WORMERY ANYONE ?

Love to have animals around? Perhaps you're being plagued by them? All your tips here...

Moderators: KG Steve, Chantal, Tigger, peter

User avatar
sue-the-recycler
KG Regular
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 11:20 am
Location: North Staffs

Postby sue-the-recycler » Sun May 06, 2007 12:58 pm

Hi Bella
Worms always move at night, daylight and the heat of the sun plus their visibility to predators mean the cover of darkness is when they move about. Intensive worm farms use light in much the same way as the cattle farmer uses an electric fence :) Warm humid weather will always see them on the move and unless you have a close fitting lid and no other obvious route out you will find there will be a steady stream of escapees, even when the conditions in the bin are perfect. On the whole I find my less secure bin has a fluctuating population dependant on conditions but maintains enough of a population to do the job.
0 x
User avatar
princessyukki
KG Regular
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 11:35 am
Location: Lancashire

Postby princessyukki » Thu May 10, 2007 11:56 am

This is probably a really daft question but I'm going to ask it anyway! :?

Can you feed the worms with normal garden waste eg leaves, weeds, flower heads, along well as our food; I don't have a big enough garden - it is mostly gravel with a few borders and I have no grass - to warrant a separate garden composter?

Thanx

:oops:
0 x
User avatar
Chantal
KG Regular
Posts: 5652
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:53 am
Location: Rugby, Warwickshire
x 107

Postby Chantal » Thu May 10, 2007 7:13 pm

Hi Princessyukki and welcome

I don't see why not as that's the sort of stuff you'd put in a normal compost heap. I do add some weeds etc, but not much as I have enough from the kitchen. Don't forget to add torn up cardboard (toilet roll innards, egg boxes etc) too which will bulk up their meal somewhat.
0 x
Chantal

I know this corner of the earth, it smiles for me...
Bella
KG Regular
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 4:06 pm
Location: Hampshire

Postby Bella » Thu May 17, 2007 4:27 pm

Hi Everyone, just a quick Q from me as I've not got time to be on here lately - does anyone why I have ants inside my wormery? As you know from my posts, my family is only 2 weeks old, and we have seen babies today, but also ants - is this normal or should I kick them out?!

Thanks
0 x
User avatar
princessyukki
KG Regular
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 11:35 am
Location: Lancashire

Hi Chantal & Rosie

Postby princessyukki » Thu May 17, 2007 4:45 pm

Thanks for the advice.
My little bundles of joy arrived on Wednesday and are tucked up in their new home with plenty of torn newspaper and a couple of pieces of carpet to keep them warm, as the weather up north has taken a turn for the worse at the mo.
:D
0 x
User avatar
lynne
KG Regular
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:56 am
Location: Kingsclere, Hampshire

my worms don't look very happy

Postby lynne » Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:07 pm

Hi all
I've had a quick squint on the wiggly wigglers site and thought i'd ask the collective wisdom of KG for advice too.
I think my worms aren't very happy :(
The collecting tray wasn't draining awfully well so I decided to investigate. I found that whilst there wasn't very much fluid in there there was a handful of ill looking worms. The first working level has turned into compost and I guess I need to take the good stuff out, so I've placed it on top of the second working level.
Earlier in the week I ordered some lime mix and some worm treat.
My questions are as follows
Why might my little wormies fall ill and languish in the collecting tray? I've cleaned it out thoroughly and disposed of the dead and smelly worms and put it back into position.
Even though I'm not using the 3rd working tray is it ok to put the 1st tray on top of tray 2? It looks extremely well composted to me, but my eye is untrained!

