worm tea' you make is humic acid at best. Look at it through a microscope.) The microbes from the tea will go as deep in the soil as the water does. They will aggregate the soil so it can hold water and nutrients and allow roots to grow. The biology has to be there first. Then, the towers will be placed and cover crops planted. The biology will have all winter to grow and reproduce. We will expect an early, high productive crop next spring with healthy soil ready for planting. If you are interested, I'll let you know our results. Anne Meloy, BioSoil Scientist.

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    1. It will be wonderful to hear your results. Thanks for writing.

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