more general wormery in winter questions

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leowoodscott
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:41 pm

more general wormery in winter questions

Post by leowoodscott » Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:01 am

Hi there,
You've kindly answered some of my questions before - I hope you don't mind a few more!
Over winter do the worms hibernate ie stop doing their thing and if so should I stop feeding them or at least slow down the feeding? What would you say is the correct amount to be feeding the worms and does this change between summer and winter? I have been doing up to one food caddy a week but recently I've paused feeding them as it feels like overload.
I haven't yet insulated the wormery (although I will reading previous comments) so hope that I haven't killed the poor things. They seem ok and are in a sheltered and covered spot in London which isn't the coldest spot in the UK by any means.
I haven't yet got any worm juice - after 8 months of an otherwise happy wormery - I had hoped for this to pop on my potted plants but it seems this won't be happening.
I also haven't ever grounded up the egg shells - should I take whole egg shells previously placed in out of the wormery then?

Thank you thank you!
Leo x

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 618
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: more general wormery in winter questions

Post by WillyWorm » Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:04 am

Hi, worms do not hibernate but do react to temperature rather than time of year. When worms get cold, about 10c and less they stop eating as much, go off sex, and stop making castings. They appear to turn their thoughts towards survival, at 5c or less they will gather in groups in the warmest place they can find in the bin. Worms will start to die at temperatures as low as this but many survive down to freezing point. Do try to insulate even if it only an old curtain or sheet thrown over the bin, as well as making them safer from the cold it will make them more efficient at what they do.

If a regular temperature of 10c can not be maintained then the amount of food being offered, at one time, should be greatly reduced. Feeding little and often is the best approach. Try to feed in the warm spots of the bin ie the most sheltered spot, the side nearest the house. Only feed when the previous feed has been consumed. At the moment I feed every day or so with a egg size portions of chopped up food.

If you want some liquid feed for your plants take a handful of your finished castings from one of the lower trays put in a bucket add half a bucket of water and stir, strain and use. This will keep for a week or so in a sealed bottle no longer because it’s strength will deteriorate. Do not use if it starts to smell. For delicate plants dilute again before use. This is a far better and safer plant food than the leachate that collects in the sump. I avoid leachate feeling it indicates an over wet bin.

The reason for grinding up eggshells is to provide your worms with grit to use in their gizzards, worms don’t have teeth. It also provides calcium the worms require. You may feel rough pieces of eggshell look unsightly, in which case remove them if they are acceptable then crush them in your hands.

Hope that helps
Willy

leowoodscott
Junior Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:41 pm

Re: more general wormery in winter questions

Post by leowoodscott » Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:33 pm

Thank you again Willy - always so helpful! I will insulate them

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 618
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: more general wormery in winter questions

Post by WillyWorm » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:44 pm

Your very welcome. Stay save and look after your herd.

Mazzy
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2021 10:47 am

Re: more general wormery in winter questions

Post by Mazzy » Thu Jul 08, 2021 11:40 am

Hi, just a quick question. I have bought a drum tarpaulin cover for my wormery,
As the rain here in Cornwall has been terrible, it fits really well and there is plenty of room for air to circulate, I think it will keep the the wind and rain of my little friends. They seem to be very happy and are eating well. My question is will this be ok to do, I will take it off in really warm weather. Any advice will be welcome as I am very new to having a worm farm and I am still not sure if I am doing the right thing. :)

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 618
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: more general wormery in winter questions

Post by WillyWorm » Thu Jul 08, 2021 7:42 pm

Hi it’s a great idea provided air can circulate.
I think many of us could use a good fitting bin cover maybe you could post details and where it can be purchased.

Will

Mazzy
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2021 10:47 am

Re: more general wormery in winter questions

Post by Mazzy » Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:04 pm

Hi Willy, thanks so much for your reply. I was searching for something to cover my bin in bad weather as a lot of rain was getting in. Then I saw the tarps that cover garden furniture and I found one that covers my bin perfectly it is one that is made for a garden barbecue it has air holes and goes right down to the ground. I don’t tighten the bottom so the air can circulate all round. In the winter I will put bubble wrap under the tarp to keep them warm. I got mine off Amazon it was less than £20 quid. It seems to be working at the moment and is keeping the rain out. Cheers for your reply if you think I am doing something wrong could you be so kind and let me know thank Mazzy.

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 618
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: more general wormery in winter questions

Post by WillyWorm » Sat Jul 10, 2021 7:57 am

Great sounds great. Rain getting into bins is a big problem for those of us who have to keep bins outside all year. Thanks again for the info.

Willy

Mazzy
Junior Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2021 10:47 am

Re: more general wormery in winter questions

Post by Mazzy » Sat Jul 10, 2021 4:58 pm

Hi Willy, just an update on my wormery. Been out this morning to check on my bin, I was really worried about what I would find after it had rained for the last two days. But the cover worked very well there was no water in my bin and non in the sump there was a few straggler worms down there which I put back in the feeder tray. My worms are well and eating everything and there are loads of cocoons so all is well at the moment. If anyone else has tried this way of covering their bin I would like to know how they got on. Just one thing I would like to know is about the liquid I catch in my watering can, is it ok to use this on my garden. Thanks again for your help I am grateful cheers Mazzy.

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 618
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: more general wormery in winter questions

Post by WillyWorm » Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:44 pm

Good to know your cover is working so well. I tried making a cover from a shower curtain a while ago but the result was disappointing. I now have a plastic garden storage unit to keep two of my bins in, I know other people who use wooden wheelie bin sheds to shelter their bins.

The liquid (leachate) you collect from the sump can be used as a garden feed but I personally should not use it on “food plants” I intended eating in the next month. You will find a thread on the forum about this, search “leachate friend of foe” I think that’s what it’s call.

I think leachate can be useful but must’ve used with a lot of care.

Maybe you could post a few photos of your cover so we all get the idea

Willy

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