6ish Weeks in, what do I do now?

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Red
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Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:30 am

6ish Weeks in, what do I do now?

Post by Red » Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:11 am

Hi, a bit of background first of all. I received my wormery mid October and set it up straight away following your instructions, comments in this forum and Utube videos etc. I think all has been going well. I have it sited in my garage and have just wrapped an old duvet around it as the temperature has now dropped off somewhat. I have got to the stage where I have been gradually adding food and bedding and about to start on the 2nd tray. However, I am somewhat reluctant as most of what I have been adding seems to be still there, intact, not used as yet. I have been feeding slowly with peelings from potatoes, carrots, sprouts, celery, banana skins, coffee grounds, couple of ground up eggshells and some shredded egg box. On top of this I started with shredded paper and a layer of cardboard and a couple of weeks ago I added a layer of fallen autumn leaves under the cardboard.

So, in this first tray I have the original coir (which takes up about half of the volume) and then, as explained above, on top of it. And I have just taken off the cardboard and added the next tray which is currently empty (just the cardboard in it). I am now wondering how best to proceed? Since I am not convinced the food is being consumed do I go back and remove it and the leaves? Do I leave it alone for a few weeks? Or do I carry on and start the next tray, slowly adding in more food?

To the best I can see, the worms look healthy. I think I have the moisture about right as I have only extracted half a cup of fluid from the sump during the whole 6 weeks. I have noticed a slow down in activity this week which I assume is due to the recent temperature drop. I think the wormery is at about 5 deg at the moment.

Any advice welcome as I don’t want it to turn into a slimy mess or miss treat the worms. I did see some mention that root veg take an age to go, may be this is it? In that case do I wait until it’s gone before I feed anymore?

WillyWorm
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Re: 6ish Weeks in, what do I do now?

Post by WillyWorm » Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:34 am

Hi Red, welcome to the world of worms. The colder weather at this time of year means things move much slower in the worm world. From the info you have provided you are doing a great job for your worms.
In the summer I was feeding two or three litres of food per day between my 6 or 7 worm bins at the moment I’m feeding about one litre between them a week. Things will be even slower in a newly set-up bin. If you can shred or chop the worm food small particularly root veg like potatoes it will help a lot. Only feed when the previous food appears to be gone, don’t worry there will still be plenty there for your worms to find. Try to shred leaves or they can take an age to breakdown,
You have some lucky worms getting such great care.

Have fun
Willy

Red
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Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:30 am

Re: 6ish Weeks in, what do I do now?

Post by Red » Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:19 am

Thanks for the quick reply WillyWorm. Sounds like I need to hold off on the 2nd tray. I think I will have a look and remove some of what I have put in the first tray. i will see if I can take a photo to upload. I see that there is a recommendation to blend root veg. We don’t have a blender. I might have to buy the wife one for Christmas :)

WillyWorm
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Re: 6ish Weeks in, what do I do now?

Post by WillyWorm » Fri Nov 26, 2021 2:49 pm

Chopping them up small with a knife or kitchen scissors (£2 from one of the High Street budget shops) which is the way I do it.
Another way is to pop the food scraps into the microwave for a minute or two, this will soften them and make it easier for the microbes and the worms to eat.

Willy

Red
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Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:30 am

Re: 6ish Weeks in, what do I do now?

Post by Red » Fri Nov 26, 2021 6:06 pm

Yes, I will have a go at that. How much would you think I should put in, given it’s in the early stages and lower temperatures? Thanks again.

WillyWorm
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Re: 6ish Weeks in, what do I do now?

Post by WillyWorm » Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:24 pm

Maybe half to a cupful every few days. Did you come across the four “corner feeding technique” when you were reading the forum? This will help reduce the risk of over feeding. The biggest danger is over feeding particularly with an immature bin. Remember worms will readily eat bedding, I have one bin which I feed maybe half a cup of kitchen scraps a month the rest of their food is an unlimited supply of corrugated cardboard.

Don’t over think it, you are doing a great job and worms are very resilient. Many of us keep worms successfully in very different way.

Willy

Red
Junior Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:30 am

Re: 6ish Weeks in, what do I do now?

Post by Red » Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:46 pm

Thanks Willy. Yes I read about your 4 corner feeding. I am going to try it and only put small amounts of chopped up stuff in there. There is plenty of cardboard and paper on top so there is plenty for them to go at. Thanks again.

Red
Junior Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:30 am

Re: 6ish Weeks in, what do I do now?

Post by Red » Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:51 pm

Hi. Just a bit of an update. Since my post above I made 2 changes. Firstly, the duvet I use to insulate the wormery is actually wrapped around a cardboard box which in turn slides over the wormery. I raised the wormery a little, standing it on 4 upturned pot noodle pots to create a void underneath. I then rigged up a 25w tungsten lamp underneath to give a little constant heat and also shine light up the sides to discourage escape. I added a 2nd 25w tungsten lamp which is set on a timer to come on for 30 mins every 2 hrs through the night. This has been quite successful in keeping the temperature at around 13/18 deg C. The second thing I have been doing is the 4 corner method of feeding. I have experimented a little by trying to chop up the food with a knife ( as fine as I can) and also coarse blending the food. The worms seem to take the coarse blended stuff much faster but it does seem to cause some of the bedding/castings to fall into the sump. So occasionally I have to clear out the sump. I have also been balancing the moisture by adding dry cardboard. So all going well at the moment, I seem to have many young worms as well as the large ones. I am still on the first tray perhaps could do with adding the second but I hope to do that when the weather warms up so I don’t spoil the setup too much.

WillyWorm
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Re: 6ish Weeks in, what do I do now?

Post by WillyWorm » Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:43 pm

Hi Red, thanks for the update, sounds like things are really going well. Once better weather come you will think this worm keeping lark is a breeze.

I should think you are ready for adding another tray. It should not upset your worms, just take a handful of bedding from the existing tray put it into the new top tray, half fill the tray with your favourite bedding and put a small amount of your worms favourite food in one corner. When you see worms in the new tray start feeding and managing the bin as normal.

Your idea for providing heat for them is great but I would worry about the noodle pots being able to hold the weight, is it possible you could get four house bricks instead and use those? Two full trays will weight nearly 50kg I would think.
Last edited by WillyWorm on Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 649
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: 6ish Weeks in, what do I do now?

Post by WillyWorm » Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:59 pm

Hi Red, thanks for the update, sounds like things are really going well. Once better weather comes you will think this worm keeping lark is a breeze.

I should think you are ready for adding another tray. It should not upset your worms, just take a handful of bedding from the existing tray put it into the new top tray, half fill the tray with your favourite bedding and put a small amount of your worms favourite food in one corner. When you see worms in the new tray start feeding and managing the bin as normal.

Your idea for providing heat for them is great but I would worry about the noodle pots being able to hold the weight, is it possible you could get four house bricks instead and use those? Two full trays will weight nearly 50kg I would think.

I have been putting cardboard in my sumps for a while now. I tear cardboard into 4in strips and put these on top of each other in the sump to fill the space, I find the worms of down and can easily return to the main bin, any food gets eaten by the worms and the cardboard takes up any liquid and the worms eat the cardboard turning it into great castings. I’ve not had a drown worm since it started using this system.

Look forward to hearing more news soon
Willy

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