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How Composting Can Help Your Garden and Your Bank Account

The Impact of Food Waste on Our Environment


Many people often believe that throwing away food waste is harmless for the environment.  However, due to the lack of oxygen they get in landfills, as the food rots and breaks down, it releases a gas called methane which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide according to www.recyclenow.com.  This is a huge problem for the environment as www.wrapWRAP.org estimates that the food and drink sector which produce 10 million tonnes of food waste each year, 60% of which could be avoided. By weight, the household food waste makes up for 71% of this.

composting food waste

Households are being encouraged by organisations and councils to recycle more to reduce their food waste. Many councils all over Britain are starting to charge people for garden waste collection which means that throwing away food waste can become an expensive habit. According to the BBC, this means that you can get charged up to £96 annually to dispose of your garden and food waste.

You can avoid these charges, be more environmentally friendly and assemble yourself a great garden by composting!

 

The Benefits of Composting


Compost makes your soil rich in nutrient and will help to maintain moisture level as well keeping your soils pH balance steady. The compost will also help to fight any diseases the plants could face, keeping them healthy and letting them flourish. Compost makes it much easier for you to get that beautiful Garden that you’ve always wanted and the only thing you’re using to make it is the food waste that you produce anyway. You can also use compost to teach your kids on the importance of recycling and protecting the environment while you enjoy gardening together.

benefits of compostingThis is why at Original Organics we are passionate about recycling and looking after our environment. We realise the benefits composting can have on each household and the world and this is why we have a wider range of composters than anyone else, so we suit everyone’s taste. We have different designs, different capacities, all at different prices so that you can find the composter perfect for you, leaving you ready to get started on having that great garden!

We have wide collection of the Blackdown Range Wooden Composters which ranges in capacity from 400 litres to 1900 litres, meaning that you can find the perfect compost bin, whatever the size of your garden. The Blackdown Range Wooden Composters uses 22mm thick British Timber sourced from the UK forestry while many of our competitors only use 15mm thick timber or less. We do not sacrifice on quality or materials for our products so that our customers can get the best.

blackdown rangeAnother composter which we offer is the Blackdown Beehive Wooden Composter. This wooden composter has a Beehive design which will add a touch of elegant design to almost any garden and they come in 3 different sizes, tier 4, 5 and 6 for you to choose from. This is a quality product inspired by tradition and bygone years yet superbly fit for purpose for the 21st century.

beehive rangeIf you would prefer a composter which is of a good quality and functional but for a low price, we also offer the Rotol Compost Converters at a capacity of 300L or 220L in our plastic compost bins range.  If black isn’t your colour we also offer a sleek Green compost converter in the same capacities. These composters are made from 100% recycled plastic, so we make sure we’re doing our bit for the environment as you are by composting.

plastic bins range

If you want something different and fun, we also have a uniquely designed 315L CompoSphere which is a roll-able Tumbler Composter. This composter will add a bit of fun to your gardening routine and it is sure to make your kids want to get involved! This Composter comes in a dashing green colour and features a tread with gripped edges for easy rolling. This will mix all the contents well in the composters so that the waste inside can turn into great compost.

composphereWe offer these and plenty of other composters in different colours, shapes and sizes so you’re sure to find something that you will love! Make sure to explore more of our wonderful collection by shopping the compost range now.

Shop our Compost Range today. 

Prepare Yourself For Possible Water Restrictions During This Heatwave

The UK’s longest heatwave is to continue right through the summer and water companies are urging people to decrease their water usage.

Thames Water have had to pump an extra 450 Million litres of water into their network to cope with the high demand caused by the heatwave, and according to WHICH? Magazine.

Thames Water’s Efficiency Manager said that “we all need to think about how we use water and how we could save it.” He added that by doing this we could avoid water restrictions in the near future.

We are passionate about harvesting and recycling rainwater, and it’s the perfect way for you to do your bit to save water without have to compromise too much on using it around your household.

We all know that the rainwater you harvest in your water butt is great for keeping your garden going during the dryer summer months. However, you could be using this water for a variety of other purposes around your home.

Toilets and washing machines are among the largest consumers of water in the average household. By simply installing a pump and one of our filters you can make the water you’ve collected suitable for use in these home appliances.

guttermate duo

The Gutter Mate Rainmaster Duo is an affordable way to achieve a high level of water filtration so that you can use water from your water butt in your toilet and washing machine. Statistics from the Cambridge Water Company suggests that setting up one of these filters to supply water to your washing machine could save up to 100L of water per wash.

