October 2017 - wormery & composting experiences (Jesse)
Closer inspection revealed this to be a wormery! Sadly, however, there wasn’t a worm in sight, just some very clumpy soil and a lot of half-crushed egg-shells!
I’ve composted for many years, using a standard compost bin and found this to be a great way to use up fruit and veg scraps in return for free garden-nourishment. However, I was curious to know more about alternatives to traditional composting, so I decided I would attempt to resurrect the wormery. So began Project Worms, much to the amusement of my housemate!!
Step one was to clean out the existing material – I decided to sieve it and remove the egg shells and odd bits that hadn’t decomposed. This left a rich-looking compost that I put to one side. The base of the wormery was completely dry (no worm tea…more on that in a later blog!) which was further evidence that this worm palace had ceased to be active a long time ago.
Step two was to put some foundation layers in the wormery. Some torn up newspaper went in first, followed by a thin layer of the compost I had removed earlier. Now the most exciting part…the worms themselves!
There are various websites offering starter kits with worms, bedding material and related items (e.g. https://www.wormery.co.uk/) but in the end I opted for what seemed a rather neat idea; a ‘boxa worms’ (https://www.wormsdirectuk.co.uk). A few days after placing my order, a small cardboard box arrived which I was told contained around 150 Tiger worms and Dendrobaena (ideally suited to wormeries). Supposedly, this method of ordering worms has the advantage that the worms are contained within bedding material which they are already used to, which helps mitigate the shock of entering new surroundings. The instructions said to place the box direct into the wormery, give it a water and then leave to do its magic. After a day or two the worms would eat their way out of the box and begin to roam the wormery!
To finish I added some torn up cardboard and newspaper (I didn’t add any fruit/veg waste at this stage). And ta-da! The wormery was all set up and ready. Alongside this I have also installed a basic compost bin which I intend to use for larger amounts of material, grass clippings, garden trimmings and citrus fruit, onions and other items that worms are not keen on (a sort of wormery-compost combo if you like!).
Check back next time for an update on how the worms have settled in!
The wormery in all its glory!
A box of worms!
Browns to mix with greens.
In go the worms!
A layer of material on top.
Giving it a good water to ‘activate’.