Many thanks for any advice; I dread the thought of my little wiggly wonders being unhappy.
:)
0 x
Where do you go to my lovely, when you're alone in your shed...
fen not fen
KG Regular
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:54 am
Location: north lincolnshire

abject failure

Postby fen not fen » Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:58 am

So am I he only one who can't make the damn things work? It was always without fail stinky, soggy and not breaking down. I left the tap draining permanently into a bucket and still the bin seemed very wet. The worms were forever climbing out of the top. It was routinely infested with fruit flies and the mice chewed through the lid. I was told that I was putting too much stuff in, but as the bin I bought was a family size one, and there were just the two of us I found this hard to believe. I topped up the worms from a local large scale wormery several times and the smell just got worse. In the end I put a peg on my nose, waited till the neighbours went out and dumped it all on the compost heap where it promptly broke down in a couple of weeks. Still the money wasn't totally wasted as the bin makes a very good nettle/comfrey tea maker
0 x
Bella
KG Regular
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 4:06 pm
Location: Hampshire

Postby Bella » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:49 am

Hi I thought it was about time I gave some feedback on my new wormery - well it's not new now, my babies are now 8months old, and they are doing just grand! At first I was worried I wasn't do it right, I remember I wrote about them escaping alot! Well now I know that they were hungry, and so I just chucked a load of food in, and now they're settled in! The other thing that helped is that through the summer I would put an old sheet over the bin under the lid, and then put the lid back on, this prevented them from doing a runner in the night. I used to do this at bedtime (kids think it's great, Mummy's putting the worms to bed!) because they would climb the bin and hide all around the lid, so we have got used to handling them, otherwise we would squash them when we put the lid back on - uggghhh!
About the teabags - I've noticed this is their favourite breeding material, I can regularly go in and pick up an old tbag and it will be full of babies, even in the winter (my bin is a standard plastic dustbin, with a old foam bedroll - the really dense type - tied round it, it sits off the ground, by the back door, facing north) I don't put any damp stuff in other than the tbags, and every few weeks I give the whole lot a good churn, to check that if I have over-fed, there isn't any old unchewed food in it, as I notice that the worms like to breed just under the surface, and have read that they then don't feed further down - not sure if this is correct so I'm watching for it.
Other than that, I'm rather looking forward to the warmer weather, as the worms just don't seem to need me in the winter :( I can go for maybe a week when I don't even take the lid off, and they're fine, still reproducing ( have to say, I am assuming that the little white jobs all in the tbags and up the sides are baby worms - nothing else has evolved as far as I can tell...?!
Haven't had any liquid out of the tap, but like I say, all seems well; I'm so pleased, as plants don't seem to grow well in our garden, we can't keep indoor goldfish for long, and the Sea Monkeys my daughter had for Christmas aren't even as prolific as they apparently should be - oh well, worms will do me :)

Happy worming!

ps about the fruit flies - disgusting things - I just don't put fruit in the summer, it seems to be ok in the winter so they will have to go without that treat in the summer!
0 x
GIB
KG Regular
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:17 am

Postby GIB » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:48 pm

Hi Bella

I hate to say this but i think you will find that the 'little white jobs' are in fact fruit fly larvae. Baby worms emerge with exactly the same colouring as the older/adult worms i.e. red/purple.

You are right about the worms breeding just under the surface. Don't be too worried about small pockets of undigested food deeper down. As the eggs take 3 to 4 weeks to hatch the baby worms will consume any left-overs on their way up to the surface.
0 x
PLUMPUDDING
KG Regular
Posts: 3269
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:14 pm
Location: Stocksbridge, S. Yorks
x 380

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:34 pm

Hi everyone, This is extremely informative. I've had a Wiggly Wigglers wormery for about 3 years and like everyone else find the compost excellent especially for topping up pot plants, but not much of it.

I use the liquid diluted for all my indoor plants and they never seem to stop flowering. I leave the tap on all the time and have a bowl under it to catch the liquid as I thought it was getting too wet.

I like the idea of using a wool jumper instead of the moisture mat which disintegrated quite quickly, so tomorrow they are going to get a stripey lambswool jumper to keep them cosy as it isn't even fit for gardening in anymore.
0 x
Di
KG Regular
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:07 pm
Location: Bristol

Why worms go walkies - maybe

Postby Di » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:30 pm

Hi all,
a most interesting and informative thread, who'd have thought there could be so much to know? I have picked up a few helpful pointers to get production up.

