Barrybloke's guide to a D.I.Y Wormery

tom14

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Feb 3, 2009
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677
i set up a wormery a few mongths ago and have been filling it with tea bags, eggshells, vegetables from the vegie patch and it also has rottern horse manure. when i look in and lift up the top there are no worms there so i dig a little and there are still no sign of any. i started it off with a pack of worms from the net. am i doing anything wrong???
 

tom14

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Feb 3, 2009
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677
no i dont think so! i have put drainage holes on the bottom but there is a layer of the ballast to stop them getting out and there is no sign of dirt or anything that would suggest they have escaped on the floor!!
 

mark_mjs93

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Jul 30, 2009
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tom, if the compost that is in there is dry or you put teabags in remember that the particles will stick to the worm, this acts like an amazing cammo, try watering it very lightly with a watering can with a coarse rose and put a black bin liner over the top, when there is a bit of sun, the heat will make the top open are of the wormery really humid, which they seem to love, open it up the next day and you should find some on the top, if not then within the first few layers... try digging lobbies up and go to the tackle shop and buy a match pack of worms, migth set you back a couple of quid, but this should get them going, make sure you keep it damp and dont let it dry out atall... put a 1" or 2" layer of dirt on top of the waste and this will help it rot and this is also a good way of testing how damp it is... it should be a bit damper than groundbait....
atb & tight lines
Mark
 

whalley1992

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Apr 25, 2006
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Not sure if any of you guys will know why but on the farm i work on we have two large muck heaps and they never have any worms in them, but go across the road to the stables and theirs are full of them, why don't our muck heaps have worms in them? it would save me setting up a worming if we could get them in there.
 

gavtheblade

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Sep 19, 2009
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[:H]hi all,i started mine last weekend in a galvanised drum(about the size of a moses basket)i put layers of compost,damp newspaper,and dead leaves+a good pint and a half of tackle shop bought worms in,ive cut a lid out of ply,and weighted it down on top of the drum.ive placed the wormery in my garage,ive packed it of the floor with a couple of seed trays.if i keep giving it a trickle of water,will it be enough to get them breeding?any advice would be lovely.[^]
 

spamlessuk

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Feb 4, 2005
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334
well you need to feed them any vegetable scraps you can get but no dairy, citrus fruit, onions or leeks.

I would stop the water, worms like it wet but no too wet, most of the moisture they require will come out of the scraps you feed them.

have a look at www.bucketofworms.co.uk - they have care sheets for looking after worms.
 

skibiker

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Jul 21, 2011
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The method I use for making a wormery is slightly different in that I use 2 identical containers! If you check the supermarkets you can usually get a 2 for 1 deal etc. When the containers are stacked inside each other you will notice an air space between the two at the bottom, it is usually about an inch or two, this is where the fluid is collected and also stops the worms escaping so no need for ballast, the fluid collected here is a super liquid fertilizer for the garden and your Tomato plants etc.
My construction method is simple:
Burn or drill a few small drainage holes in the bottom of ONE of the containers, the smaller the holes the less chance of the worms escaping, I use a bent heavy duty paper clip heated with a blow lamp but you could use the gas ring when the wife is out!
Now do the same with ONE of the lids to aid ventilation.
Now place the inner container with the holes in the bottom into the outer container and add about 2 inch of multi compost (do not use peat grow bags too acid) to the bottom of the inner container, add a similar amount of chopped raw vegetable peelings/waste etc.
Add your worms and you are now in business.
If you site your wormery outdoors remember to keep it level and out of direct sunlight, the spare lid can be used as a rain cover.
Do not use cooked vegetable waste because it can cause odors and attract flies.
Alternating layers of multi compost, and kitchen waste makes the container contents less slimy and aids easier harvesting of the worms.
[:T]
 

skibiker

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Jul 21, 2011
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Ps: I forgot to mention my main reasoning for my approach to the wormery!
All wormeries leak fluid out of the bottom (worm pooh), not too bad when it's in the garden and out of sight, but what about the winter? Leave it outside and the worms go into hibernation, so no bait in the winter months, and in a severe winter they can freeze so you lose the lot, I have lost the contents of 2 wormeries in the past. Take it indoors! Garage/shed/greenhouse? worm pooh all over the floor for the winter and it can smell.
The down side of my system is that you have to drain the bottom chamber from time to time.
The upside is: it is portable and you get bait all year round and lovely liquid manure for you garden.
PPs: The top exposed layer should always be multi compost.[:T]
 

skibiker

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Jul 21, 2011
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Yes, I forgot to mention in my post that I put a piece of cushion floor cut to size, on top of the last layer! Talking of newspaper they do seem to like shedded damp newspaper.[:T]
 

Jimmy-F

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Nov 21, 2011
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106
Iam wanting to start a wormery. I've bought 3 plastic boxes, from sainsbury's, to make a tiered tray rotation system. ( I can always buy a few more boxes if need be, that way!) The boxes measure 60cm long x 40cm wide x 25cm high. How many worms would I need to buy to get this up and running?? Iam thinking 250g - 500g at the moment, but, the truth is, I dont have a clue!!