If you haven't collected any rainwater yet, don’t worry! We have the largest selection of water butts in the UK for you to pick from. We have 100’s of different capacities, styles and colours to choose from, so it’s not too late to start harvesting some rainwater to recycle around your home before some possible water restrictions in the near future.

Shop Water Butts Now

 

How To Avoid The New Garden Waste Collection Charges

Don’t pay to have your garden waste taken away!

More than half of the councils in Britain have begun to charge for garden waste collection. According to the BBC, this means that you could be charged up to £96 pounds annually to dispose of your grass cuttings.

If you aren’t keen on paying the newly imposed collection charges then home composting could be the solution that you’re looking for. You wouldn’t just save the garden waste collection fee, you’d also have an excellent compost for your garden and you would be doing your bit for a greener environment by not having a vehicle collect your garden waste and saving a bit of money on your garden maintenance costs.  The cost of one of our plastic composters is approximately half the cost of your garden waste collection.

Composting is an eco-conscious, low cost way of disposing of biodegradable waste, and the end result can be used around your garden to improve the quality of your soil.

Which composter is right for you? 

1. I have no experience with composting.

If you have never composted before, and you’re looking for a low cost, easy-to-use option then The Compost Bundle would be a great introduction for you. This kit includes everything you would need to get started, and all for the amazing price of £19.99.

composting_bundle

2. There are lots of trees in my garden, so I get a lot of leaf fall.

If you get a lot of leaves falling into your garden and you find that this takes up a lot of space in your garden waste bin, then you need a leaf mould composter. The Blackdown 1200L Double Wooden Leafmould Composter is a great place to start. The dual compartments will allow you to get a versatile range of uses from the compost you produce, as you can vary the times that you let your leaf mould decompose. 1200-Blackdown-Range-Double-Leaf-Mould-Wooden-Composter3. I want to get my kids involved!

Composting can be fun as well as cost effective, and it’s a great way to teach children about being kind to the environment. The Composphere is a perfectly integrates tumbling your compost with spending quality time out in your garden. It’s round shape means that you and your kids can roll it around the garden whilst aerating the compost that sits inside.

315L-CompoSphere-Rollable-Tumbler-Composter

4. I want quality, at a low price.

If you’re getting a composter to avoid the new garden waste charges, then you want to make sure that you’re spending money on a composter that will last a long time. The Rotol Compost Converter has won the Gardening Which? ‘Best Buy’ 4 times because it’s been manufactured to an exceptionally high standard out of 100% recycled plastic. It comes in two different sizes and is amazing value; usually £48.49 but currently on offer at £36.37.

300L-Rotol-Compost-Convertor

If you can’t see the composter that you need in the recommendations above, but you are eager to find a way around those extra collection fees, then have a browse through the Home Composting category right here on the Original Organics website.

Shop Home Composting Now

UK Gardening Events for 2018

[caption id="attachment_318" align="alignleft" width="800"]Visit a UK Gardening Event in 2018 Visit a UK Garden Event in 2018![/caption]

JANUARY & FEBRUARY:

January 28th to March 12th - Scottish Snowdrop Festival, multiple gardens open in Scotland (visitscotland.com or rhs.org.uk).
February 12th to 14th - RHS Early Spring Plant Fair, Lawrence and Lindley Halls (rhs.org.uk)

MARCH:

March 15th to 2nd April - Falmouth Spring Flower Show, Cornwall, TR11 3EF. A local institution; rare and exotic flora (01326 313553 - falmouth.co.uk).
March 17th - Plant Hunter’s Fair, 10am-4pm, National Memorial Arboretum. The plant hunter’s year begins (01270 811443 - planthuntersfairs.co.uk).
March 19th - Rare Plant Fair, 10am-4pm, The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset. First Rare Plant Fair of the year (0845 468 1368 - rareplantfair.co.uk).
March 20th - RHS Spring Free Day - Free Event - RHS Garden Harlow Carr, HG3 1QB (rhs.org.uk)

APRIL:

April 7th to 8th - Spring Flower Show, Boconnoc House, Cornwall. The famous early showcase for Cornish talent, gardens and home grown produce (07734 366504 - cornwallgardensociety.org.uk).
April 13th to 15th - RHS Flower Show, Bute Park, Cardiff. Kick start your gardening year at this flower show extravaganza (0844 338 7502 - rhs.org.uk).
April 27th to 28th April - Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival, 10am-5pm, Powderham Castle, Devon. Specialist nurseries and popular Devon growers. Live music, local food and top-quality garden (tobygardenfest.co.uk).

