Frequently Asked Questions
Subpod is a unique invention which combines worms and composting underground. The Subpod has a series of holes throughout the box which allow the worms to move freely in and out. This means the surrounding soil is aerated and nutrients delivered directly to the roots of the plants where they are needed most.
Subpods will improve the condition of your soil and plants through its unique design. There is a symbiotic relationship between plant roots and the microorganisms that surround the plant roots. It is a really fascinating co-relationship that we will be discussing more on the Subpod Grow Hub:
The Subpod has been rigorously tested over the past 8 years to allow for maximum efficiency of letting worms move freely in and out, while keeping unwanted pests out.
At the top of the Subpod, we have designed a special mesh which allows air to flow in and out while being strong enough to keep out large critters such as rats, possums and anything else living in your garden.
The Subpod Airflow Panel is a key design factor in the Subpod. It means that the compost is aerated easily which means an aerobic/oxygen rich environment. This means no smelly compost heaps!
Worm mobility is key for this product and is actually what makes Subpod more advantageous over conventional systems. If something is added to the Subpod which the worms do not like, e.g. onions or chilies, the worms can move to the other side of the Subpod, or move out into the surrounding soil and move back into the Subpod when they like.
Subpod is also an underground system, which means more stable temperatures all year-round. Most worm farms are exposed to the elements and can easily die with temperature fluctuations.
The Subpod is made from water and food safe plastic which has a minimum life of 10 years in the soil without any leaching or degradation.
Another unique factor that makes the Subpod special is its unique interconnecting design that allows multiple modules to be added to cater for larger volumes of waste. The modular design, along with the bench seating aspect, makes it perfect for cafes and restaurants, as well as incorporating into your own garden. The Subpod can be buried into the ground, or made into an above-ground garden bed which you can sit on and enjoy the fruits of your labour :)
The idea is mimicking nature where worms eat, roam, and spread nutrients. Worms are not confined to the Subpod, but learn to return there for feeding. As for getting full, it does not fill up as quickly as most systems because of the worm mobility, plus the worms and microbes are continuously eating. This keeps the compost levels low inside the Subpod. We find that you end up only needing to empty the contents a couple of times per year, or more if you would like to distribute your compost and worm castings throughout your garden.
In most systems, because you are creating worm castings in a confined area, you need to take them out and apply them to your garden. This is a two-step process. For Subpod, it is just the one step of composting and the soil biology does the rest! Of course, there are times when people will want to use worm castings in other areas of their garden, and we have designed the Subpod lid to allow for easy access to scoop out your worm castings.Last updated:
We will finish our second round of manufacturing this month and we expect to ship in the middle of December. Shipping will take around 4 to 6 weeks, so we expect orders to arrive in the middle to late January. We think this allows enough time for possible shipping delays, customs, etc.
There can, however, be unexpected delays considering we are a start-up company and are ironing out all the bugs. There can also be unexpected events that are beyond our control with the weather, customs clearance, couriers, etc. We have experienced staff involved in production management and shipping logistics and are doing our very best to get our Subpods delivered to our customers in this time-frame :)
We will email you our progress as we continue through the manufacturing process, and also when we ship your order.Last updated:
I’ve heard you shouldn’t compost onion and garlic. What about if it’s cooked into a meal? Or the skins?
Onions, garlic and skins are fine in the Subpod. At the start, when your Subpod system is beginning, you should only add small amounts.
Over time you will be able to add more onions and garlic to your Subpod (after 4 months). If the system is kept stirred and moist, the skins break down quickly.
The design of Subpod allows the worms to distance themselves from any food they don’t like until it has been broken down by the microbes into a more palatable form.
You can use the divider in the Subpod as a good resource to divide the onions, garlic and skins into one side, and allow the worms to move to the other side until the other side is more palatable for the worms. If you keep rotating between the different sides of the divider when you add your food scraps - this will allow the worms to move to the other side.
The worms can also migrate out through the holes into the surrounding soil and hang with the plants until any strong oils or off gassing calms down.Last updated:
It’s great to be concerned about the use of plastic, and we have put a lot of energy into this. When designing the Subpod we have considered many factors, and one of the main things that are important to us is a circular life economy.
We have found that the best material we can use now to manufacture our Subpods is polypropylene which is naturally BPA free. This is one of the safest plastics available from a health perspective with no endocrine disruptor chemicals and with undetectable leaching. Because we have designed the Subpod for durability and long life use, as a priority we are initially making Subpods from virgin polypropylene and will field test blends of up to 50% recycled polypropylene to verify these blends have sufficient strength and longevity to permit the use of a percentage of recycled polypropylene in Subpod manufacturing.
Polypropylene is water and food safe and has been used in the food industry for many years, able to withstand high temperatures of about 110 degrees Celsius/230 Fahrenheit. Using polypropylene, Subpods are expected to have a minimum usable lifespan of 10-15 years in the soil without any leaching or degradation which is important since the Subpod will contain and be surrounded by a microbe-dense soil in a wide range of conditions, including damp and high humidity areas.
Doubling as bench seating requires that the materials chosen support body weight. Polypropylene based Subpods can bear up to 200 kilograms/440.93 pounds.
Finally, the Subpod can be recycled when it reaches the end of its life in your garden, completing its life cycle. There are exciting plastic substitutes being developed which we are looking into, but most of these are designed to be composted after use and we need the Subpod to hold up strong for many years while it is efficiently composting all of your kitchen waste ;-)
It’s number for recycling is 5.Last updated:
I’m sorry but we are not manufacturing the Subods in Byron Bay. We also cannot afford to purchase in bulk and ship to our office in Byron Bay for local pick-up. To have local pick-up would include setting up storage and logistics, and we are just not able to do that right now.
At the moment we need your support through pre-orders through our web shop to get our manufacturing, shipping and logistics up and running. We are offering discounted Subpods and subsidizing the shipping at the moment so that we can ship to as many people around the world as possible.
In time we would love to have Subpods available for pick-up locally :)Last updated:
Please fill in our Distributor and High Volume Order application form and we will be in touch as soon as we can.
Please enter as much information as you can in the form so that we can assess whether you will be a suitable candidate to work with our company.
You are welcome to purchase Subpods through our webshop or Kickstarter campaign to get first-hand experience with our products before you commit to working with Subpod.
Do you still need to chop everything up quite small for the worms to manage? Chop all the thick stems of cauliflower or broccoli, avocado skins etc! Crush eggshells? Leave out seeds?...
You don’t need to chop everything up small for the worms. Chopping simply speeds up the process so the food breaks down more quickly. Composting will still take place in the warm, moist environment if you put in larger chunks. The worms will just wait until the microbes have softened up the more resistant pieces.
Remember to use the aerator when you add food so larger food chunks are sent below the surface and break down rather than drying out.
If it’s too much hassle to leave seeds out, that’s ok too. Some seeds will sprout in the Subpod, but many will not, some of these will germinate later when you use the castings to fertilize your plants and you’ll just have a bit more weeding to do to pluck them out.
With eggshells, a simple crushing to flatten is enough, over time, the pieces get smaller and eventually break down.Last updated:
Yes, we have Duo's and Trio bundles available with even more of a discount than purchasing 1 Subpod!Last updated:
The Subpod will not come with the wooden seat that is seen in some of the photographs or videos, but it will come with a built-in seat that can hold up to 200 kilograms//440.93 pounds.
The seat/lid will have a nice texture similar to a natural stone finish.
We will have DIY (Do It Yourself) videos and instructions for customizing your Subpod, i.e. add a wooden slatted top seat or a worm tea collection system for apartments or other places where you want to separate the worm juice from the soil and use in different areas around the garden.Last updated:
Size: 75cm x 45cm x 43cm / 29.5 in x 17.7 in x 16.9 in
Weight: 9.4kg / 20.7lbs
Chamber Capacity: 85 Litres
Lid Weight Capacity: Up to 200kg / 440.9lbs
Composting Capacity: 15kg / 33lbs per week
Annual Emission Offset: 2.24 tonnes CO2e
Compost Worms Required: Approx 2000Last updated:
You can compost a lot more things in Subpod than compared to an ordinary worm farm. You can compost food scraps, including citrus, onions, and after 4 months of active use even small quantities of meat, fish, dairy, and spicy foods.
Carbon items such as paper and cardboard, lawn and garden clippings, and a whole lot more can be composted in Subpod.
You CANNOT compost non-organics such as plastic, tin cans, cigarettes, etc.
101 things to Compost
Our lives are sustained, enhanced and surrounded by a long list of consumables. Foods, health products, laundry products, and even those things for the cat or dog - and 99.9% of the time there's a waste element. Every day we're confronted with decisions on how to best dispose of this waste.
