What’s New in My Greenhouse- A Review of Urbalive Worm Farm

I have a natural inclination to feed people. Visitors to Bramble Garden will more than likely find me in the kitchen cooking something -usually with produce just harvested from the plot. There will be cake and home made biscuits aplenty- accompanied by steaming pots of tea. My urge to feed everyone in sight extends to pets- my own – and any waifs and strays I encounter. Wild and tame are all nurtured here. For the past month I have also been feeding my own little “farm.” The creatures contained in the farm are worms.

It has become a strangely compelling task. I’m chopping apple cores and peelings at the moment for them. I’m making fruit pies for the freezer using our glut of Bramley apples. And while the pies are cooking, I’ll run up the garden path to feed the peelings to the worms. They are a thriving little colony of creatures turning all my kitchen waste into free compost for the garden. And it’s a project I’m really enjoying.

The Urbalive worm farm comes in kit form. It’s very simple to put together. The wooden legs are first screwed into the base, and there’s a tap to attach as well. The composter will provide valuable liquid plant food when it’s established. I’ll dilute it down 1:10 with water to feed house plants and for growing on seedlings and plants I’ve propagated.

The worm composter comes with everything needed, an easy to read set-up guide and starter worm food.

There’s even a bag of Worm Treat, a special mix of all the things that worms love to eat, in pellet form.

To get things going, soak the coir block in a bowl of warm water for a couple of hours.

The coir expands to form a starter home for the worms. This bedding goes into the first of two stacking trays.

Then you can add the pack of live worms which comes with the kit.

Add your kitchen scraps, peelings, left over food. Teabags are brilliant, as apparently the worms lay their eggs in them. Crushed egg shells help with digestion. A little bit of cardboard is a special treat. After a week, I’m virtually writing menus for the worms. I care about them. Are they getting a balanced diet? Are they warm enough? Do they have enough moisture? They have virtually become pets! When I lift the lid one morning and find baby worms, well, I can’t stop smiling, to be honest. Such a little thing makes me happy.

For winter, the wormery will be quite happy in the greenhouse. But I’m going to move it to the potting shed in the summer when things warm up. It’s such a pretty design, I could probably put it in the kitchen to be honest.

My Urbalive worm farm composter came from Wiggly Wigglers and was supplied as a free trial, in return for an honest review. The composters come in lime green or stone grey colours. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the kit. It was easy to put together and works well. It does what it says on the box- turning kitchen waste into free compost for the garden. The mail order process was quick. My farm arrived within two days of ordering.

There is only one word of warning. It becomes a totally engaging occupation. But on the plus side- it will definitely make you smile.

32 thoughts on “What’s New in My Greenhouse- A Review of Urbalive Worm Farm

    • Must admit, I’m really happy with my little worm city. They have been working hard all winter and have made lots of compost already. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch.


  1. Pingback: Last minute Christmas Present Ideas for Gardeners | Bramble Garden

  2. What a floriferous greenhouse you still have Karen! I can tell how much you are enjoying your wormery – and it is certainly a more attractive piece of kit than it used to be. Perhaps I will go down that route too in future – food for thought, certainly! I didn’t realise you were related to the Gimsons of Stoneywell – another reason for you to enjoy visiting it. But now powercuts too… 😦 Poor you, and I know you are down a country lane but you are still not the back of beyond – what a pain the internet has been for you, making it so hard to do what you want to do

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cathy. Luckily we are back on power now. Unfortunately, there’s not even a fibre cable to the nearest village. We have no chance of them bringing a cable a mile along a lane for a few houses. So I’m investigating other options. Failing that- it will be more trips to Waitrose to use their internet. I’ll keep you posted on the wormery. So far it’s doing what it should. I won’t mind sharing space in the potting shed with it in summer. It’s quite a pretty little thing.


  3. I used to have one when I lived in the UK. Sadly it’s too hot here in summer, I can’t think where I’d be able to put one! You won’t get a huge amount of compost but the liquid feed is amazing and you’ll be able to feed the whole garden. Enjoy!

