Build a worm farm in your backyard

A worm farm can turn your kitchen scraps into a great organic tonic to feed your garden plants.

You will need:

  • 3-4 car tyres of similar size (most tyre companies will give away old tyres)
  • Worms (you can buy them from commercial worm farms and pet shops)
  • A piece of old carpet or sacking
  • About 50 newspapers (avoid the glossy advertising inserts)
  • Three old phone books (or 6-8 bricks)
  • A 60cm square piece of corrugated iron
  • A bucket or similar container
  • A piece of wood or similar to use as a lid
  • Manure, compost or pea straw


1. Make a base out of the phone books or bricks – make it higher on one side.
2. Place the corrugated iron on top so it is sloping.
3. Put the old carpet or an old sack on top of the iron.
4. Dig a hole beside the base and place the bucket in the hole (this is to collect the liquid that runs off the sloping iron).
5. Soak newspapers in water with a handful of dirt added and stuff the tyres full of wet paper.
6. Put the first paper-stuffed tyre on top of the carpet.
7. Fill the tyre with manure/compost/peastraw.
8. Tip in worms.
9. Cover with a thick layer of wet newspaper.
10. Place other paper-stuffed tyres on top, placing a sack between each tyre.
11. Place a tight-fitting lid on top (a piece of wood weighed down with a brick or rock is fine)
12. Feed regularly with food scraps (beneath the newspaper layer). Avoid too much citrus, onions and don’t add meat or dairy products as they will attract vermin.
13. Keep the stack moist – add a bucket of water once every 2-3 weeks in summer.
14. As the tyres fill up (this usually takes a few months) remove the bottom tyre and empty out the worm castings to use on your garden.
15. Regularly empty the liquid from the bucket. Dilute it 10-1 with water and use on your garden.