MAY:

May 10th to 13th - RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Three Counties Showground, Malvern. Spectacular show gardens, Floral Marquee food demonstrations (0844 338 7502 - rhs.org.uk).
May 19th - 27th - Chelsea Fringe, London. Alternative garden festival celebrating community growing, outdoor performance, botanical art, walks, talks and events (chelseafringe.com).
May 22th to 26th - RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London. The pinnacle of horticultural excellence with innovative show gardens by the world’s leading designers and the finest displays of plants (0844 338 7502 - rhs.org.uk).

JUNE:

June 1st to 3rd - Gardening Scotland, Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston. Show gardens, exhibitors, outdoor living festival and plant fair (0131 333 0965 - gardeningscotland.com).
June 6th to 8th - RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP. Major event in the gardening calender. Loads to see and do (0844 995 9664 - rhs.org.uk)
June 24-26 - Grow London, House & Garden Fair, Olympia, London. An inspiring day out bursting with ideas on how to transform urban spaces (0844 412 4623 - houseandgardenfestival.com/event/grow-london).

Jobs to do in the garden in November

Jobs to do in the garden in November

It's November already (!) which means we are well on our way to winter with leaves & temperatures falling and frost appearing.

Whilst that combination may provide a recipe for avoidance and procrastination with regards to gardening, it doesn't have to and we are here to help you!

We've put together a quick guide on how to embrace the elements and have your garden in tip top shape heading into December and towards the new year.

Let's get started!

 

Leaf collecting and composting


With the abundance of leaves infiltrating our gardens, it's important to keep on top of them by getting your rake out and tidying them up! Then, they can be used in your composter along with dead plants and other garden waste to create rich soil moisturiser - perfect!

We have absolutely all of your composting needs covered, whether you're after a plastic composter, a wooden one or accessories.

We are currently offering a great deal to our loyal customers - you can get 20% off our Rotol Compost Converters in both 220L and 300L to help you out this month and beyond! Click below for more!

20% off Rotol Compost Converter Get 20% off 220L & 300L Rotol Compost Converter[/caption]

Lawn maintenance


When it comes to your lawn, you still have time in hand to sort it out before winter dawns. As previously mentioned, the rake is required to get the leaves out of the way to keep your lawn tidy as well as allowing it to breathe. Once you've done that (one time, because we all know it's a recurring activity) edging your lawn is the next job. One way that we've found that makes the process easier is by using the Smartedge Lawn Edging tool.

Check out the videos below for more information on the Smartedge!

Plant protection


With the increase of frost and cold weather it's vital that plants a protected so that they can continue to grow, and using tools such as the Sunny Growing Tunnel and Sunny Forcing Cloche will do the trick as they cover your plants and accelerate growth thanks to features such as having their own humid microclimates under the covers.

Water Butts


You may be reading this section and wondering why water butts have been included in this list, but now is a great time to clean out your water butt or install a new one ready in preparation for the upcoming rain. We are experts in providing rainwater solutions so if you require a small capacity water butt, a large tank or just some extras like stands or other accessories we have whatever you need.

Take advantage of our limited time offer of 20% off both our 240L & 310L Green Water Butt with Stand!

20% Off 240L & 310L Green Water Butt with Stand 20% Off 240L & 310L Green Water Butt with Stand[/caption]

Helping our feathered friends


The dip in temperature has consequences for our gardens, but also for the birds that frequent them. Shorter days mean they have less of an opportunity to feed themselves and they also need more energy to stay warm. That's where we can help them out, even if it means giving them leftovers such as dried fruit or even mince pies (if you're starting on them early!).  Ideally though, they need nourishment in the way of high energy feed, suet and nuts. Shelter can also be provided by boxes and nesters.

As a helping hand from us, until January we're offering 20% off on our wildlife gardening products so be sure to have a look at how you can help our feathery friends in the coming months.

20% OFF WILDLIFE GARDENING

20% OFF WILDLIFE GARDENING[/caption]




Thank you for taking the time to read our tips and suggestions for gardening jobs to be getting on with in November. We will be back at the beginning of December for some more that'll help you get set for 2018!

Pumpkin & Firework Composting



It's that time of the year again, so have you ever wondered what to do with your pumpkins after Halloween or the fireworks lying in your garden after the 5th November?

Well now’s the time to find out how to put them to good use.

Pumpkins


Pumpkins are relatively easy to compost if you are familiar with composting in general, but there are a few things you need to watch out for.

Firstly remove all pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin before placing on the compost heap. The seeds are known to be notoriously hardy and can survive the composting process intact. This is bad news for the garden unless you want lots of Pumpkin plants taking over your flower beds, and from my own experience this year, they take up a lot of room.

