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why are the worms trying to escape from my compost bin? The last couple of times I have opened the lid to put stuff in the worms have been clustered around the top and on the lid. I keep it well mixed and cannot understand what the problem might be Can anybody help?


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    The compost may be too hot, or too wet.
  • DorsetUKDorsetUK Posts: 441

    I've got Daleks as I don't have much choice.  I used to have proper compost bins but unfortunately they got all sorts of rubbish chucked into them.  The final straw was engine oil as I couldn't remove that.  I find the Daleks work very well as long as I'm well ahead in the compost stakes.  I do add horse manure to start and finish with plus in between layers from time to time.  I also get quite a lot of lawn mowings as nobody else has a compost heap.  Otherwise it's kitchen waste and garden trimmings.  I don't add cardboard or paper and cannot stir it of course.  Left long enough those busy worms etc turn it all into a fine compost.


  • I'm not sure about putting compost worms into the borders, I think they're a different variety (tiger worms?). They are smaller and redder than most garden earthworms. But even if they end up providing a meal for a robin, they won't go to waste!

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    It is really good to add paper and cardboard to the compost. There must be a balance of green - vegetable waste and small amounts of grass clippings - and brown - cardboard and paper.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,865

    I shred my newspaper . If you hold it and tear it into narrow ribbons of about 2cm / 1" and add them, they're more manageable. Newspaper will tear either from top to bottom, or side to side, depends on the Paper. Times is across but I think the ( hate ) Mail, goes top to bottom.


  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Scrunch up the sheets of newspaper and they will take air into the centre of the compost mix where it is needed.

    Putting the worms from the compost bin into the borders is a bit of a waste; they do so much good work in the bin.

    If you have a lot of grass cuttings, I believe they can speed up the process of making leaf mold.image

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    I just scrape off the worms and put them back, sometimes i put them in a different bin

    I add shredded paper from my shredder in a layer, save it up till I have enough to put in about a 2ins layer. Also add wood ash from burner. Restrict grass clippings to a 2-3ins layer every now and again

    I have one of those stirrers designed for daleks and use it every now and again (when I think about it) does help to give it a mix and this year I have been very pleased with my results.

    I feel as if I have mastered the art of composting

  • DorsetUKDorsetUK Posts: 441

    I have very little paper waste and what there is goes into the village paper collection.  That raises funds for projects like the church fabric, village hall etc.  I don't buy newspapers, magazines etc but advertising junk which comes via the postman goes in the village collection.  If my daleks are too full I simply store compost stuff in the horse manure bags and gradually top up the follow-on bins from there. Grass cuttings soon dry out in those and then doesn't compact down like fresh. The bins are aerated with coarse stems, small twigs which are easily sieved out if not absorbed into the mix.  Straw bedding, easy to obtain where I live, also helps as does my daughter's chickens nest material

  • Alan4711Alan4711 Posts: 1,657

    Marygold 2    I think you will find your bin is too wet,if you return them into the same bin they will just do the same thing, this was a prob on here a short time ago, i found the problem being discussed on Utube and the answer was to add dry stuff to the mix and keep it dryer, most people who did this agreed dryer is better and the worms were happier,Nothing like a happy pile of worms is there.image

  • Thanks for all your comments.

    I try to keep a good mix of stuff but think I may have added too much grass at once . Will add some more shredded paper and scrunched up newspaper
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