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  • Wormeries

    Hi everyone!

    Does anyone have any experience of wormeries? I got myself one at the end of August for 10 through my local council and a couple of weeks later my worms seemed to have escaped!!! (probably to the compost bin...) I phoned the supplier and they sent me another bag of worms and sealing tape to make sure they didn't run away this time. I started off feeding them them a handful of fruit and veg peelings every couple of days, but it didn't look like they were eating it and they built up after a while. I went down to feeding them only once a week, but still they didn't seem to be very hungry.... (I started wondering if I was killing them by feeding them too much!! so I had a look inside the bin in search of the worms a couple of weeks ago and I could only see a couple... I know they slow down in the winter, but yesterday I had another look and couldn't see any!! I'm thinking of emptying in the wormery next weekend and have a proper search for them. I'm really confused... I did follow the instructions that I got with the pack!

    Any ideas, anyone?


  • #2
    I dont have a wormery, but know a man who does. His advice was as follows:

    When you set up the wormery with new worms be prepared for some, if not most, to crawl and they might even escape. This is common and should settle down.

    The worms may not have much bedding that comes with them, so add some ready made compost, or well rotted horse manure to the wormery for their bedding. Add a handful of food (kitchen waste), chopped up small or even ground up so speed up decomposition. The worms shouldn't starve - they'll work through their bedding and the bit of food and then start adding more food. DO NOT OVERFEED! A good tip is to wait until the worms are working through the top layer of food and underneath this top layer is compost. Composting worms work on the surface even if there is food below, so always check what's going on under the surface as well.

    Add plenty of shredded paper/cardboard. Usually the advice is to soak it then squeeze out the water, but I found adding it dry soaked up any excess moisture in the wormery.

    Hope you make a success of it. Just remember to go at the pace of the worms, not at the rate at which you produce the kitchen waste. They will catch up, but it takes time!

    Hope this helps Acorn

    Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure


    • #3

      Thanks a million Geordie! I knew you would have the answer! I think I will still empty it next weekend and will see if I've got any worms at all and will also remove any old kitchen waste....



      • #4
        I have a wiggly wigglers wormery - I was worried about them all disappearing when I first got it so I left the lid off and left a light on in the room over night to 'discourage ' them from leaving; seems to have worked


        • #5

          Thanks Poultrychat! I keep mine outdoors, and maybe it will be a good idea to move them indoors... I might try that after my exploration at the weekend!


          • #6
            I made my own wormery after seeing this website:


            And it's been brilliant. I got a DIY rescue kit from Wiggly Wigglers as it had all the components I needed [bedding block, drainage chips, moisture mat, Lime mix, worm treat, tap and instructions as well as composting worms]. You have to get the worms acclimatised first within some bedding and let them settle in before you start feeding them. I left mine to settle in for a week and then started feeding them on a weekly basis.

            I feed them all out kitchen waste:

            Onion peels, banana peels, vegetable cuttings, salad leaves etc.

            Worms hate citrus fruit peel and flesh so don't feed them that as they will either die off or run away. I didn't realise this at first and as we have a juicer was adding a lot of citrus type matter to the mix and my worms started disappearing. Luckily though they didn't go far - I found them all huddling on the ground underneath the worm bin.

            Their activity slows down considerably over winter so make sure you insulate the worm bin - wrap bubble wrap around it or something similar. I use the woven liner that came with the Rescu Kit. But I don't really feed my worms during winter - I gave them their last feed at the beginning of December and check onthem every week, but I probably won't need to feed them again till January.

            For the rest of the year I feed them weekly and generally at the end of each month get one tub full of compost - they go through food so quickly. Also once every month I mix in a handful of 'worm treat' and a handful of 'lime mix' from wiggly wigglers that helps balance the acidity of the bin. It also help to stop any smells, flies and white worms and contains grit so it helps with the worms digestion too. Also if your worm bin contents are very wet add a little extra worm treat and lime mix as these help to dry it all out.

            Hope this info helps. If you want any more advice then let me know. I'm no expert and kind of just make things up as I go along and have been lucky that it's worked for me.
            Last edited by eskymo; 16-12-2005, 12:50 AM.


            • #7
              I built my own wormery after seeing this same website. So far I have added worms from my compost bin three times in order to build up the population in readiness for next year. I sift and search small amounts at a time in a garden griddle over a plastic trug. After I have got out all the adult worms I give the remaining compost a good shake to let the small loose bits drop into the trug. The large pieces I put back on top of my compost bin.
              When I have finished I have about 100 worms and a quarter trug full of very fine compost. This time there were lots of worm eggs in the trug so I put that soil also into my wormery at the bottom to allow the eggs to hatch for next year. Hopefully they will move upwards as they hatch.


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