Secondly remove all the extra objects that might have been used for decorating the pumpkin, candles, metal tins from candles and anything else that isn’t able to be composted.

Thirdly if you want to speed up the process of composting the pumpkin, break it up into smaller pieces, this will increase the surface area and lead to faster decomposition.

And lastly once you add your pumpkin to the compost heap, cover it with leaves, cardboard or paper as this will protect against an insect invasion and also balance out the green and brown materials in the compost heap.

Fireworks


Fireworks are not completely compostable due to the heavy metals that are used to create the colours, but there are a few things we can reuse.

Firstly the sticks used on rockets can be used as plant supports.

Secondly if you empty the contents of the used or unused firework, including all of the metals and gun powder and give it a good brush, the cardboard can be added to the compost heap.

And lastly, used cold sparklers can be used as plant ties depending on the flexibility of each one, make sure they have been burnt down to the end to prevent any potential accidents.

Our Extended Wormery FAQ - Wormery Help & Advice

What is a Wormery?


A Wormery is a very simple but highly effective (and environmentally friendly) method of turning dead organic matter (such as cooked and uncooked food and kitchen waste) into a superbly high quality worm cast compost (Vermicompost) and a nutritious liquid feed (leachate), which you can use in your garden and around your home.

Worm compost, like that produced by our Wormeries, is often referred to by the experts as ‘black gold’ as it really is the best and most nutrient rich you can get. A Wormery is an expertly acclaimed method of obtaining this ‘black gold’ worm compost as well as reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill at the same time!

The Blue Tiger Wormery



What are the different types of Wormery available and which is better?


There are two main types of Wormery available and choosing between them is not much more than personal preference. All of our Wormeries work well from a technical perspective. They all do the same job and do it very well, but you may find one is more suitable for your needs than the other.

The two types we offer are our Classic range of “all-in-one wormeries” (The Original, Junior & The Midi Wormery) and “the multi-tray system” (The Worm Works).

The Original Wormery is the first ever commercially available domestic Wormery and has remained our best seller for a very long time (although it has gone through considerable development, improvement and refinement over the years). With its “all-in-one” design, the waste and liquid is all self-contained inside the bin, with an internal drainage platform separating the solids from the liquid and allowing you to catch and tap-off the leachate liquid feed.

It works well because the worms are ‘surface-feeders’. That means that even as the top section of the bin (where the solids are) fills, the worms tend to remain close to the surface – turning the waste into compost which they leave lower down. That means that emptying it is relatively straightforward when full. You simply trowel off the top few inches and put this to the side. Empty the worm compost out from underneath. Then pop the top few inches which you have put to the side back in the bin at the bottom.

Our “multi-tray system” removes this element of initial separation by using multiple trays to house the compost and waste. Each tray has a perforated base which allows the worms to move freely between them. You start off feeding your food waste into the bottom tray and as each tray fills, the worms move to the waste in the next tray upwards, leaving behind compost as they work their way up through the trays. So, by the time the worms have moved up to the top tray, the bottom tray should be ready to harvest and can simply be removed and emptied (before being placed back on top). It’s a bit like a game of ‘hands on top’!

So, you can see that each Wormery works in exactly the same way, but the method of harvesting the compost is different. Whichever Wormery you think will be easier for you to use is the one to go for and if you’re still not sure then you might be reassured by the fact The Original Wormery has been our bestseller for nearly 20 years!

How much of my food waste will my Wormery cope with?


It varies by the size and capacity of the Wormery, but all of ours are designed to take the majority of the average daily waste produced by its user. The Junior Wormery, for example, is designed for single person use and it will cope with the average food output of a single person. The Original Wormery or The Worm Works are both designed for family usage of, say, 4 people.

Why should I buy my Wormery from Original Organics?


We invented the first commercially available Wormery 20 years ago and we even devised (and trade-marked) the very word ‘Wormery’ as it relates to composting. With this pedigree we proudly continue to offer simply the best range of great value, but high-quality Wormeries on the market today.

Our products have received independent acclaim over the last 20 years and we hold thick files of unsolicited customer testimonials which we are very flattered to receive and our customer service team are very highly experienced in resolving any issues or answering any questions you might have before or after you buy from us.

Apart from being the inventors, and thus to some extent the experts, and apart from offering an unrivalled range of Wormeries, we also offer the best value in the country and, remember we supply Tiger Worms!

What are the main benefits of a Wormery?


