Worm Farms vs Composting

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Jessiebean
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Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 185543Post Jessiebean
Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:37 am

I am thinking a I could knock up a worm farm from tyres and scrumped onion sacks and I was wondering if it is worth buying worms and risking their untimely demise (I am realistic- ish) or should I stick with the half hearted composting which seems to be working ok?
Does anyone have any experiences they would share with me on worm farms vs composting?
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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 185546Post Millymollymandy
Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:49 am

I thought the idea of a worm farm was to get the liquid from the bottom as a feed that you dilute? You won't get large scale compost from a small wormery either. But a good compost heap will be full of worms when it is rotting anyway - or should be, we all know the reality! :iconbiggrin: Why not try both?
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Jessiebean
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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 185559Post Jessiebean
Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:10 am

I have heard the liquid from the bottom isn't the good stuff, it is the vermicastings which are the "processed" dirt that the worms produce and that can be turned into "tea" which is gold for the garden.
I would like to do both but fear I don't have enough matter to justify both and wouldn't want to starve the worms!
Also I am very stingy (ahem- canny) and don't want to "waste" the $30 it would cost to buy worms if the compost is a better idea or worm farms are too problematic!!
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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 185583Post Flo
Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:52 pm

Some people do brilliantly with worm farms and some don't. Some people do brilliantly with composting and some don't.

I'm very stingy and prefer to go down the composting route as I don't have to spend anything at all. So I've learned to be very good at making compost.

Also as I live at a distance from my allotment it's easier to go down the composting route.

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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 185596Post grahamhobbs
Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:12 pm

On my allotment I have a compost heap and a worm compost (worm farm?).
No need to buy worms they will just arrive, just collect your vegetable waste from home and put in the worm compost bin.
The bin is simply a drum or metal dustbin, with small holes drilled near the bottom. The holes need to be no bigger than 6mm to keep mice out and the lid needs to be secure to keep rats out.
The worms will convert your waste into the richest compost you'll ever imagine.
It will cost you nothing other than finding a suitable bin. I got hold of some big blue metal drums and we fill one in a year.
The compost heap I just keep for garden waste so as not to attract rats.

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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 185798Post alec-ish
Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:41 pm

i have a womery and i think its great! it definatly works well for me on a small scale as i dont have room or produce enough waste for a compost heap fits nicely in the kitchin cuboard and get lots of worm tea but takes a while to get alot of worm castings but worth the wait as its great stuff!
is you got any questions about it Jessiebean give me a shout i think it deffinatly worth your while!

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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 186430Post Jessiebean
Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:34 am

Thanks for the offer! Worms in your kitchen cupboard hey? That is very canny. I wonder if the worms sold up the road for bait are the same as the compost worms?
Compost worms are selling $70 for 1000 around here at present ...eep I could get half a commercially made compost tumbler for that!(maybe)
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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 186461Post alec-ish
Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:06 pm

they will be composting worms in the fishing shops as all worms do it to some extent but try to get hold of tiger worms as they are the best! i made my wormery out of a plastic box and old tap(for the worm tea to escape and some wire mesh all in all costed me about £5 dont know what that is in dollars maybe $10?

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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 186482Post madabouthens
Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:02 pm

Tip; don't buy Tiger worms. They will arrive naturally in a compost heap. Simply harvest some and add to you worm bin. It's all free; very ish. :mrgreen:

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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 186548Post Jessiebean
Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:29 am

I would love to but I can't find any worms at present- maybe i should wait until spring?There were lots of worms around in spring...
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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 186596Post Harasimow
Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:07 pm

I get manure from a farmer and that is full of worms even in freezing weather.

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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 186598Post Thomzo
Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:21 pm

I made mine from an old bin. As it's outside the back door, on the patio, the worms were unlikely to arrive by themselves so I bought a fiver's worth of tiger worms from the fishing shop. Did the trick nicely.

If you have tyres you could put them on earth in the highest corner of the vegetable patch. The nutrients from the compost will leach out and run downhill to the veggies. The worms will move in. I do that with my dalek. Sit it in one corner of my raised bed. Each spring I just lift the dalek off and spread the compost about, then re-site the dalek.

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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 190001Post airish
Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:58 pm

I've been worm composting/vermicomposting for a lmost a year and I think that it is much better than composting in terms of the outcome. I can say that worm castings - the worm's poop are much more nutritious than plain compost. And based on my experience, the best composting worms to use are Red Wiggler worms.

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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 191756Post citizentwiglet
Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:13 pm

Jessiebean, do you have Flatworm in your area, or has it got to Scotland via imported plants but missed out Tasmania?

In case you don't know what they look like (apologies if you're eating, they are revolting buggers!)

http://www.dgsgardening.btinternet.co.u ... ralian.htm

http://www.dgsgardening.btinternet.co.uk/flatworm.htm

(Good news though, it seems your Tasmanian Gnat may protect against the NZ variety, which is the second link!)

If you do, then you can pretty much forget wormeries, unless you want to dig a trench all the way around it and under it and fill it with sharp stones and then treat it with an organic deterrent; as the flatworms live off 'normal' worms including normal earthworms and tiger worms. They actually seek out wormeries as an easy food source, and a wormery can be decimated within a few days.

I have flatworm in my garden - it comes in as eggs on big, ornamental, non-native decorative garden plants usually, and spreads like wildfire - the whole of South Central Scotland is affected, and it is having a serious effect on the ecosystem, as the flatworm do not contribute to soil composition in the same way as earthworms do; and the earthworms are all getting chomped. All it has taken up here is a few people who 'don't do' gardening but want to make their patios look like their villas in Spain by buying big ornamental plants - the flatworm comes in as an egg, hatches, makes it was towards where the best food source is, and BAM!

For that reason, I've been advised against a wormery; so I'm getting some bokashi composters instead. Judging by the prices you've been quoted for kit, you could try those instead or, alternatively, try and build a hot-box composter instead - it'll be quicker, and temperatures over (I think) 65 degrees kill off diseases, pernicious weeds and other harmful nasties that aren't destroyed by cold composting.
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Jessiebean
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Re: Worm Farms vs Composting

Post: # 234402Post Jessiebean
Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:08 am

Bumping as I have moved to a smaller garden and need some advice- how did you go with the bokashi?I am deciding bewteen a dalek, a bokashi and a wormery now... will have to look at flat worms but haven't heard of them around here (in the innercity semi industrial area!)
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