Wormery woes update

Being naturally very concerned about the welfare of the worms, I have finally got hold of a cheapo ph tester, and revealed that excess acidity, in the billiard room, with the candlestick is probably not the culprit. I suspect that the worms did indeed drown in their own worm juice. My recent draining campaign was probably too little, too late.

Now I am trying to decide whether to just get some more, and risk them suffering the same plight, or get a new wormery, and be very careful about it this time. Set up the bedding correctly, settle the little wriggly ones in and monitor whether they’re processing the food I put in for them before just chucking another load on top. I confess I have been somewhat slapdash about the whole affair in the past, but I’m also not convinced the bucket design is a good one. Karen at Wiggly Wigglers has been kind enough to suggest the Worm Factory as a cheaper version of the Can O’ Worms, so I might go for that. Or better still it must be possible to make one out of plastic boxes and a power drill?!

I just hate to throw food scraps away now, so end up putting loads into the wormery because there’s nowhere else for them to go. I don’t really have space for a compost heap in the garden unfortunately. Having said that, I think you can bury compost in special trenches, for vegetables that are particularly hungry, like beans and courgettes. Might give that a go.

I read somewhere that one wormery owner was always convinced he’d killed his worms off over the Winter, only to find them springing resiliently into life in the Spring. I’m consequently tempted to give it another month and see if they make some kind of miraculous recovery.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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7 thoughts on “Wormery woes update

  1. We put a wanted ad on Freecycle for some more worms, and had loads of offers of worms and advice from seasoned wormeryers.

    And I’m in the same position as you: the worms aren’t hungry enough, and until Pete builds my special allotment compost bin, I have too much waste. I am planning to put it in a trench down on the allotment, and grow borlotti beans. Because they’re pretty.

  2. I don’t use a worm buck or the “can-i-worms” Mine just sit in a box outside on the ground. There is no bottom in this box. The friends I have who do use a buck or plasitic box, found that they needed to add more shredded paper to keep everything balanced. They also had to be careful about the amount of water.

  3. Hi Rach,

    Don’t be too despondent about your worms.

    I too thought that my wormery had gone legs up – the contents looked sludgy and I couldn’t see many worms. I left it for several weeks, not adding any fresh waste and then one day lifted the lid to discover a healthy population of worms wriggling around inside. Since then I haven’t looked back. Wormeries always slow down over winter and if you remember to add plenty of dry material and not too much food at the moment I am sure you will be surprised at the results.

    I have also posted a comment in your previous post (welfare of the worms link above), which I hope you will find useful.

  4. I will keep an eye on them, but I’m not holding out much hope! The last time I checked I couldn’t see a single one… but you never know!

    As for the Bokashi system, I will definitely look into that, I think it could be a great idea.

    Thanks everyone!

  5. I think our model does seem to work well. We have just added the third layer and also another 500g of worms!

    They seem active in all levels and the worm treats you photographed help to keep the compost’sweet’ apparently.

    keep up the good work! The layered approach helps with rotation too as the bottom layer is almost lovely crumbly compost.

    Lol mx

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