How do you tell the difference between dendra's and brandlings?? ( I've read that fish aren't too keen on brandlings, because of their juices, apparantly!)

Also, can redworms live sufficiently in wormeries?? If so, please can anyone tell me where to get them?? As I can't find any anywhere! ( And I dont have access to any manure piles!)

Lastly, are normal boxes fine?? The ones I've bought, fit inside each other, but, arn't "stacking boxes"? Iam in 2 minds.... my thinking is that, with stacking boxes, there could be a gap between the top of the compost pile and the next box, which would prevent the worms migrating.
But, with the boxes I've bought, although, they wouldnt suffer from gaps preventing worm migration, they would be directly sitting on the last box full of compost, worms, etc, and potentialy squash the lot, if got too full and heavy?!?!?
 

ThrobsBlackHat

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Aug 29, 2011
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I have one of the council provided black garden compost bins.

I used a fork to coax a wad of worms out of the lawn and bunged them in.

Now within an inch of the surface there is easily 1/2 pint of worms every time I need them.

What size box do you actually recommend? Photos would help show what it looks like.

The only problem with my method is that it can take a while to collect the worms and you're looking down into a bin which isn't all that comfortable.

The lobs seem to be absolutely thriving and are always on the surface and are brilliant for fishing.
 

Hatchye

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Jun 14, 2004
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Originally posted by ThrobsBlackHat

I have one of the council provided black garden compost bins.

I used a fork to coax a wad of worms out of the lawn and bunged them in.

Now within an inch of the surface there is easily 1/2 pint of worms every time I need them.

What size box do you actually recommend? Photos would help show what it looks like.

The only problem with my method is that it can take a while to collect the worms and you're looking down into a bin which isn't all that comfortable.

The lobs seem to be absolutely thriving and are always on the surface and are brilliant for fishing.

Be careful of mixing lobs with other worms, apparently if they die they can take the other types of worms with them. Never bothered mixing lobs with Dendras so don't know for sure - but fore warned is fore armed and all that!
 

mic

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Mar 16, 2012
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Inspiring thread, read it yesterday so thought id have a go today :D I went to work and picked up 2 identical tubs. 1 I'll do nothing with as the other will go inside.

With the other one I drilled lots of drainage holes. After reading a few other DIY wormerys I cut a peice of corrugated cardboard to the same size as the bottom and put it in for the base. Apparently it'll still let water thru when wet enough but worms won't get thru for a while. As its an outdoor wormery I wanted some sort of ventilation so I got my hole saw drill bit and drilled a hole at the top. Got a bit of plastic tubing with a screw on end. Found some mesh used to repair car bodywork and put that on the screw on bit so it's good enough to let air in but no worms get out.

And that's it, filled with a bit of compost, strips of paper and spud peelings all I need now is worms :D some site said if you lay a large bit of cardboard on your lawn overnight the worms you want that live closer to the top of the dirt will be underneath the cardboard when you lift it up in the morning. Guess what I'll do before I go to bed :D



 
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peterjf

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Jun 21, 2011
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feeding your wormery, at the start , for the 1st 3 months

i feed mine spare mashed potatoes(no butter)

also spare veg from sunday lunch,
 

n/a34

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Aug 28, 2011
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i found it trial and error alot of the time,my first wormery was made out of concrete blocks,looked the business,ordered 1kg of dendras to put in it.the first night i went out to let the dog out and noticed something up the wall.on shining a torch on the wall the whole bloody wall was covered with worms!.i had put a board over the top but they still escaped.at the moment ive just got a big tub with a lid in my tackle shed.filled with sieved soil from the garden 3" from the top,all that has gone in is a thick layer of moss on top and every week i put a couple of grated carrots ontop and break the tea bags from the week over the top.everytime i look in the carrots gone.
now i have to admit ive got lobby's and some dendras in there.i went for an op in november and yesterday was the first time i had a look at them since then,fearing the worse i opened them up and.....no smell,good sign! on moving the moss the surface was covered with worms all alive and well!!.
what id really like to know is do any of you know how often do they breed?
 

wizard

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Dec 19, 2012
Messages
283
I have a wormery and it's doing quite well but I have an allotment behind me and one of the guys was telling me to put ash from wood burners and stuff in with the worms. They put it in their allotments. Has anyone ever heard of this?
 
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