A Wormery will divert your cooked and uncooked food waste, along with things like shredded newspaper, cardboard tubes, tea bags, egg cartons etc... Etc... away from landfill. In the UK, about a third of what we throw away is food waste which could otherwise be composted in a Wormery. In fact, we throw away nearly 7 million tonnes of food waste and peelings every year. (WRAP)

Not only that, a Wormery is also giving you something useful back. The highest quality compost you can get and a liquid feed which you can use to feed indoor / outdoor plants.

Where is the best place to keep my Wormery?


The best place to keep your Wormery is anywhere with a relatively stable temperature that is out of direct sunlight and preferably frost free. Most people keep their Wormery in their garage or next to the back door. A shed is also a popular location for a Wormery – you can also keep it indoors if you feel confident enough – and have space under a worktop or similar.

What is the best temperature for the Wormery to operate at?


Worms operate year round, but they work best within the temperature range we humans tend to feel comfortable in.

What foodstuffs should I avoid putting into the Wormery?


Whilst worms will eat fish, we generally advise against it as it can get smelly quickly – where a Wormery is usually not smelly at all. Small quantities of cooked meat however are fine.

Try to avoid using acidic foods in quantity as the worms find acidic conditions uncomfortable. We do, however, provide all our Wormeries with an ‘anti-acid’ lime mix which helps.

Other than that, pretty much all of your cooked and uncooked food waste can be added straight into a Wormery, although cutting up thick fibrous waste such as broccoli and cauliflower stalks can be helpful.

What is the anti-acid lime mix and what does it do?


Essentially it is a gentle form of calcium which reduces the acidity. Most food waste is mildly acidic and worms thrive best at a broadly neutral pH (7). A small handful sprinkled over the surface every 4 to 5 weeks will keep the conditions sweet. Crushed up eggshells (which are essentially calcium oxide) have the same effect.

What type of worm is best in my Wormery?


There are 28 species of earthworm native to the UK and of these 3 are particularly suitable for composting. We strongly believe that Eisenia Fetida (or the Tiger Worm) is the best at the job. Essentially it survives in a wider variety of conditions and has a better appetite so deals with more food waste.

Other suppliers of worm bins use Dendrobaena, which is more widely available (and significantly cheaper) they are widely used by anglers as bait.

Can I put worms from the compost bin into my Wormery?


If they are the small red wriggly worms rather than the mineral soil dwelling earthworm (lob worm = lumbricus terrestris) the simple answer is yes. That said there should be no need to as we provide plenty to start with and they breed well in a Wormery.

How long do the worms live?


Tiger Worms typically live for between 6 months up to 2 years.

If I cut a worm in half, do two worms really survive?

No! This is a myth. It is possible one half of the worm may survive (but not definite), but you definitely won’t end up with two worms.

Will I need to keep buying more worms for my Wormery?


No. The great thing about worms is that they breed rapidly. In a Wormery operating as it should be the worms will renew themselves so you shouldn’t need to reintroduce new worms. However should you have a disaster and need more worms we can of course supply them at a very reasonable cost.

Will I end up with too many worms in my Wormery?


Nope. Worms are ‘clever’ with their breeding in that they will never overpopulate. They regulate their reproduction based on their environmental conditions, the space they have available and the food supply. Pity mankind hasn’t learnt this trick yet!

Will the worms escape?


It depends on the type of Wormery you have. From a home-made or poorly made Wormery escapees are likely. Our Original Wormery has been designed to keep worms in as it is a fully sealed unit, but it is possible you might have some ‘escapees’ if you opt for The Worm Works in the early days.

As the worms settle, they explore. This is perfectly normal. Losing a few worms is nothing to be particularly worried about, however, as there are plenty enough supplied to continue breeding.

Once the Wormery has been established and the worms have settled it provides them with their ideal environment and conditions. The worms are in an excellent and near ideal environment inside the dark, cool, Wormery so won’t want to get away even if they could.

What are the most common issues people might have with a Wormery?


The most likely reasons for the failure of a Wormery are the following :-

1) Overfeeding in the early stages :-
The worms need a little while to settle in and the food waste you add needs to partly decompose naturally before the worms are able to eat it. The first few weeks are the slowest and you should generally only feed a couple of handfuls a week when you first set it up. Once the worms are established and the food is in the correct state for the worms, you can increase the throughput.

2) Conditions get too wet
If the Wormery gets very soggy and wet, then this can cause problems for the worms. You might find they try to get away from the food waste. It is an easy problem to solve, however. If the waste is looking wet (not moist – moist is good!) then simply shred up some extra newspaper or cardboard and mix this thoroughly into the Wormery right down to the base plate or bottom of the tray. This will soak up the excess moisture, help aerate the compost, and return the Wormery to the normal operation.