I'd like to warn people though that the design given on troubleatmill.co.uk is a bit flimsy, mine fell over under the weight of wet compost in the first year and I had to scoop soggy compost and worms up into a dustbin.

Since then a friend has given me a wormery - much like a mini wheelie bin in shape. From posts in this thread I gather its the wrong shape for maximum feeding area, but it fits a gap in my tiny garden and it does deal with things I wouldn't put on a normal heap. The liquid keeps all my plants happy, including two cherry trees in pots.

Can anyone tell me what worm food is - is it basicallly just protein, or? If mainly for protein would the reject cat biscuits ground up be good for them do you think?

I'd also suggest that its normal for worms to leave and despite a constant stream of explorers over the years there are always worms aplenty. A friend who fishes took some away to fatten up, pointing out that the population will expand to the limits of the foodsource. At maximum density each worm will be lean and tough, rather than fat. Fat worms will be able to breed better, hence the drive to find pastures new and other chubby worms in the wild.
0 x
Bella
KG Regular
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 4:06 pm
Location: Hampshire

identifying the 'Little white jobs'!

Postby Bella » Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:31 pm

Oh dear - thankyou GIB for alerting me to what the LWJ's might be! Anyway I got straight on to checking this out, but it might have been more useful if I hadn't been quite so flippant in my description :oops: ...it seems that in fact they are a type of nematode, a friendly type that shows that my worm house is quite happy, if a little acidic maybe (that could be due to their main diet of tea bags!) Here are a couple of links to just some of the info (of which there was masses, eg people buy them these days to use as pest control!) I found <bucketofworms.co.uk> and <aspects.net/secure/greengardener/custquest.htm>

Consequently I had another 'rummage' and was pleased to find that there are indeed still Dendras in there, they're just not climbing up the side of the bin - I think I just won't worry about it for now, if the presence of the nematodes is a good sign, I'll wait til it's warmer and then they might show themselves...if I'm honest, I haven't been bothered to go and buy some lime mix - is this really necessary, isn't there anything in our food waste that is more alkali?

btw I wouldn't suggest that you look at the nematode pictures if Dendras are as squeamish as you can manage - I found the ones under a microscope a bit much!!
0 x
User avatar
Chantal
KG Regular
Posts: 5652
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:53 am
Location: Rugby, Warwickshire
x 107

Postby Chantal » Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:56 am

Hi Plumpudding

I tried the woolly jumper "duvet" for a while but didn't like it. It was fine when it was dry but then it rained and jumper became cold, sodden and very heavy. I threw it out and now use newspaper instead which breaks down a lot more quickly. I also try to cover my wormery in very wet weather as well as leaving the tap open all the time.

Due for a spring clean and check over next weekend; not a job I enjoy :?
0 x
Chantal

I know this corner of the earth, it smiles for me...
PLUMPUDDING
KG Regular
Posts: 3269
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:14 pm
Location: Stocksbridge, S. Yorks
x 380

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:56 am

Hi Chantal & Rosie,

I have a roof over my wormery, so hopefully the jumper won't get too soggy. Like you, I think I'll have to dismantle it and clean it out when the weather warms up a bit. There doesn't seem to have been much activity of late.

Pat
0 x
Bella
KG Regular
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 4:06 pm
Location: Hampshire

Postby Bella » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:49 pm

I've been using a piece of old carpet, which I just cut to size, although it seems rather pointless at the mo, as the only visible life form is still the (aforementioned) 'nematodes'! Although I notice that in the bunch of wilted coriander leaves I rather lazily dumped without chopping the other day, there is a largish hole that 'something' must've have burrowed...watch this space... :shock:

Should add that my bin has it's plastic lid on it too.
0 x

Return to “Birds, Animals and Livestock”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests