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Worm Composting In a Garden Tower – Expert Tips

The Garden Tower system is a garden, composter, and worm farm in one. The great thing is that you feed the worms, who in turn feed your plants.

It’s a little self-contained ecosystem that allows you to grow 50 plants in 4 square feet – you can fit this nearly anywhere!

When you water your plants, nutrients leach through from top to bottom. In this video, Kristi and Tom explain how vermicomposting in the Garden Tower works, why it works, and how to look after your worms.

Kristi Armes is a vertical garden system expert. In the video, she is joined by Tom Tlusty, an expert worm rancher.

Vermicomposting, or worm farming, is different from normal composting.

When you think of composting, you might think of a big pile of materials on the ground, or materials in a compost bin or tumbler.

When you use the right mixture of brown (high carbon) and green (high nitrogen) materials, the pile heats up. The heat attracts microbes which help to break the pile down into compost.

You might find some worms in these types of compost, but usually not until it has cooled down.

They’re a different type of worm too. I refer to these worms as earthworms. Tom calls them earthmovers. They crawl around and eat little bits of roots and things.

You can achieve some amazing things with this system:

amazing garden tower plants
An ultra-productive garden tower on a patio. Image via GardenTowerProject.
nice garden tower with flowers cabbage
Kale and cabbage in a Garden Tower, combined with flowers. Image via GardenTowerProject.
productive garden tower tomatoes pumpkin flowers
Look at the tomatoes at the top of this Garden Tower! Image via GardenTowerProject.
two productive garden tower gardens vegetables
This Garden Tower owner is producing plenty of food for their family! Image via GardenTowerProject.
very succesful garden tower plants
Tomatoes and basil, combined with other herbs and flowers in a Garden Tower. Image via GardenTowerProject.

Related: A Super Simple Worm Compost System for Your Kitchen Scraps

Vermicomposting uses compost worms.

These are worms you find in the top few inches of compost or leaf litter, and they’re the worms you use in your Garden Tower.

They’re not earthmovers, they prefer an environment with loose materials and will enjoy your kitchen scraps. Red Wrigglers are a type of compost worm.

Red Wrigglers are much smaller than earthworms, like the Nightcrawler.

Tom mentions many people ask how much they should feed the worms in their Garden Tower. He advised that you start small, only feed a handful of scraps every few days.

When the food starts to disappear quicker, you can adjust the amount accordingly.

Garden Tower Project

Tom also runs us through how to create the worm habitat.

He saves up materials such as kitchen paper rolls and packing paper, and shreds these into a worm habitat, mixed with straw and corn husks. The smaller the pieces are, the quicker they will break down.

Related: 16 Vital Things You Must Know Before Starting a Garden

Use a variety of brown materials and add about 4″ of this into the bottom of the vermicomposting tube of your Garden Tower.

Read the full article over at Garden Tower Project!

This article was originally published in August 2019 and updated in September 2021.


  • Jack of all trades, master of some. Wild garden grower. Loves creating stuff. From food forests and survival gardens to soap and yoghurt. A girl on a farm with two kids and one husband (yep, just one - although another one would be handy). Weirdly enjoys fixing fences and digging holes. Qualified permaculture teacher and garden go-to.

Suzanne Harris

Thursday 9th of September 2021

Yep this sounds so logical to me, super way to garden especially for an old lady like me, make the use of every little space, no room for weeds