Using a Worm Tube in the Garden

woman gardening and composting
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When you eat enough fruits and vegetables to overwhelm your usual composting methods, including your worm bin, worm-tube composting may be worth a try. 

The idea behind worm tube composting is that you install a large (6-inch diameter) tube or pipe directly into your garden bed and drop your food scraps into it. Pests can't get into it, but the worms from the garden can. They will eat what you leave, wiggle back out into your garden soil, and leave behind their vermicastings, or feces, which act as the composting agent for the food. The worms will spread the compost in a 4-foot diameter as they travel throughout the garden underground.

Using a worm tube in your garden also encourages more worms into the space. Another benefit of using worm tubes is that they can double as bird perches, so insect-eating birds can hunt in your garden as well. 

Create a Worm Tube

To make your own organic gardening compost worm tube, choose the type of pipe you want. Some people have used metal drain pipes and others use large plastic pots glued together at the top, drilling out the bottom with holes. You can fit more scraps in with the pots. PVC pipe can work just fine to create a worm tube.

Cut the pipe into sections with a circular saw or hack saw and then drill 1-inch holes into the bottoms of the pipes using a hole saw. Other people have had success with 1/4-inch holes drilled into the main pipe. Some people turn the pipe into a decoration by painting it or adding other adornments.

You can paint the pipes so they are not as visible in the garden. Cover the top to keep out flies (you can purchase PVC caps or use screening). The pipe is inserted vertically so it stands out. 

Put some finished compost and worms in each tube along with your kitchen scraps and some soil. Then you can begin composting food into the garden.