Long time absent but .....

If you are having problems with an existing wormery, or just need some advice - then ask it here
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Dstressdx2
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Location: EAST COAST OF SCOTLAND

Long time absent but .....

Post by Dstressdx2 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:26 pm

I first attended these forums way back in 2013 after buying a bin type wormery for WORMCITY. Only to kind of have things go to pot the following year. The bin (or bucket) had gone 'off' in that it stank, was soaking wet, and I didn't hold out any hope for its occupants. The bucket stayed in the garden, forlornly forgotten, until a few weeks ago. With some trepidation I opened the lid, to discover that it no longer smelled, there was a little worm activity and some cocoons... and I oohed and aahed about whether to revive the old 21 litre bucket, or to bite the bullet and jump in for a new model.

Fast forward to earlier this week to a phone call to RONNIE at wormcity, and then the arrival next day of my brand new 125 litre set up, with 1kg of new friends and a whole new chapter of interest in all things garden, compost and wormery related. I had carefully dug thru my old wormery, rescuing anything useful to add to my new set up, including woodlice, millipedes and the odd spider (did I mention that I hate spiders lol), and set the new system up ... IN MY BATHROOM.

Why? Because since 2014, I have been fighting a running battle with mobility issues and agoraphobia, which made something as simple as going down two steps at my back door, and into my garden, something that more often than not I was unable to do. The garden consequently is a mess. No room to put the wormery for ease of accessibility but living in my bathroom longterm was not feasible as it was blocking the doorway for a start. Lol. And keeping the light on all night (all 6 hours of it) was playing havoc with my sleep pattern.

Since my wormery arrived, I have since spent progressively slightly longer periods in my garden, to the extent that on Friday my new wormery was put outside for the summer. Its current location is not ideal as its against a south facing wall, so overheating, if summer ever arrives, may be an issue. But the main issue at the moment is the worms down in the sump. I left the tap open (as recommended) and left a container under it. This morning, after some rain, I discovered a couple of my new friends in the pot, drowning in about 1/2 inch of water. I returned them to the tray, and tried to see what the issue is with the sump. I had added damp papef to the sump at setup, but it is soaking. About 100+ worms are in there with another 20 or so wriggling through the holes at the edges of the tray. I am worried that by lifting the tray these may be damaged if I put it down somewhere but I feel I really need to do something about the sump.

Any suggestions?

WillyWorm
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Re: Long time absent but .....

Post by WillyWorm » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:23 pm

Hi welcome back to the world of worms.
You said in your question you had put damp paper in the sump. The paper (or old tea towel) should go, flat, at the bottom of the bottom tray and come a little up the sides of the tray. Doing this will provide a barrier which will prevent the worms getting to the sump.
Putting a plastic sheet over your bin will help stop rain getting in and will eliminate the need for an open tap.
When worms are first moved they are very prone to wonder, they may just be exploring.

Willy

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wormcity
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Re: Long time absent but .....

Post by wormcity » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:59 pm

Just to add as well,
Once you have more trays in place the worms won't wander downwards so much.

It's been crazily wet and the rain is penetrating everywhere!

Dstressdx2
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Location: EAST COAST OF SCOTLAND

Re: Long time absent but .....

Post by Dstressdx2 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:26 pm

Thanks for the responses, most helpful.

Willy, when I did the initial setup, I fully lined the base of the tray with a doubled thickness of flat paper that went up the sides a good 3 inches. I later added some additional scrunched up paper to the sump to a) soak up the excess water, and b) provide a jungle gym for the worms to climb back up to the tray where the food is. Problem being, there are so many worms in the sump, and the paper is literally dripping wet, and the wee bisoms are chowing down on the paper as it turns to a pulpy mush, judging by the amount of white worm casts in the sump. At the moment I am daily checking the sump (carefully balancing the tray over a large flower pot to try to minimise damage to worms still descending) and move the whole soggy bundle, worms included, to the top of the food tray, and then adding more lightly dampened paper to the sump area. I think if not for that paper layer, my worms would need water wings to survive the sump as i find about 2 inches of water in my pot under the tap.

I have now taken the additional precaution of giving my wormery a black wheelie bin bag 'hat' pulled down to sump level, on days we are expecting rain, in the hope that helps with keeping out the excess water. In the meantime, I'll keep watching for summer to arrive, and then I'll worry about cooking them alive.

On the other hand, all the rain means I'm not having to water all my plant containers so much, so I think I'm going to be screwed either way. But at least my bathroom is no longer an offshoot of my garden lol.

WillyWorm
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Re: Long time absent but .....

Post by WillyWorm » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:30 am

Your bin is obviously getting far too wet, I hope the bin bag will help dry it out. I would put dry shredded paper/corrugated cardboard on the top of the tray not in the sump. You could even put another tray of just dry shredded paper on to of the current tray this will “wick” water from the lower tray. This would help dry it out. If you get a dry sunny day cut a piece of card to fit the top of the bin, place it on top of the the bedding, to protect your worms from the light, and leave the top off the bin, the south wall and sunshine will help.
If you remove the paper from the sump and want something for the worms to climb up back to the first tray try a washing up spoons they work great.

Willy

graham york
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Re: Long time absent but .....

Post by graham york » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:09 pm

The current torrential rain has penetrated through the sides quick thoroughly, where the upper trays slot in. I guess keeping the tap open is one solution. If the lid had eaves, that would probably help.

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