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Worm composting all year round
I’m a great fan of wormeries. I feed all my kitchen waste to the hungry brandling worms inside the wormery bins, who turn it into wonderful compost.
There’s been a definite chill in the air for the past few days, so I’ll move the bins into my unheated greenhouse before the temperature drops too much. In winter the worms can die of cold and the contents of the bins can even freeze solid. Wormeries don’t need to be put in a heated place; it’s enough to avoid freezing conditions. Some gardeners just wrap their wormeries with insulation, such as bubble polythene, to keep out the cold.
I’ve always added small quantities of newspaper to my worm bins, usually by wrapping peelings in a few pages before adding them to the bin. However, cardboard egg cartons and toilet roll tubes can be torn up and mixed into worm bins, too. One wormery manufacturer recommends adding up to 30 per cent dry cardboard or newspaper to help absorb moisture as the kitchen waste is broken down.
When I wrote a blog on worm bin composters a couple of years ago it was great hearing from other wormery fans. One person wrote in the comments section that she wanted to start using the technique to grow worms for her angling husband to use as bait.
For me it’s all about recycling, and turning waste into useful compost. By keeping my worms warm over winter, they’ll continue feeding on the peelings, banana skins and vegetable waste I add each week – along with the paper and cardboard, too.
When it’s fully broken down I’ll use the new compost to improve my soil, sprinkling it around newly planted bulbs and divided perennials. And with the cost of gardening forever on the increase I’ll save a small fortune on bags of soil improvers and compost from the garden centre.
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