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Renew-Reuse-Recycle
19th Jan 2018 Login  
Wormery
by Rachel at 2008-04-23 19:17:14 (Forum::Public::Household)
There’s a worm at the bottom of my garden…

…well more like a thousand worms really. And they’re not exactly at the bottom of my garden either. But they’d probably like to be!

No - this lot are just outside my back door crammed into a big black plastic multi layered contraption known as a ‘wormery’.

The Wormery

Our venture into composting with a wormery has been an eventful episode in our lives and got off to a few false starts.

My first encounter with a wormery happened about 6 years ago on the morning of my 28th birthday. It had all been going very well – my husband had brought me breakfast in bed, a beautiful bunch a flowers and some lovely presents - I couldn’t have been happier!

That is until I went downstairs and was confronted with a huge surprise waiting for me. I wasn’t sure what to say – as to be honest I had no idea what it was until my husband proudly informed me he’d bought me a wormery! And not just any old wormery – oh no - this was a top of the range ‘can – o -worms’ with a kilogram pack of live worms hidden inside! SURPRISE!!

Now I’m a practical sort of person – I had in the past bought him a kitchen broom for his birthday and on another occasion had given him a mini-anvil so I couldn’t be upset by the fact this present was clearly of the practical rather than romantic or personal variety. But it was more that I absolutely can’t stand worms! I really hate them! They make me feel sick.

And this lot were all sat in my living room hidden beneath a very large birthday bow!

At this point I burst into floods of tears and told him what an awful, thoughtless present it was and why on earth would he possibly think I’d want a wormery?! Had I ever expressed a desire for one? Shown any inkling of interest in one? He proceeded to tell me about the amazing capacity of a wormery – of how much kitchen waste we could get rid of, of the environmental benefits it would have, of how amazing this contraption was.

I however remained unconvinced and inconsolable so he somewhat sadly returned my present to Wiggly Wigglers and we moved on with our lives!

However a few years later, with our family growing we needed to make the best use of our very tiny garden and the composting bin that we regularly used was getting in the way.

So I suggested a wormery – much to my husband’s delight!

Now wormeries aren’t cheap. We paid around £100 for ours but we justified it saying it would be a good education for our sons and since we didn’t want to buy them hamsters or rabbits a kilogram of worms seemed a happy compromise!

Our wormery kit arrived promptly from Wiggly Wigglers and I managed not to look at the wriggling pack of live worms as they sat outside waiting for their new home to be prepared. We all helped set it up and the boys thought it was fantastic!

The worms soon settled in and we started our composting. At first it seemed to go ok. Although we did find the worms quite slow at eating our weekly amount of fruit and vegetable peelings, egg boxes and tea bags – not that I could blame them – it wasn’t exactly a gourmet diet so you could understand why they weren’t rushing to finish their meal!

But we were delighted that the compost bin had now gone and the wormery did the same job taking up much less of our precious outside space.

After a few weeks our initial excitement died down – and sadly so did the worms. We managed to kill all of the worms! Not intentionally - but shockingly they had all drowned!

We’d not read the instructions properly so had not opened the tap to drain off and collect the liquid fertiliser.

The kid’s were a bit upset as they saw them more like pets really. Personally I’d never grown very attached to our worms so I didn’t miss them – but I did feel guilty about their premature demise and killing a thousand of them was quite a mistake - and in their own pee!

We had a few months off to get over this sad event and then thought we’d try it again. Only this time round we opened the tap - we now keep it permanently open with a container underneath.

The worms now seem to be thriving and multiplying. A few have drowned – but we think that is not actually our fault this time as the drowned ones were trying to escape out of the tap and just didn’t make it!

Liquid fertilizer

I know it sounds obvious but I think you have to like worms for a wormery to work for you. I won’t go near it which makes it a bit of a burden on my husband.

And it isn’t just a question of tipping in the waste every few days – you have to disentangle a decaying ‘moisture mat’, which is a bit like a quilt for the worms.

Moisture mat

You also have to give the worms ‘worm treat’ – I’d prefer a bar of chocolate but they seem to like this stuff better. And worms don’t like onions, or citrus fruit…or chillies. And they need their food cut up into small pieces. But on the less fussy side they will eat the contents of your vacuum cleaner!

And for a family of 5 we are finding our 4 layer version struggles to keep up with the amount of waste we produce. In recent weeks we have resorted to using my husband’s Granny’s compost bin up the road as we ended up with plastic bagfuls of excess kitchen waste piling up.

A backlog means we need more worms!


But maybe I’ll surprise my husband with an extra layer as it’s his birthday in a few weeks time!

However in terms of smell it is great – as it doesn’t smell! It is compact. The plants like the fertiliser. It looks ok. You can locate it near to your kitchen door. It is a bit of a project if you like that sort of thing and if, like our boys, you like worms you’ll love this!

Attachments...
JPEG image (1Mb limit) The wormery
JPEG image (1Mb limit) Liquid fertilizer
JPEG image (1Mb limit) Moisture mat
JPEG image (1Mb limit) A backlog means we need more worms!
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Wormery There is an attachment here Rachel - 23/04
    Re: Wormery Simon - 24/04
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