Worms and compost in sump

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Wormnewbie
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Worms and compost in sump

Post by Wormnewbie » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:24 am

As my worms have digested all the newspaper lining the tray, they have moved into the sump. I have left the tap open so they don't drown and put in some crumpled up newspaper. And am continuing to put food in the tray above. However, the sump is now full of worm compost. Should I shovel it out and put it back in the tray above? Otherwise I can't see how the tray is ever going to be full enough for me to add another tray??? I have had my wormery since mid April and still just have one tray.

Jed7
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Re: Worms and compost in sump

Post by Jed7 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:56 pm

I have the same problem. I’ve had my wormery for 2 years and never managed to put on more than one tray. I’m just ending up with sludge in the sump, along with worms. I’ve done everything I can think of - crumpled newspaper in the sump, always adding the same amount of torn up cardboard etc as green stuff, always leaving the tap open, but nothing seems to work. Two days ago I emptied the sump once again, looked today and there’s already a covering inside. I’m tearing my hair out. What am I doing wrong?

WillyWorm
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Re: Worms and compost in sump

Post by WillyWorm » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:09 am

Hi, you will always get some worms and some castings/compost in the sump tray, I just scope it up and return it to the top tray. The reason some of our worms like to go down is unclear and contrary to expected behaviour. Our compost worms in the wild would live in the surface and not borrow down. It is possible that the first tray as been worked out and the worms are looking for fresh food and bedding or that the number of worms is near to maximum for the tray (this should be the case after two years). Try adding more bedding and a little food then a new tray (start the new tray with a cm/half inch of compost from your first tray to encourage them upwards.
To help the wayward worms that always want to go down the way place a “washing-up sponge” in the sump so it is in contact with the sump and the bottom of the first tray, this will provide a climbing frame for a easier return, worms can’t jump so without our help can get trapped in the sump.
A supply of fresh bedding is important to our worms and is part of their care which is often over looked.

Hope this helps
Willy

Wormnewbie
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Re: Worms and compost in sump

Post by Wormnewbie » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:51 am

That's great thanks. Not quite sure what you mean by bedding. Shredded paper/newspaper/cardboard?

WillyWorm
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Re: Worms and compost in sump

Post by WillyWorm » Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:14 pm

Any of those will be great, try adding some with each feed. You could also use leave mould, used potting compost/grow bag even saw dust but that’s slow to break down.

Willy

Lilwriggler
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Re: Worms and compost in sump

Post by Lilwriggler » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:51 pm

I am understanding maybe how you get the bulk/turnover you do in your trays willy and how you essentially turn a tray per month. I have predominantly used cardboard and more lately shredded paper, but the addition of a handful of spent compost with each feed will bulk thinks up a bit quicker and give them more bulk to play in. Cardboard is breaking down but slowly.

WillyWorm
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Re: Worms and compost in sump

Post by WillyWorm » Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:06 pm

When moving my top tray down one place (Adding a new tray), I always top it off with spent potting compost or some finished garden compost. This provides bulk and requires the least time to finish so is ready when the rest of the tray is.
Using mostly spent potting compost, in a fresh tray, for two months is a great way to refresh the potting compost for reuse, I find it good for potting on.
The use of a handful of finished garden compost in any tray is a very affective way of upping the micro population and micro diversity of any tray at anytime. Finished compost can be considered bedding or food because of it average carbon nitrogen ratio.

Willy

Lilwriggler
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Re: Worms and compost in sump

Post by Lilwriggler » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:04 pm

That’s a very clever way of doing it and something i will do from now on. I have some so will add it too a couple of light On volume trays i already have. You’ve never had issues with veg grown in compost containing vermicompost being bitter have you? I have had a courgette and now cucumber which is suprisingly bitter, just trying to fathom out why...l

WillyWorm
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Re: Worms and compost in sump

Post by WillyWorm » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:10 pm

Sorry not come across that before, I would appreciate any updates on your findings.

Willy

Lilwriggler
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Re: Worms and compost in sump

Post by Lilwriggler » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:29 pm

It may well be the seeds i used or the original, non peat material i grew the seeds in before potting on. To be fair whilst i mixed vermicompost In with the courgettes i didn’t with the cucumbers which are now in a growbag. I’m testing my 2 courgette plants to see if they are both bitter or just one, which leads me back to the original seeds. I just tried my first cucumber today and was a little disappointed ☹️

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