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Thread: wormery advice

  1. #1

    Default wormery advice

    A few months ago i was bought one of those large dalek type compostings bins i thought great i'll use it as a wormery, since then i have put in some of my old compost plus food scraps from the kitchen (minus any meat) and it all seems to be breaking down fine.
    i have introduced probably somewhere in the region of 400 worms, the only thing that is bothering me is that there is no base on it and the worms would be free to ****** of if they please.
    I'm thinking about digging it all out and starting again but this time but some plastic sheeting with drainage holes in but dont know if im worrying unneccesarily i know my last compost heap which was in the same place minus the bin used to attract worms from the surrounding area, any wormery exeprts have any advice before i make my self a fair amount of work?

  2. #2

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    I personally would add a base, your best bet is to pull it to the side, dig a hole, fill it with coarse sand or gravel then stick a sheet of wood (WPB ply is good) with some drainage holes drilled into it, sheeting can sink and you can get pockets of mucky stuff building up at the bottom.

    Also make sure it doesnt get too wet or too dry and don't add too much food in one go.

    Krian.

  3. #3

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    i was thinking of digging it up up later tonight, i've had another poke about and while i can see worms in there there doesn't look like as many as what i have put in.
    Is this how you have your wormery set up?

  4. #4

    Default

    No, I went the cheap and cheerful method and used a plastic dustbin. Drill holes about 5cm from the bottom, fill up to about 7.5cm with a mix of 10 and 20mm gravel, then top it off with another 5cm of sand, layer of old mulch for worm bedding, the throw the compostibles on top, the lid keeps the rain off and helps to regulate the humidity a bit and forking it over for worms helps to turn the compost.

    But I had to sit through a week of talks on setting up various wormerys, snail farms and various other composting techniques whilst studying horticulture

  5. Default

    Hi

    Ive got a couple of the black plastic "dalek" bins on my allotments.

    They are standing directly onto the soil , and i have never introduced any worms to them intentionally.

    They are always about half full of garden veg waste and always have lots of worms in there - Deep red colored worms

  6. #6

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    hi gazbro

    when you say alot are you talking enough to supply you with fishing bait through the summer?
    I've read that under the right condition if you introduce 1000 worm within a year you can have as many as 33,000 now that's alot of worms.

  7. Default

    Nick

    When i first got worms from my compost bin it had been standing for several years with garden veg waste being added all the time , tho i dont think the bin was more than 3/4 full at any time . The waste/veg etc that you add rots down very quickly.

    The bottom 18 inches or so was a lovely dark compost/soil and it was heaving with dark red worms, i would say there would be plenty for a summers fishing. I never introduced any worms - they found theyre own way there.

    Last summer i emptied the bins ( put it all in a trench to grow some caulis on) and started again.
    Ill have a look inside tomorrow and see whats goin on and let you know how its come on in a year.

    I would imagine if you get a good compost bin going , and introduce worms to it , it wont be long before you have a plentiful supply.

    Cheers Gary

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank gary

  9. #9

    Default

    A compost bin will get worms in it, however worms leave disturbed areas, most compost bins are only moved once or occasionally twice a year - cold composting as opposed to hot composting where they are turned on a weekly basis - a wormery thats used to harvest worms rather than utilise them for compost will be disturbed regularly (once or twice a week in a lot of cases) and so you'll have considerably less worms resident than in a normal compost bin, hence I'd advise you put a base on to stop them leaving.

    Its like digging in your garden, a shovel full of topsoil should contain approximately 10 worms in the uk, but because people constantly dig over borders it disturbs the worms habitat, so they tend to leave, (usually moving into shrubberys and the lawn, hence the high amount of worm casts on lawns people have unless they regularly aerate the lawn) usually resulting in 1 - 2 worms per shovel full.

    So if you want a wormery to produce compost you can leave it, if your planning on regularly digging it over for worms to fish with I'd suggest putting on a base, don't get me wrong, you'll still have a fair amount of worms, but considerably less without a base.

  10. #10

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    Dendrabaenas & the small red garden worms only live in compost bin type materials, and do not live in the soil, but one thing about dendra's is that they do like to roam, constantly in search of only 2 things, food & sex.

    They tend to work in a very small layer in the compost bin, and not all the way through, and I have had the best results in one of the proprietary worm composters, bought on the net, through an posting on this site.

    To stop them roaming you need a base, sides and a lid, but the base should have decent drainage and a layer of sacking to stop the worms escaping that way. I have used all manner of compost heaps in the past but they cannot compete with my new version.

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