Plant people rejoice: This $56 Kmart hack doubles as a DIY worm farm AND herb garden.


Thanks to the rise in apartment living and smaller gardens, indoor plants are having a moment.

We know this to be true.

But for anyone gunning to take their green thumb into the outside world, food writer and television presenter, Melissa Leong (Instagram @fooderati), has a low-waste hack that combines a worm farm and a herb garden all-in-one.

It’s great for small spaces, environmentally-friendly and you can get most of the materials quite affordably from Kmart and Bunnings.

Better yet, you can smash out the project in under an hour and all you need tool-wise is a power drill.

This is what your finished planter could look like:

Video by Instagram @fooderati

Speaking to Mamamia, Melissa, who you might recognise as a judge on SBS’ The Chef’s Line, said that while her creation isn’t a new, or “revolutionary” idea, it’s based on permaculture principles which are normally used in bigger spaces. However, she’s adapted the concept to suit her Melbourne apartment.

“I wanted to find a solution that was no-fuss, looked good and wasn’t exorbitantly expensive, and while doing some research about various composting methods for small spaces, I found this pot plant/worm farm combo,” she explained.


“[While] I love a DIY challenge, this also proves to people that you can do something like this on the cheap, which means there’s really very little excuse not to do it.”

Melissa says she was inspired by worm farm gardens, like those created by Aussie brand Composta, to reduce her environmental footprint. According to environmental group, Sustainability Victoria, the average Victorian household throws away nearly three litres of fresh food (produce etc.) a week, with younger households aged 18 to 24 the worst offenders, wasting 14.2 litres of food (both fresh and prepared) a week.

“As a food writer married to a chef [that’s Romeo Lane’s Joe Jones], we cook a lot at home. But even after using trimmings for stocks and sauces, there is still organic waste we discard,” she said.

“I’m really thrilled that people have resonated with this idea, because at the heart of it, we all need to get real with what we’re doing to the environment, and a small contribution per person can add up to a change.”

To make one yourself, just follow her very simple instructions down below.

You got this.

What will I need for this DIY worm farm?

DIY worm farm Kmart
The goods. Image: Instagram @fooderati.

TOTAL: $56-75 (give or take) depending on which herbs your choose.

How do I makes this DIY worm farm?

1. Use a power drill to drill some holes on the sides of the toilet roll, around a quarter of the way up from the bottom.

DIY worm farm Kmart
Get that power drill handy. Image: Instagram @fooderati.

2. Repeat this and drill a few holes in the base of the pot around the space where your toilet roll holder will go. This is important for drainage.

3. Place the toilet roll in the centre of the pot.

DIY worm farm Kmart
This is what your worm farm should look like structurally. Image: Instagram @fooderati.

4. Soak the coir in water for 10 minutes.

5. Place a handful of the coir mulch in the base of the toilet roll tube, then add your worms and top with a handful of finely chopped kitchen scraps (no meat, dairy, oil, onions or citrus).

DIY worm farm Kmart
Layer your coir peat, worms and food scarps in the toilet roll holder. Image: Instagram @fooderati.

6. Pop the lid on. Alternatively you could switch this out with a bowl planter.

7. Fill the pot with soil and add in your plants.

DIY worm farm Kmart
To maximise your plant space, use a bowl as the lid to your worm farm. Genius. Image: Instagram @fooderati.

Now wait a few days to let the worms acclimatise and eat the initial round of food. After that you can start adding in extra kitchen scraps.

"They should be able to handle a day's worth of scraps at a time, but to help the little guys out, try to chop your scraps into small pieces," she recommends.

"These potted versions are great for balconies, or even indoors, depending on what you choose to plant."

Now pat yourself on the back, and wait for your herb garden / mini veggie patch to flourish. If you like you can also

You can follow Melissa Leong on Instagram @fooderati and see her genius side board kitty litter hack here. 

Would you try this DIY worm farm hack? What are your anti-waste tricks and tips? Tell us in a comment below.