My Free Fertiliser Factory

I have a miniature urban orchard and my FFF used to be a worm farm.

My ‘orchard’ is a converted 20 square metres car space with two rows of fruit trees in containers on each side, totalling 60+ trees.  Most of them are citrus but there are a number of guavas, figs, and miscellaneous others, including a gingko, a lychee, a curry leaf and a cinnamon tree.


There’s little land around the rest of my 200 square metres property after allowing for the cottage and set back from neighbours (including an easement down the length of one side) but there are also a number of fruit trees against the fence – more citrus, figs, guava, mangoes, Davidson plum, persimmons, pomegranate, loquat, longan and a bay tree.

Container plants require regular fertilising as nutrients leach from the pots that need to be well drained.  When it rains – and it can pour in Sydney; sometimes for days – the soil in the pots are ‘rinsed’.  With the FFF I have managed to wean my trees off slow release fertilisers and most other supplements.


The worm farm produces good tonics for the trees.  It also produces more worms.  That population explosion has resulted in an extension of two more worm farms.  Three worm farms was all that I had room for so I started to feed the worms to my fish.


My fish tank is a converted planter, bought second-hand.  I lined the planter and turned it into a ‘pond’.  It has no filter or aerator so I put in oxygenating plants and ‘vacuum’ it with a hand pump, taking a bucket of water out of it regularly.  This water is nutrient rich and when mixed with worm juice and compost, makes a powerful tonic.

With the help of a neighbour who donates her kitchen waste, my worms are well fed. They, in turn feed my fish. The worm and fish waste feed my trees and on it goes.

My orchard was featured on national TV in Australia:

About Mary Tang

An urban orchardist everyday, a volunteer regularly, a poet sometimes and a blogger since March 2015. I travel when I can. Food is a constant.
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3 Responses to My Free Fertiliser Factory

  1. You know we are both impressed with your orchard

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mattb325 says:

    I love it – I remember seeing that episode when it aired it was so wonderful touring your potted, productive, urban forest. (I think you have packed more in your 20m2 than almost every other traditional quarter-acre block)
    I love the worm-castings and fish-pond waste. It really does work miracles

    Liked by 1 person

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