Worm Tubes - A Great Idea for Your Garden

Worm tubes from National Gardening Association 
Want to know a great way to enhance biological activity in your garden? Think of it as adding probiotics to your soil....
Worm Tubes! It is a fun way to use your vegetable food waste without the hassle of true composting. Worm tubes attract worms to your garden and this, in turn, creates rich, worm casting-filled composted soil for you to use. 
Josh shows us how - click here
And did you know that worm compost suppresses plant diseases? Research has shown that worm compost can successfully suppress Pythium aphanidermatum - a mold responsible for the dreaded 'damping off', where seedlings and young plants rot away at the base of the stem. The microbes  in the compost are key. They chemically prevent (disrupts the signalling)  the Pythium pathogen from accessing the plant. 

This is why you should consider making worm compost with a 'worm tube' in your garden. They attract worms to your garden and the worm castings make great compost! Vertical tubes in the garden, with one section buried in the ground, attract worms who enter in the bottom of the tube, eat the scraps and deposit worm castings , and then move out into the garden. Beneficial worms everywhere!

Use several 6" diameter gray PVC pipes, three foot long, as your worm tubes:
  • Drill one-inch holes in the bottom one foot of the pipes. 
  • Place them vertically in the soil - one foot in the ground and 2 feet sticking up, above ground. 
Josh and cap for worm tube - click here
  • You must have the top capped.  This keeps out flies and other insects. Use small terra cotta pots with a piece of screen covering the drain hole. Place them over the top of the pipe. Of course you can use whatever you want as a cap - this could be fun to see what people come up with - but it has to be heavy enough not to be knocked off. BTW, it also serves as a great bird perch.

To start, put a little finished compost (or moistened peat) in each tube, some worms, add some kitchen scraps and top with a bit of rich soil.  Topping the vegetable scraps with soil or compost helps the process and any compost starter is also a plus. Keep it moist always. Wait a bit and watch what happens!  

By the way this is great for kids! ALL SCHOOLS SHOULD DO THIS. For more on worm composting in schools click here: Cornell Composting in Schools

And for the best worm info go to Uncle Jim's Worm Farm in line. 

Good Luck! Let me know how it works out.....


  1. What a great idea! I'm going to get my husband started on this one! We always have such a mess to dealing with all the veggie compost, and sometimes, I take the lazy way and just chuck it in my raised beds without further ado. Never heard of worm tubes! Too bad I have a phobia to worms, but I know how great they are for the garden. What irony. A gardener who's afraid of worms!!!

    1. Laura - Thanks for your comment! and btw, keep saying, "I love worms, I love worms"...maybe that will help. :-) jan

  2. I love worms but I am not a big fan of plastic touching soil. It is always fun to make a project and it might be fun to try decorating one of these. it certainly would be nice if you already had some pvc scrap that you wanted to recycle. I am not sure of the science of how this works though. I am guessing that you could get more worm benefit from just throwing the scraps right onto the soil or under mulch if the appearance offends you. The worms do a great job of finding shelter on their own and will migrate around instead of being concentrated in one cluster.

    1. Debra - I can see your point..maybe large terra cotta pots buried?

  3. I created some worm buckets in my garden - the same idea, but just a bigger area. I have been amazed how much food they go through, and I alternate a top layer bucket so that I can occasionally collect the castings to spread to other areas. I added red wriggler worms to my buckets, and have become a huge fan - you can see tutorials and photos on my blog.

    1. That is great African Aussie!...imagine if we had vermicompost buckets in school grounds, hospitals, etc.? Give us the link to your blog in a reply so people can click on it!

  4. I have a worm bin in the house - too cold at this time of the year to have it outside - but I am going to try this, and put worm tubes in various sites. Great idea!


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