Choose your tutorial
Does a compost bin or worm farm suit your needs best?
In a compost bin, air-breathing microorganisms break down your waste and create heat. A compost bin can handle more food scraps than a worm farm. You will need an outdoor space and garden cuttings to mix in with your food scraps.
A compost bin suits if you:
- have garden scraps as well as food scraps
- have space on soil, sand or gravel to put the compost bin
- are in a larger household of four or more people
The benefits of a compost bin are:
- you can add a greater variety of food and other materials than in a worm farm (such as garlic, onion, citrus, and garden clippings)
- it is more tolerant of extreme heat waves
- you can add larger volumes of materials to it and it operates at full capacity as soon as you set it up
The worms in worm farms break down your food scraps by eating the microorganisms that eat your food. Worm farms work well for apartments and children love them. Worm farms need a very sheltered location and cannot process as much material as a compost bin. The variety of material you can put in a worm farm is also more limited than with a compost bin.
Choose a worm farm if you:
- don’t have a regular supply of garden clippings
- live in an apartment or don’t have access to any bare earth, sand or gravel to put a compost bin on
- have a smaller household (under 4) or you don’t produce a lot of food scraps
The benefits of a worm farm are:
- the liquid fertiliser (which is the main output) from your worm farm is easy to apply to your garden
- you can keep your worm farm in a courtyard, on a balcony or indoors