How to Build A Worm Tower

Source: Permaclture News
Date: 2 February 2012

Building a worm tower is a simple, enjoyable, sustainable way to nurture your garden so that it can continue to nurture you.

Earth—the stuff on the ground, not the planet—is essential for life. Anyone who has a garden (or even a house plant!) has seen a microcosm of this in action. Soil isn’t just something we walk on or that plants anchor in. It’s something that nurtures us and every other form of life on the planet in some sense. Plants need rich, fertile, living soil to truly thrive.

1. If you chose a food grade PVC pipe and you have a drill, go ahead and drill a few holes in what will be the bottom half of your worm tower. While this isn’t strictly necessary, it can help to make sure your soil is getting a great dose of all the composty, wormy goodness from your tower.

2. You’ll need to bury the pipe, standing up right, deeply enough so that it’s completely stable (pack soil around the pipe, not in it at this point). Choose a spot that will be convenient for you to access, as you’ll want to pop by to add organic goodies frequently.

3. Add manure until your pipe is half full—the amount will vary depending on the size of the pipe, of course.

4. Add your worms. These should be compost worms, the little red super-squirmy guys.

5. Add your organic material.

6. Cover the tower with your flower pot or similar. That’s it!

Maintaining this elegant solution to sustainable fertilization is simple. Compost worms are content fellows that won’t wander off so long as they’ve got something to snack on, and their environment is moist enough. So, (at least) every few days, hook them up with some of your leftover veg, grass clippings, or even damp cardboard or shredded newspaper, and keep your worm tower slightly moist. Not only will they be feeding, they’ll be content enough to multiply, so you’ll soon have enough for another worm tower if you have need of one.

Your little buddies will be thrilled (well, as thrilled as worms get at least), to have such a safe home that’s always full of delicious munchies. They’ll thank you by producing worm juice and worm casings, both of which are wonderful for the soil and for your plants, and they’ll disperse into the soil naturally over time.

It only takes about half an hour to put together a respectable worm tower. Yours can be percolating away, nurturing your garden, in no time!