Here's a list of 101 items you probably didn't know you could compost!
FROM THE KITCHEN
Fruit and vegetable scraps
Egg shells (crushed)
Loose leaf tea and tea bags (Make sure they are made of natural materials like hemp or cotton, and not rayon or other synthetics. If in doubt, just open it and compost the tea leaves alone.)
Spoiled soy/rice/almond/coconut milk
Used paper napkins and paper towels
Unwaxed cardboard pizza boxes (ripped or cut into small pieces)
Paper bags (shredded)
The crumbs you sweep off of the counters and floors
Stale bread, pitas, or tortillas
Stale tortilla chips or potato chips
Spoiled pasta sauce or tomato paste
Crumbs from the bottom of snack food packaging
Paper towel rolls (shredded)
Cardboard boxes from cereal, pasta, etc. (Remove any plastic windows and shred)
Used paper plates (as long as they don’t have a waxy coating)
Nut shells (except for walnut shells, which are toxic to plants)
Tofu and tempeh
Seaweed, kelp or nori
Unpopped, burnt popcorn kernels
Old herbs and spices
Stale lollies (crushed or chopped)
Stale protein or “energy” bars
Cardboard egg cartons (cut them up)
Stale pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds (chopped up so they can’t sprout)
Avocado pits (chopped up so they don’t sprout)
Wine corks (chop up so they decompose faster)
Moldy cheese (in moderation)
Melted ice cream (in moderation)
Old jelly, jam, or preserves
Stale beer and wine
Toothpicks (wooden or bamboo)
Bamboo skewers (break them into pieces)
Paper cupcake or muffin cups (was free)
Fur from the dog or cat brush
Droppings and bedding from your rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, etc.
Newspaper/droppings from the bottom of the bird or snake cage
Horse, cow, chicken or goat manure, etc
Alfalfa hay or pellets (usually fed to rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.)
Dry dog or cat food, fish pellets
AROUND THE HOUSE
Dead insects (cockroaches, etc)
Contents of your vacuum cleaner bag or canister (pick out any inorganic stuff, like coins or legos)
Contents of your dustpan (again, pick out any inorganic stuff)
Newspapers (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)
Junk mail (shredded, remove coated paper and plastic windows)
Subscription cards from magazines (shredded)
Hession bags (cut or torn into small pieces)
Old rope and twine (chopped, natural, unwaxed only)
Leaves trimmed from houseplants
Dead houseplants and their soil
Flowers from floral arrangements
Ashes from the fireplace, barbecue grill, or outdoor fire pits (in moderation)
Dead autumn leaves
Sawdust (from plain wood that has NOT been pressure-treated, stained or painted)
Party and Holiday Supplies
Wrapping paper rolls (cut into smaller pieces)
Paper table cloths (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)
Crepe paper streamers (shredded)
Paper lanterns (smashed)
Those hay bales you used as part of your outdoor decor (broken apart)
Natural holiday wreaths (chop up with pruners first)
Christmas trees (chop up with pruners first, or use a wood chipper, if you have one…)
Evergreen garlands (chop up with pruners first)
FROM THE BATHROOM
Used facial tissues
Hair from your hairbrush
Trimmings from an electric razor
Toilet paper rolls (shredded)
Old loofahs (cut up, natural only)
100% cotton, cotton balls
Cotton swabs made from 100% cotton and cardboard (not plastic) sticks
100% cotton tampons and sanitary pads (including used)
Cardboard tampon applicators
FROM THE LAUNDRY
Dryer lint (from natural fabrics only!)
Old/stained cotton clothing and jeans (ripped or cut into small pieces)
Cotton fabric scraps (shredded)
Old wool clothing (ripped or cut into small pieces)
Very old cotton towels and sheets (shredded)
FROM THE OFFICE
Bills and other plain paper documents (shredded)
Envelopes (shredded, minus the plastic window)
Sticky notes (shredded)
Old business cards (shredded, as long as they’re not glossy / laminated)Last updated:
The Subpod Grow Garden Bed is strong and stylish, made from high-quality steel with an anti-corrosion coating of aluminium and zinc for long life.
The expected life of this type of steel is at least 15 years. It should last 4 times stronger than galvanized steel.
The bolts and screws are made from stainless steel which will also have a long life.
120cm long x 90cm wide x 45cm high.Last updated:
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