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Lots of worms in sump...

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:00 am
by chrisworms
Hi all,

Another question (new to this worm stuff; but loving it!)...

I'm currently self-isolating so maybe getting paranoid with all this checking; having had the wormery for 4-5 weeks; I checked on them this morning. There were about 30+ worms in the sump. Everything seems healthy within the tray...small amounts of scraps in each corner and not smelling bad. Before I have only ever seen a maximum of 5 worms in the sump each day.

Also, I have generated no 'worm tea' whatsoever from what I can see - although I have only recently started adding more moist food to their diet, so this could explain that one.

Anyway, my main point is the concern that I had so many worms in the sump this morning - should I address this in any way?



Re: Lots of worms in sump...

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2021 9:00 am
by WillyWorm
Good morning Chris, like to start by saying I hope all goes well and you are soon out of self isolation.
Yesterday was an exceptionally hot day and in nature/wild worms everywhere would be moving down into the soil to try and stay cool. Your worms were doing the same thing and a few went too far. Hopefully this behaviour will not be so evident when it cools down a bit.
I have started putting layers of damp corrugated cardboard in my sump so they touch the bottom of the first tray. This enables my worms to return without my help and to avoid drowning. But you will always find worms in your sump.
Im sorry but the liquid you get in the sump is not worm tea. Worm tea is a totally different product. What you get in the sump is leachate. I have seven worm bins at the moment, four of them are home made and are single trays without drainage. This means I keep them at the correct level of dampness with the use of dry bedding and damp food. In my stacking bins like my Wormcity bin I still try to avoid leachate because I feel it removes goodness from the casting which is where I want it. My stacking bins combined only produce half a pint of leachate between them per month/six weeks when I harvest them.

Good luck with the self isolation hope all goes well

Re: Lots of worms in sump...

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:47 pm
by Denise Fordyce
I have the same problem. Worms in the sump and always several drowned, despite me checking several times a week. But if I fill the sump with cardboard, won’t they just move in and turn the cardboard into food?

Re: Lots of worms in sump...

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:18 pm
by Lilwriggler
How come you have so much liquid in the sump? Is everything above(food and bedding) very wet? Or is rain getting in. Covering the wormeries in rain is pretty important and in the winter my two wormeries stay in the garage. If there is a lot of rain( or big drop in air pressure) I find that the worms know that there is a risk of flooding and head upwards if they can.

My two wormeries, which are generally well covered only generate a small amount of liquid each week, about 3-5mm at most in the sump and i use a sponge to soak that up and remove it, but i don’t want to generate worm leachate as a plant food as i find it ruins the balance in the feeding levels and trays below. The odd worm is in the leachate, but most i have been able to rescue. That was not the case in the early days because rain got in.

Hope that helps!

Re: Lots of worms in sump...

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:47 pm
by WillyWorm
Hi Denise. I agree with lilwriggler regarding the damage rain can quickly do to a bin. If you are already taking precautions against the rain then the food must be very wet and will need addressing. When feeding you need to scoop out some bedding put some dry paper or cardboard in the bottom of the depression then put in the food then top it off with more dry paper and cardboard.

Again like lilwiggler I try to avoid leachate, my interest is in producing the best castings I can.

I’ve been using cardboard in the sump for a few months now and must say I seem to be getting far fewer worms in the sump awaiting rescue. I’m sure worms still go down there because the way the cardboard is worked over but they are able to return back up to the main tray when they want to. I have not found a dead worm in the sump for sometime now.

Along with many other things worms can’t do “they can’t swim” . Worms breathe through their skin so if they end up in any liquid they quickly drown.

It would be helpful if you could tell us how you are protecting your worms from the rain at the moment and how and what you are feeding them.

I have three storage box worm bins which have no drainage in the bottom at all. I balance the moisture levels by adding dry bedding or wetter food depending on their need. I have never needed to add water to these bin nor mop them out. So it is possible to balance your bin.

Look forward to getting an update