3) Conditions get too acidic
This can be a problem if you add a large amount of acidic food waste such as citrus peel and / or conditions get waterlogged. Pot worms (enchytraeids) are tiny thread like worms that resemble a piece of white sewing thread a few millimetres long. They occur quite naturally and are harmless – in fact they do the same job as the Tiger worms. However they thrive at a lower, more acidic pH than is ideal for the tiger worms. The proliferation of these pot worms is a sign of acidity – so if this occurs add a handful of the lime mix.

What about flies?


Flies should find it rather difficult to get into your Wormery, however Wormeries can sometimes provide a good breeding environment for them if they are inadvertently introduced with some waste.

If you do end up having a problem with flies you can use an organic flyspray to kill their lifecycle. Instructions on how to deal with this are provided in the instruction booklet.

Do the Wormeries come with instructions?


All of our Wormeries are provided with very comprehensive, easy to follow, instructions which contain hints and tips on successfully operating your Wormery.

What if it all goes wrong?


If the instructions are followed, this is unlikely. But if you do feel your Wormery is not working properly – don’t panic! We are only at the end of a freephone telephone call and it would be our pleasure (and determination) to troubleshoot, advise and to help make the Wormery a success for you.

How long will it be before I get some worm compost?


A handful of waste takes just a few weeks to compost. However you need to build up a good amount of compost to make harvesting it easy and worthwhile. Typically it takes around a year to fill the Wormery with compost (with The Worm Works you obviously harvest each tray more frequently). This is because the majority of food waste is liquid content which is released from the food and comes out the tap as the liquid feed.

How long does it take for the liquid feed to start coming through?


This is typically within around 10 – 12 weeks. Though it could be quicker, or longer, depending on the amount and type of food you’re putting in and the time of year (or rather prevailing weather and temperature). Once the liquid starts to come through you generally tap it off every 3-4 weeks.

Do I need to dilute the liquid feed?


Yes, the feed should be diluted with 10 parts water prior to being used.

What can I use the liquid feed on?


The liquid feed is multi-purpose and can be used on indoor / outdoor plants, flowerbeds, vegetable patches or on your lawn.

Do Wormeries smell?


A Wormery is almost an odourless process because the food is consumed by the worms rather than left to decompose. Therefore any strong odour is eliminated by the worms before it has a chance to occur. If you stick your head inside a Wormery – you may notice a ‘composty’ sweet smell or even an earthy chrysanthemum or tomato plant smell.

What happens if I go away on holiday?


No problem at all. A well established Wormery should be fine left for around a month. Simply add some food waste before you go and leave the tap open with a container underneath (just to stop the build up of liquid feed) and enjoy your holiday! The worms will look after themselves.

Can I put compostable nappies into my Wormery?


This is a common question after compostable nappies have received increasing press over the last few years. Technically, the worms can indeed turn nappies into compost, but the problem comes with size and quantity. If you were to compost all your nappies, the Wormery would very quickly become full and the worms would unfortunately not be able to cope. One or more of our excellent Garden Composters might be better for this job.

Can Wormeries compost pet poo?


The simple answer is yes – but be careful. Waste and bedding from most herbivores e.g. rabbits, hamsters, gerbils etc. is fine.

However we do not advise adding waste from meat eaters such as cats and dogs which is more unpleasant and carries a risk of the toxocara virus. We offer a purpose-made “Pet Poo Convertor” Wormery which is designed to deal with that sort of waste.

Which is the correct spelling? Wormeries or Wormerys?


The correct plural of the word Wormery is Wormeries, though some people do use the term Wormerys.

Can I build my own Wormery?


If this is what you wish to do, we wish you good luck! Designing a Wormery is notoriously difficult to ‘get-right’ and we’ve unfortunately seen lots of examples of poorly made Wormeries going wrong and ending up as a big mess.

It is unfortunate but we are increasingly seeing ‘experts’ advising people on how to build Wormeries at home but putting no thought into drainage / airflow / etc... Because they want to jump on the ‘go green’ bandwagon.

If you wish to give it a go, we do supply a DIY Wormery kit which will provide you with the worms, bedding and anti-acid lime mix you need.

Is it best to mix and ‘turn’ wormeries like you do with compost heaps?


This is not necessary or a routine operation as it is for a garden composter. However you do need to dig into it occasionally to check all is well. Also if it gets very wet and waterlogged you will need to thoroughly mix in dry cardboard and shredded newspaper.

Where can I get the best and the best value Wormeries from?


