Where to start ...

If you are having problems with an existing wormery, or just need some advice - then ask it here
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WillyWorm
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Re: Where to start ...

Post by WillyWorm » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:42 pm

If you have paper there that should be fine. Did you manage to get it covering all the tray? If you have to replace it, take a new tray fit the base cover three sheets of paper or one layer of cardboard, cut to fit snug, then move the worms in. This should not upset the worms too much. You could take some of the liquid the sump and spread it over the new tray, helps keep things as familiar as possible.

Willy

Wormyginner
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Re: Where to start ...

Post by Wormyginner » Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:51 pm

No liquid had been made yet!! I think it’s been a week today or a week tomorrow that the worms have been in. I put a couple teabags in the corners yesterday and some raspberries.
And when I checked this morning - I only had 3 edcapees in the sump , where as the day before there was around 20-25 . So we’re making progress I think!! Just really don’t want to mess this up and I want them to enjoy there new home 👍

WillyWorm
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Re: Where to start ...

Post by WillyWorm » Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:21 pm

You won’t mess up don’t worry your are doing a great job. There is a lot to take in at the start but you are interested in your worms and will quickly get on top of it all. Plus we are happy to help anytime

Willy

Denise Fordyce
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Re: Where to start ...

Post by Denise Fordyce » Tue Aug 03, 2021 3:23 am

I have a similar problem. When I set up, just a couple of months ago, I had no large pieces of cardboard or paper so lined the tray with a patchwork of pieces. Of course, my little wrigglers soon found their way through this and now it is a frequent occurrence, a couple of times a week, to rescue them - but as the tray becomes heavier with more castings, it becomes a regular two man job. I wonder whether, now I have larger cardboard, I could line a new tray and ever so gently tip the contents of the original into it. I don’t want to wake up the next day and find them all dead from a heart attack!

WillyWorm
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Re: Where to start ...

Post by WillyWorm » Tue Aug 03, 2021 8:01 am

If your worm bin has been set up for a couple of months there should be no need to line the trays again. You will alway get a few worms moving down to the sump, their natural instinct is to go down when stressed. I put layers of cardboard in the sump to a thickness which touches the underside of the bottom tray, this allows the worms to return easier and avoids them drowning.
The trays can get heavy as food gets converted to castings. It sounds like you still only have one tray in place, maybe it’s time to add a second tray. You could lighten the first tray by taking some of the casting and bedding out and putting into the new tray to get it started. If you look inside a tray you will see lugs on the side, these are to stop the tray dropping too far into the tray below, they also act as a marker to show how full your tray should be.

It all seems to be going well, please keep us updated
Willy

Wormyginner
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Re: Where to start ...

Post by Wormyginner » Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:11 am

Update on my wormies-

Well my little lovelies are breeding like nobodies business and I often find a lot of them in the sump, it took them a while in the beginning to start eating but I think that was possibly down to my mistake as I was only putting the food on the top and not covering it with any shredded paper or cardboard or anything. I started using shredded paper that I put through my shredding machine and put some of that ontop of the food and when I checked yesterday there was lots of little munchy marks in the food 😂 not sure I have any compost as of yet and that’s why I held back on the second tray. Because worm city say to add some of that made compost from the first tray into your second tray so the worms have something familiar to move up into !! So I’m still on my first tray at the moment !!

WillyWorm
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Re: Where to start ...

Post by WillyWorm » Tue Aug 03, 2021 12:29 pm

Hi Wormy, the reason you are told to wait until you have castings to put in the second tray is two fold. One the new tray will feel, smell and taste like the first tray which will result in the worms settling-in quicker. Two to introduce good bacteria and microbes into your new tray. If you have a tray which is up and running well then you will have billions in not trillions of microbes and good bacteria to inoculate the second tray with so why wait. Plus it can be difficult to tell the difference between castings and bedding/food/soil for a new comer. Good to hear how good your bin is doing keep up the good work.

Willy

Wormyginner
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Re: Where to start ...

Post by Wormyginner » Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:00 pm

It just all looks the same to be honest - so definitely can’t tell what “castings are”.
Shall I just take some contents from the bottom of the first tray then ? And does it matter if worms are part of the contents or shall I try and leave the worms to move up into the tray themselves ? Silly question - but how do the worms know there is another tray above them to move up into?

WillyWorm
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Re: Where to start ...

Post by WillyWorm » Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:36 pm

Good questions,
Get your second tray ready with bedding of your choice, shredded paper or cardboard, dry leaves, coir it’s up to you. I like to mix my bedding so some of each for me. Dampen it then add a handful of bedding material from the bottom tray, great if it contains worms and/or worm cocoons, these will help get things going. Take care with the moisture levels and all should be well. Do not feed in the bottom tray any more all food now goes into the new tray. Don’t over feed. The idea is that when the worms finish the food and have proceeded the bedding in the first, bottom tray they will look for a new supply, and move up to the new tray. This is encouraged by the fact that compost worms like to be near the surface and the smell/taste of goodies from above.
There is no need to add any sheet material in the bottom of the second tray. In fact if you do all it will do is to prevent your worms moving up the way.

If I’ve not made myself clear let me know and I’ll try again.
Willy

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