Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Where did I go wrong, with my worms?

Worms were a disaster!
Well i had ordered 2 kilos of composting worms- 1 for our bio-tank (of which I hope these are thriving, but I haven't been game to check. And the other kilo for my worm farm. As I intended to maintain our own stock; to benefit both my garden (through fertiliser) and be able to top up the tank, and maybe even occasionally treat the flock.
I had been fussing as they were in transit, with the long weekend fast approaching... however they made it to our house on Wednesday. Which was a relief, as I had left strict instructions to place them on the doorstep if we were not there. Firstly as I was worried I would they would be cooped up for another day, and secondly for the shade... Well they got one out of two. Thankfully my neighbour moved them out of the sun for me.
So to their new home. I had constructed a worm farm from 2 polystyrene eskies (foam boxes) I bought from the local veg store. Piercing holes in the bottom, side (near the top) and lid, using a small drill bit. I hen place damp shredded newspaper mixed with a bit of straw and manure through. And finally adding some shredded lettuce at the top and just underneath.
Then I place the holey, filled box on top of the second and scattered in the bag of worms. And shredded the damp cardboard (that they came in) in there too. Placed the 2 cloth bag they arrived (slightly wettened over the top, then replaced the lid. Covered the boxes with a damp hessan sack   and left them for the night. This I kept in the shed, to control the light and heat. I had read that they shouldn't smell, but they had a very distinctive smell!
In the morning there had been a lot of action... many had escaped through the upper air wholes and lid! I picked up as many as I could save. Some had already dried out. So with this in mind I Googled  my findings, to be reassured to know they were probably restless and exploring their new environment. Some others experience also suggested they maybe too wet. So with this in mind, and the other half suggesting I make another box with smaller wholes, I set to work.
Pierce the 3rd box with a smaller drill bit- but this time just the lid and base. Then transferred the contents into this box with some added dry shredded paper.
Well some success, they were not escaping. So I checked them again, before I locked the shed up for the night, still looked good... but they did smell? In the morning, they were all dead. Not a single wriggler...
Well the 'Worm book' and soil tester are still to arrive. I will probably b able to use the soil tester for the garden. But as for the 'Worm Book' I don't think I will be attempting farming my own again, any time soon... So maybe I'll EBay it.