Newbie Questions

If you are having problems with an existing wormery, or just need some advice - then ask it here
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RazHasWorms
Junior Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:32 am

Newbie Questions

Post by RazHasWorms » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:08 am

Hi all,

Just received my 75ltr wormery with 1kg of worms for my birthday from my wife and daughter :D .

I’ve followed the instructions and have setup the wormery with just the one tray at the moment. I do have a few questions which I couldn’t find answers for so apologies if the have been asked before and I didn’t find the post.

1) I received approx 250g of worm food with my worms. The instructions say to sprinkle a handful when the worms are introduced.

I still have a large amount of this worm food. I understand that I shouldn’t give the worms any kitchen waste for 2 weeks to give them time to settle in.

My question is should I be sprinkling a handful of the worm food each day during these first two weeks?

If so, should I sprinkle the food on top of the 2” deep damp shredded paper (added as part of step 9 of setup instruction) or lift the shredded paper first, sprinkle the worm food and then recover with damp shredded paper?

2) The instructions say to use newspaper. In today’s digital world I get my news online so don’t have newspaper. Is shredded office printer paper and shredded shop receipts OK to use?

I have a HP colour laserjet printer, will the toner be safe for the worms? Mainly using black & white printing for worms.

3) After 2 weeks, I plan to use WillyWorm’s corner feeding method.

a) How much kitchen waste should I start of with in each corner for a initial population of 1kg worms?
b) Should the kitchen waste be placed on top of the 2” deep damp shredded paper (step 9 of setup instruction)?
c) Should the kitchen waste be covered with more damp shredded paper?

4) How small should the kitchen waste be chopped up initially?

5) Does the kitchen waste need to be chopped up all the time or only initially while the population establishes itself?

Sorry for the vast list of questions, I don’t want to inadvertently kill my worms. My 3 year old daughter will be so disappointed.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by WillyWorm » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:56 am

Good morning rax. Here we go, I will try to keep my answers to the same order as your questions.
1) a handful of food can be a lot of food, the worm food supplied is a grain based food and any grain based can easily go anarobic (heat-up, smell and force out oxygen) so should be used with care. I would not feed more than a desert spoonful a day to start with. Worms eat very little to start with and if they are eating more than this then you can feed kitchen scraps anyway.
I would feed it once or twice a week sprinkled on the top of the bedding. It is always better to under feed rather than over fed your worms.
2) you can use any non glossy paper or corrugated cardboard as bedding for your worms. All inks and toners are now safe apparently so no worry there. The only ink I still avoid are the glossy inks.
3) one of the reasons I like the four corner feeding set-up is the fact that it is self regulating regarding amount of food you put in, ie only feed if the corner is empty or near empty. Like I said above worms don’t eat much to start with so I feed a egg size portion to start with and feed daily till I have food in all corners, the amount can be increased over time. Scoop a hole in the corner and drop in the food and return the bedding back on top. Add more paper when you see the level drop. When feeding kitchen waste I do not wet any more bedding I find it stays wet from the food.
4) soft food items don’t need much chopping, just enough to get it in the corner and under cover, hard items need chopping or even grating small to help them brake down (worms don’t have teeth lol) this is a good reason to feed soft food when you can.
5) see 4

Hope that helps
WillyWorm

RazHasWorms
Junior Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:32 am

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by RazHasWorms » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:37 pm

Hi Willy,

Thank you so much for your speedy response and answering my list of questions.

There was a bit of a breakout during the night. I rounded up as many as I could find but fear a lot more got away. Fortunately, I opted to setup the wormery in the garage so I’ve decided to have an daylight led lamp over the wormery for the rest of the week while the worms settle in.

I presume I should leave it on 24 hours a day
and do regular patrols. Other than that they appear to be fine and settling in.

Your advice on feeding was reassuring as I was concerned I might accidentally starve them before they started on the good stuff.

Thanks again for your expertise.

Raz

RazHasWorms
Junior Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:32 am

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by RazHasWorms » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:37 pm

Hi Willy,

Thank you so much for your speedy response and answering my list of questions.

There was a bit of a breakout during the night. I rounded up as many as I could find but fear a lot more got away. Fortunately, I opted to setup the wormery in the garage so I’ve decided to have an daylight led lamp over the wormery for the rest of the week while the worms settle in.

I presume I should leave it on 24 hours a day
and do regular patrols. Other than that they appear to be fine and settling in.

Your advice on feeding was reassuring as I was concerned I might accidentally starve them before they started on the good stuff.

Thanks again for your expertise.

Raz

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by WillyWorm » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:12 pm

Hi raz, if there is a window or natural light getting into the garage then you only want the light on during darkness.
To help round up your worms if they should escape again keep a large piece of wet corrugated cardboard on the floor next to the bin. Worms won’t like the dry garage floor and will hide in the damp/dark under the cardboard, making it easy to return them to their bin.

If I can help just shout
Willy

RazHasWorms
Junior Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:32 am

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by RazHasWorms » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:29 pm

Hi Willy,

The light appears to be work as only two worms escaped last night and both were happily hiding under the damp cardboard I left in front of the wormery. Thanks, that was a useful tip.

The Wormery is at the back of the garage so not much of the natural light gets there. I’ve switched off the lamp during the day to see if it’s sufficient. It good knowing that any that do escape will most likely hide under the damp cardboard until I check up on them.

I might be worrying about nothing but I have noticed that the worms seem to be keeping to the sides of the wormery. Is this normal while they settle in or is this signs of an issue with the wormery?

Cheers,
Raz

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by WillyWorm » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:59 pm

Hi Raz, I don’t think worms staying to the sides of the bin is a problem, they will still be exploring the limits of their new world. There is some research going on that is indicating that the first generation of worms in a new environment never settle and that you must wait for the second and third generations before all is settled and calm.

RazHasWorms
Junior Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:32 am

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by RazHasWorms » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:36 pm

Thanks that is reassuring.

I guess it’s just a case of being patient now and let them settle in. :cool:

Thanks for all your help.

Raz

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