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    • Thank you Christina. It’s so useful for the few things I can’t put outdoors now because we might attract rats. I’m enjoying trotting back and forth to check on them. Hope you are ok over there. It’s -4 just now. Power has gone off. No internet. No kettle. Luckily we’ve got an open fire and a camping stove. Just trying to keep warm. xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. The greenhouse is a little sanctuary in the winter. When I can’t get out and do any gardening, I potter about in there, taking cuttings and sowing a few seeds. I keep it about 7c with an electric parwins heater. Because it’s a wooden greenhouse, it seems to hold the heat. We have solar panels which helps with the cost. I keep all my orange and lemon trees in there and they flower all year round. Such a fabulous scent. Thanks again for reading and for your very kind words. Karen


    • Thank you Mike. It is ideal for small spaces. I’ve got lots of compost bins, but I dare not put food scraps in there in the winter as it attracts rats. And egg shells are like gourmet food to rats. They love the little bit of egg white that always seems to stay in the egg shells. So this is a safer bet. It’s a fun project, and I use a lot of liquid plant food so it will be nice to get some for free. Thanks for reading. Hope you have a lovely week. Not too much snow in London, I hope. We are covered over here, although the main roads are gritted. xx

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  4. Oh I can understand how you have become so fond of your worm family Karen. I bought one of Wiggly Wiggler’s ‘Can -o- Worms’ at the Malvern Show in the spring of 2009 and was instantly and totally smitten by them 🙂 They are still going strong although I think that I need to add to their numbers in the spring which I’ve not needed to do so before now. I presume that your worm farm is the newer model. Our can has been in a completely unheated shed for the majority of the time although I cover them with a blanket in really cold weather. I even forgot once and was convinced that I had committed mass wormicide as the contents looked completely frozen over but I’m glad to say they came back to life. What a relief. Have fun!

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    • I’m just back from the greenhouse at 10.15 at night -trekking through the snow- to cover mine with a fleecy blanket! So glad i am not alone! I’m quite taken by surprise at my newfound affection for my wiggly creatures. I stood pondering today at why I feel a duty of care to them in such a way that I do. And why they make me feel so happy when they thrive. I am still laughing at the word wormicide. Who knew there was such a thing. Thanks so much for reading and getting in touch. I am glad now I was brave enough to admit that I’m smitten.


  5. Karen congratulations for your vermicomposter and your California earthworms. Grace is very pretty and surely a great assistant in gardening. Mine that rests in peace was called Mini and died on September 6, 2016. But my princess is still with me who said mom perfectly. Your Greenhouse is beautiful: so many flowers and plants. It is a beautiful garden. I also want to do vermicomposting but since I do not live all year in the same place, I can not. Your worms are very pampered and taken care of: they have fallen in the best hands, yours. I’m glad you have them. They will give you a worm compost that is the best for the plants. I bought it for years and I use it for everything. Many memories with love to your Mother. Take care. Greetings with much love from Margarita.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Margarita. My husband laughed this morning and said “those worms are getting better food than me.” I bopped him with the newspaper. Grace is my constant companion in the garden. I’m always falling over her. Thanks as ever for reading and for your very kind comments which are always appreciated. Have a lovely week. Greetings to you are your parents. Love from karen and Mum xx


  6. You know, I would say it would be icky to put it in the kitchen, but that contraption is so neat, clean and self contained. It really could go off to the side and work like a garbage disposal. I suppose I have had guest who were dirtier.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A lovely review! I have considered one before, but – like you – I would worry about them and be terrified I’d do something wrong! Also, it wouldn’t work here in winter without a heated greenhouse. I love the idea though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. I’ve had them a month and was worried I might kill them. Didn’t dare write a review until I could see they were thriving- and producing babies. Honestly, I must just like the simple things in life because trotting back and forth to the greenhouse and lifting the lid to check on them just makes me happy. I’m heating the greenhouse to 7c because it’s packed with all my cacti, pelargoniums, lemon trees and bougainvillea. I could bring the wormery into the back porch. But for now they seem to be happy in there. Thanks again for reading the blog.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Eliza. That’s Grace. My constant gardening companion and keeps me company when I’m mooching in the greenhouse. The begonias were grown from a single leaf laid flat on a bed of compost and pegged down. They produced a dozen baby plants for free. Thanks for reading and getting in touch. Karen

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