Right here of course! From the Wormery inventors and experts - Original Organics Ltd.

What does Bokashi mean and how does it work in composting?

If you have been browsing our website and have come across our range of Bokashi products then you might be wondering what it’s actually about!

Allow us to help you gain more of an understanding on the workings of Bokashi within the composting world by answering a couple of questions.

What does Bokashi actually mean?

The term “Bokashi” originates from Japan that translates to mean ‘fermented organic matter’. Whilst it is often labelled as a type of composting, technically it is more accurately known as an anaerobic fermentation process of waste management. This results in providing different produce to that of a composter.

Why use a Bokashi product?

First of all, they are easy to use – all you need to get started is a Bokashi bucket or bin with a lid, Bokashi mix (bran) and organic food waste! And, as they come in different sizes, you can either do use one at home or on a large scale.

Another advantage is the fact that the end produce is generally free of unwelcomed odours and can be used as a type of fertiliser in your garden that is slow releasing.

Finally, you can use absolutely any kitchen waste including dairy and meat in your Bokashi which makes it the perfect partner in your kitchen!

If you would like to know more about our Bokashi products or just about the process itself please go to our Contact page and get in touch!

Hints And Tips On Successful Composting

How to get the optimum mix of waste and what to do with it!

The great British scientist Charles Darwin of 'theory of evolution' and 'natural selection' fame spent 3 full years on his famous and revolutionary book 'The Origin of the Species'. However and less well known, before this seminal work, he spent 10 years full-time studying and researching the activity of worms, invertebrates and micro organisms in what he called 'the fermentation of vegetable matter' - or as we call it, composting.

Composting is quite simply nature’s way of recycling dead organic matter.

Compost

  • Has understandably been described as black gold.

  • It returns nutrients, vitality and structure to the soil.

  • It is a valuable resource for garden crops & flowers.

  • It's entirely natural and produces a valuable product

  • It's good for our environment - landfill; collection; transport etc (and we are running out of space)

  • It can reduce your Council Tax! (well, reduce the rate of increase) - collecting, transporting and disposing of household and garden waste is very expensive.

  • It's free and saves you buying someone else's waste - neatly pre-bagged but expensive.

  • It helps break up clay soils.

  • It improves water retention (less evaporation).

  • It improves drainage.

  • It increases worm activity (which is good for every part of the garden except, perhaps, the lawn!)


Composting is easy - and easy to get wrong!

All you need is a little knowledge and the right ingredients. We all have our own ideas of how to compost, some are successful and others are not. If you are happy with your method, then do not change. However, there are some BASIC PRINCIPLES which can help ensure success.

It's all about the right ingredients!

YES PLEASE :-

  • Grass clippings

  • Leaves

  • Weeds

  • Dead Plants

  • Food scraps (vegetable and fruit)

  • Straw/hay

  • Tea/coffee grounds

  • Twigs/chopped wood

  • Herbivorous pet waste - the small furies - guinea pigs, rabbits etc

  • Cardboard

  • Hair, dust waste, newspaper.


NO THANKS :-

  • Weeds gone to seed - they may germinate.

  • Meat

  • Grease

  • Bones

  • Dairy products

  • Dog/cat waste - unpleasant / risk of toxicara virus

  • Thick branches

  • Diseased material

  • Pernicious weeds - bindweed/cooch or twitch grass/ground elder


Now we know what can easily be composted what do we do?

The materials we can compost can be split into two lists: -

NITROGEN

  • Food scraps

  • Grass clippings 'sappy'/'green' waste

  • Rotted manure

  • Weeds


CARBON

  • Woody twigs

  • Wood chips

  • Sawdust

  • Straw 'dryer'/'brown' waste

  • Newspapers

  • Leaves

  • Cardboard

  • NITROGEN /GREEN = SAPPY/WET

  • CARBON / BROWN = WOODY/DRY


To get trouble-free compost it is best to have about
2 parts nitrogen
1 part carbon
They COMPLEMENT each other. Carbon traps the air (physically not chemically).

How to compost

Many gardens in summer have 99% grass clippings (i.e. Nitrogen).

What can be done?

Newspapers/cardboard scrunched up.
Winter
Twigs/woody stuff
Keep adding kitchen waste.

ADDITIVES - Are they necessary?

This is a common question and there are several reputable products. A compost activator is simply a rich source of nitrogen. Don't bother if you have a good mixture of waste. A good heap will build up micro-organisms quickly on its own - this can be helped by mixing the heap.

The cheapest and most highly effective natural additive is, believe it or not, human urine. That said how you get it into the compost bin is up to you!

