Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Compost - The Worm Turns

I've been prompted to this post by the Drooling Vegetable ,who doesn't believe that composting is possible without devoting half of your garden to it. All you need is a couple of 'daleks' and some squirmy friends:

Here's a 'dalek': (available from local authorities and 'green' agencies free or at subsidised prices)

And if you open the 'control panel', you'll find this

Close up:

These are 'brandling worms' and they'll save you the trouble of turning your compost heap because they mix it up for you, accelerating the breakdown of kitchen and garden waste so that in a matter of weeks the volume of your compost heap is dramatically reduced. In summer this is more dramatic than in winter. This colony has been to-ing and fro-ing between my two daleks for over ten years, surviving temperatures from -10 to +28 degrees C.

Brandling worms can be bought by mail order, but we got ours free from the zoo. (We bought some zoo manure, 'zoo doo', about a decade ago, and by the time I got around to digging it in these had colonised the heap.) I read that they are sold as bait for anglers, so that might be another cheap and local source.


  1. I'm getting a dalek very soon so I will definitely get hold of some of these worms...thanks for the tip. :-)

  2. My compost bin has been turned out recently, and already it's full again. It won't be long before it rots and there's more space again though.