Saturday, 14 June 2008

Wormery Update

Way back in February I wrote about my new wormery and promised to let you know how things went. Well I’m pleased to report that after an initial set back, the worms are now fat, happy and munching their way through my kitchen waste.

Unfortunately, the first lot of worms died. I think that was due to a combination of factors. One was that it was cold and they just didn’t have enough compost to get warm and cosy in, and the second was that I over fed them. By putting too much waste in the wormery before they’d got themselves properly established, I suffocated the poor things. Putting too much of one kind of food in didn’t help matters either. They had far too many potato peelings to deal with.

I removed much of the food and left things to see how they went. When it got the point where I could only find two living worms, I decided it was time to top up. Two worms do not a wormery make.

A trip to the local fishing supply store turned up a lovely tub of 50 beautiful wrigglers that were just right for the job and these were duly introduced to their new home. I could almost hear the sigh of relief when they realised they were going to be enjoying life in a cosy wormery being fed all sorts of goodies rather than ending life on a fisherman’s hook. Mind you, should I ever decide to do a spot of fishing later, I may well pick a few out again but isn’t that life? You just don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring!

I’ve eased up on the feeding this time and when I checked them a few days ago, a whole bunch of them made a beeline for the lower layers (they don’t like the light) so it appears they’re thriving. A good portion of the food is being turned into compost, too.

Fingers crossed that I’ve cracked it this time.

Sharon J xx


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Gavin said...

Hi Sharon. Worms are the best! I initially bought 1000 worms when I started my vermicomposting. They have multiplied to about 5000 now and breed like rabbits under the right conditions. I have notice that now it is winter here in Australia, they have slowed down their eating habits. It must be a worm thing! I blend my kitchen scraps, as I find the little buggers consume the waste quicker, and they don't have to wait for the scraps to rot down first.


Sharon J said...

Funnily enough, I read about blending the scraps on another blog recently (maybe it was yours?) but as I don't have a blender and don't really want to buy a new one, I have to feed the scraps whole at the moment. I shall keep my eyes peeled at book markets, on freecycle etc for a second-hand one though.

I'm not sure how many worms I have now. The little blighters scoot off as soon as I take the lid off.

Pat said...

I have a wormery for about 3 years now but the worms don't get through the scraps quick enough for me to get rid of everything that way and there's no room in my courtyard garden for a composter. I'll have to try the blender method (thank you Gavin).

Sharon J said...

As I see it, the only drawback with using a blender is the washing up!

Sara said...

Oh my goodness! I have a weird fascination with worm farms, but am not quite gutsy enough to do it myself. Good for you!

Jeanne said...

LOL I tried a wormery on my balcony by the kitchen and failed miserably (i.e. killed the poor lil' things). I'm lucky to have a big back yard so I have room for a compost pile in the garden, where the worms are happier.

I cut up my kitchen scraps, which works for me because it's quick, and cleaning a kitchen knife is easier than cleaning a blender everyday. Mind you, I don't cut the scraps as small as a blender would, so they take longer to compost, but it still works in the end.

Sharon J said...

Sara. What's stopping you? They don't bite and you never have to touch them. So far I've found the whole thing quite fascinating but you do have to be careful about placement; too much sun and the little blighters will bake up and die - too much shade and they'll freeze during winter. I do plan on wrapping bubble wrap around my wormery during winter, though.


Jeanne. I also cut up larger scraps like cabbage/lettuce leaves etc. Potato peeling go in 'as is' although they're sprouting now. I just hope they don't start producing spuds before the worms can get at them ;)

Maybe I'll wait until I get a dishwasher before getting a blender. I have to make housework as simple as I can otherwise I just end up exhausted and spend the next day stuck in bed.

Jeanne said...

I couldn't live without a dishwasher!! lol. (Hey, if you're stuck in bed, it doesn't do your compost any good - that's my story and I'm sticking to it ;-)