So, now we've got the ingredients, what do we do?

There are two main ways to make compost at home:

The easy method (the lazy way - my way!)

  • Add as you go

  • Maintain 2 parts sappy/nitrogen

  • 1 part woody/carbon

  • Keep adding until the bin is full and well settled. Finished compost is at the bottom. Better still have 2 or more compost bins. When you start composting it's amazing how much you can actually compost. I have a small garden but run 7 composters and a Wormery.


The quicker method

  • Build up pile of material all at once (same Carbon / Nitrogen mix)

  • Fill the bin all at once

  • After 1 week, turn pile

  • After 1 more week, turn pile again

  • Cover pile with black polyethylene or 2 and composter then start again

  • Compost will be ready in 3-4 months.


Why use a composter?
Because it's quick, simple and tidy (nature works to its own timescale).

There are 4 key stages of composting: -

  • 55F to 70F bacteria called psychrophiles (sack-ro-files)

  • 70F to 90F mesophiles come in to do the REAL work, They eat everything in sight. They can increase the temperature to 100F then die out.

  • 90F upwards thermophiles do the really hot work. They last 3-5 days - the heap gets very hot! Too hot to handle! This helps to kill any weeds and seeds etc...

  • THIS IS THE TIME TO TURN THE HEAP!
    This will pump more air (oxygen) into it and gives a better mix.
    When it cools down, there is still much improvement to go.


Worms, woodlice and other invertebrates move in (the worms can eat their own weight each day). All these beneficial creatures help to break the compost down to finish the job.

With all this going on, the heap needs a little protection - a Compost Bin.

Key features to look for:-

1) Size - The bigger the better - but it's better to fill a small bin than to only half fill a larger one.

2) Colour - Dark is the best to absorb & retain heat.

3) Shape - Conical = good drainage and good air circulation.

4) Solid - no air holes - weather. Aeration is critical but comes from having the correct mixture of compostable waste - the Carbon & Nitrogen mix. External vents in a compost bin serve only to aerate the outer layer of waste and in so doing cool and slow down the whole process. So although they may superficially sound like a good idea - so do not be fooled by marketing gimmicks.

5) Doors - Not necessary, not better, not easier to use, but popular - personal preference.

COMPOST - THE END PRODUCT
Don't expect your compost to look exactly like the compost you can buy unless you are prepared to take the final step.

You are producing a truly excellent soil conditioner rich in nutrients to use as a top dressing, mulch or dig into your garden.

If you want it to look just like what you can buy from the Garden Centre - simply dry it out and run it through a garden sieve of griddle - on the other hand why bother - unless your planning to sell it at the local car boot sale!

Which Worm And How Many?

Which worms are the best and how many should you start with?


This is a subject which has come up over recent months as new entrants to the Wormery market have caused some confusion about the best types of composting worm to use and the quantity required to start up your Wormery successfully.

I should start by saying that, as the inventors of the Wormery and as suppliers of nearly half a million Wormeries to end users - we do, in all modesty, think we know quite a bit about their needs, features, designs, processes and their optimum running conditions! Perhaps even that bit more than many of our newer competitors!

When it comes to worms, a plentiful amount of quality worms is better than a big quantity of larger, cheaper worms. We supply all of our Wormeries with an appropriate plentiful initial stock of small-medium sized young (and therefore hungry) Tiger Worms (Eisenia Fetida). After lengthy research and trials by ourselves and others (including the sponsorship by us of a PhD University Student) these have proven to be noticeably the best native species of worm for use in a Wormery and in over 20 years of using them, they continue to be our species of choice. Tiger Worms breed exceptionally well, are hungrier, and are more tolerant of a wider temperature, moisture and acidity range than their close cousins Dendrobaena which seem to be preferred by our competitors (probably because of their wider availability and lower cost - due to their use as bait by anglers). Tiger Worms will eat around twice as much (per body weight) than Dendrobaena.

We are not worm breeders and we don't have a surplus of worms to shift. We insist on only the best quality Worms from the independent worm farm we have worked closely with for a number of years. In supplying tens of thousands of Wormeries to users every year - startup problems are rare and indeed if they really were an issue we certainly wouldn't choose to offer a 30-day 'no-quibble' moneyback guarantee.

We are the Wormery experts and have held this position for almost 20 years and it is disappointing that newer entrants to the Wormery market have tactically attempted to muddy the water. This kind of practice only results in consumers being even more confused about what is a new concept already to many people, when they really needn't be.

When it comes to worms only the best will do, so don't settle for second best!
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