Compost is a wonderful thing. Chuck kitchen and garden waste into a heap and, following a few rules, you end up with a pile of rich, magical plant and soil food. It’s fascinating and rather satisfying – really easy, hugely rewarding and doesn’t cost a penny. Just like gardening, they should prescribe composting on the NHS or at least introduce it into schools to demonstrate the circle of life!
Just as easy – and also great fun for kids – is worm composting, or ‘vermicomposting’. Slightly different to normal composting, all the work is done, not by heatproducing bacteria, but by special tiger worms, with the end result being almost a ‘super compost’, the gold standard in nitrogen and potassium-rich plant food. As its goodness is so concentrated, you don’t need much of it to pop on your plants to give them a boost.This is teamed with a luxurious brown liquid to siphon off each week that can be used on house and garden plants; if Carlsberg did liquid plant foods, they’d surely produce this!
I’ve long wanted a wormery but haven’t got the room for one of those elaborate, multi-storey complexes you often see. But a few weeks ago I found the perfect one – the Junior Wormery (pictured below) from www.originalorganics. co.uk (tel: 01462 429777). It’s small but perfectly formed, takes the kitchen waste of one to two people and sits on the side in my kitchen. It’s a simple set up of two compartments – one for composted kitchen scraps and one for the liquid to drain into, with a tap on the side to harvest it. It comes with coir and worms to get you started.
So far, so good; worm composting is a trial and error game. I’ve been adding a little food each week to get them going, checking on them daily. I’ll let you know how I get on! In a few months they’ll have settled in, with weekly liquid deposits and a small build-up of super-rich compost to treat my plants with.