Updated: Jun 8, 2022
✦ How do we make something already good for the environment much better? By making it more sustainable! WickWorming® has made sustainable gardening easier with their plant boxes.
Shrinking a sustainable garden into a planter box is the idea of St Luke’s Grammar geography and history teacher Oliver White. Having established sustainable gardening systems at the Dee Why school, Oliver said he wanted something similar for the balcony of his apartment but could not find it.
“I grew up in Tamworth around farms and agriculture. Now living in the city, I’ve got a deck on our two bedroom apartment. I thought it would be good to have a product that can sit on a balcony and people can grow food on it,” said Oliver.
He wanted to take the principles he was teaching students about sustainable agriculture to allow people who are time or space constrained to have a sustainable garden at their finger tips. He shrunk the principles of sustainable agriculture, composting, vermiculture, water conservation and food production, into the WickWorming planter box.
How does it work?
Food placed into the composting area of the planter box is composted by worms, releasing nutrients into the soil and water reservoir. The watering design harnesses capillary action and saves up to 80% of the water used traditionally, also reducing the need to water plants from daily to monthly.
Oliver explains, "The worm farm will process about 2-3kg of food waste once the worms are fully established. The average Australian family produces about 7kg a week, so it’s not going to cover everything but something is better than nothing in terms of food waste going into landfill. This is a starting point for families and households to look at composting and worm farming and reducing food waste."
WickWorming’s sustainable planter boxes, or sustainable self-watering wicking planter boxes with in-ground worm farms, now gives Aussies the option of gardening in a more sustainable manner. No matter where you live, whether you live out in the suburbs or in a more urban area that can restrict you when it comes to starting a garden, WickWorming’s planter boxes may be the best option for you.
The planter boxes help you become more sustainable at home
WickWorming’s planter boxes help you become more sustainable as nothing is wasted because everything, the worms and the water, are put below the plants and are drawn upwards instead of above.
Called ‘wicking’, this term means drawing water through ‘capillary action’ that is caused due to surface tension and the interaction of adhesive and cohesive forces. Underground, the plants have the ability to ‘wick’ water and nutrients through the use of their roots, eventually absorbing it up into their trunks and leaves.
Wicking is a much more sustainable option as you can leave it for up to four weeks without the need for extra watering, hence the used term sustainable self-watering.
What makes the WickWorming’s planter boxes effective is because it uses both of these features to make gardening more sustainable than it already is! With less water used and more organic waste breaking down easier thanks to the worms at the same time, these planter boxes are a must have for ‘going green’!
Advantages of WickWorming
You can grow your own plants and vegetables with minimal space and effort. The planter boxes are perfect for balconies, decks or the backyard.
💧 Save up to 80% water compared to conventional garden beds using a wicking system.
🪱 Reduce household food waste entering landfill with an in-ground worm farm.
♻️ One unique planter that provides a simple solution for households to adopt sustainable gardening habits.
Compost Worms 101
Compost worms are pretty similar to earthworms, but they have much larger appetites and eat a wider range of materials including food scraps, and it’s fantastic that they do! Their hungry little bellies are the reason worm farms are so good at breaking down food waste.
Compost worms eat on average half their own weight in food every day
This means that if you have 1kg of worms in your compost bin, they will eat 1/2kg of food every day! So, as you increase your worm population, you will also need to increase the amount of food you provide for them.
Compost worms love kitchen scraps and organic matter but are slow to consume meat or dairy, which may go off and start to stink before the worms dispose of them. So, what should you feed them? Raw foods that decay quickly, such as vegetable and fruit scraps, used tea bags, crushed eggshells, grass clippings and dry leaves, are best for keeping your worms happy. Foods to avoid include meat and dairy– basically anything that has a strong odour when it starts to rot.
Worms can help create a more sustainable garden for various reasons
They help increase the amount of air that enters into the soil.
Worms can help break down (i.e. compost) organic matters faster for plants to use.
Worming can also provide natural fertilisers. According to University of Illinois Extension, worms can make casting or vermicast that can help enrich the soil more. In other words, worm manure from eating compost materials can make gardening better and more sustainable at the same time!
Recommended species for a worm farm:
Tiger/Red Wriggler Worms (Eisenia fetida)
Indian Blue Worms (Perionyx excqvatus)
Get a wriggle on and start your sustainable growing journey
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