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End of my worm experiment

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End of my worm experiment

Post  plantoid on 4/25/2013, 6:27 pm

The worms in my head kept telling me to go and look at the worms in the worm farm.
They have been neglected since before first frost last year and have suffered several sub minus 10 oC frosts as well as a four of weeks of around minus five o C continued frost.
The worm farm consisted of a metre long poly propylene “coffin“by 500 deep x 600 mm wide with a hinged lid and some original air vent holes , In the bottom I used strips of expanded polystyrene 25 mm x 25 mm to raise a floor from the bottom so that the liquid developed from the worms & materials used to feed them could drain down and be run off via a simple barrel tap .

The worm farm was set on a table top 3 feet above the ground , so it must have got frozen solid a several times over winter. The adjacent pond received almost three inches of ice at one period.
The worms got a feed of manure and liquidized kitchen veg scraps with a dust pan of fallen oak leaves over everything and then 1 pint of rain water to damp things down at the last time I saw them.

Today 25 April 2013 I looked in the box for the first time this year, found that the worms had survived the winters rage and were breeding well. In the bottom of the coffin there were several pints of worm juice. On top of the false floor there was about 2 inches of damp worm cats and above were some wet leaves etc. I gave up counting the worms at # 100.
I’ve now put everything for growing the worms into one of my big Dalek composters as these composters have zillions of worms in each of them. The worm juice was diluted and put around the rhubarb plants.

I’ll not be running a worm farm any more as I don’t need it any more , the MM I’ve recently made is stored in my 4 x 5 foot trailer to a depth of 18 inches and was inoculated with the 100 muck worms, then well wetted & covered , the muck worms are slowly working their way through it . I discovered this delightful serendipity late last year when I topped up some beds from some well wetted MM stored in the trailer then covered over with some spare black pond liner to stop the wind blowing it away ..
The top four inches of the MM had been turned to worm casts.


The conclusions I’ve drawn is that :-
The red muck/ manure/compost worms of the UK do indeed survive the harsh winter either as dormant worms , eggs or both so there is a great likelihood of similar worms doing the same all over the world .
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Re: End of my worm experiment

Post  Kelejan on 4/26/2013, 9:00 am

Plantoid, I thought for a moment you were giving up on compost worms.

I also found that my worms sailed through our cold winter and now I have loads crawling through my compost piles and SFG beds and I feel that once they have found you they'll never let you go, they are here to stay. Very Happy

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Re: End of my worm experiment

Post  plantoid on 4/26/2013, 6:38 pm

After a while the muck worms in th beds die/move out and they are replaced by big fat lob worms as the decaying compost reaches a new state of decay .
These big worms tunnel deep and make massive observable mounds of casts about the size of my little finger nail & 1/8 inch high .

Of the beds that I've put new season home made compost into , the muck worms thrive so they either find their own way in on damp days and nights or they come in as eggs or tiny worms in the compost , the lob worms are there but much deeper down so they I reckon they don't eat the same as the muck worms.. :lol:Obviously they like the more mature parts of the beds.
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