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Composting and wormery

HELP. I have made myself a compost heap (Just the one) out of an couple of old pallets which has a tarp over it which is weighted down so it doesn't blow away. I have the bottom full of leaves and the next layer is shredded paper. What else can I put in it and is there a rule of thumb of how much of what goes in? I used a lot of compost for my tubs and stuff but really want a go at making my own. Also, is it worth getting a wormery set up and how do I persuade the worms to come and live in wormtopia???

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,986

    We eat loads of veg, so every day we put a bowlful of potato/carrot/parsnip/celeriac type peelings on the compost heap, along with the outside cabbage/sprout/cauliflower leaves and stalks, apple cores, egg shells, onion skins, tea leaves and coffee grounds etc.  In the summer the grass clippings go on there (our grass is a bit sparse so the layer isn't very thick), and most weeks a friend gives me a bag of guineapig poo and bedding for my heap.  

    I don't have a wormery as at the moment everything goes onto the compost heap so I don't seem to need one, but if I did I'd buy my first batch of worms from somewhere like http://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/shop/section.html?-session=shopper:5216D0751e0e80FB98vjFF64FDA5#wormeries , after that they should breed and keep the numbers up. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Ah ok. So anything organic really then? Is there any benefit to a wormery then compared to a compost heap?
  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    I bought my worms from a fishing shop, it must be quite common because he offered them as soon as I walked in. The advantage of a wormery is that it is contained so you avoid the rat problem, mine is also on a path so I can still put stuff in on wet days.

  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,050

    I've got several compost bins- darlek types mostly- & a wormery.

    As Kate says the latter doesnt need to be directly in contact with the soil, so can be next to the back door. That way no need to go down the garden in wet/dark weather with the kitchen waste & cardboard inner from kitchen/toilet rolls & used kitchen towels- no chemicals though in my case.

    I find the resulting wormery compost is really fine & should make excellent potting/sowing compost with minimal sieving,if any needed. I actually tend to add mine to one of my bins as an activator about 2x a yr.

    Agree rats not a problem with wormery on legs. Ants can be a nuisance, but not as long as contents moist enough. J.

  • Thanks guys. How quick can you make compost?
  • Hello sam, a bit of help on composting mine takes about 6 months to a year in the black compost bins.

    http://www.recyclenow.com/home_composting/making_compost/getting_right_mix.html

    and what to put in

    http://www.recyclenow.com/home_composting/making_compost/can_i_compost_it.html

    I have a wormery which is not as easy as compost bin as mine gets a bit wet sometimes, but getting there with it with all the wormery mixes.

    Sound as though your compost bin is starting well.

    Hope this website helps

    Hampshire Gardener
  • Thanks hun. I will have a look and let you know how I get on.
  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    A plastic bucket with a lid outside the kitchen door will take all the vegetable waste and can be tipped into the main compost when full. I have two wooden compost bins one filling and one being used, in summer compost in six weeks to three months depends on the weather in winter six months. They are up against a wall sheltered from the winds and warm up quickly. I have never had a rat in there in years of composting so consider that an urban myth.
    Wormeries to me are not worth the bother though people with less space than I have would find them useful. At times I have a full compost heap I use an old plastic bin to store the extra having drilled holes in the bottom for drainage and the side to let air in, that stands where it can get the sun most of the day and heats up nicely then I start my new heap with it.
    Everything goes in the heaps and I try to turn it out into a barrow every few weeks then toss it back, this mixes it gets the air into it and it can be damped (not soaked) as you toss it back, nature does the rest.
    For use it all goes through a large riddle with a medium mesh then for seedlings through the same riddle with a fine mesh added, that is then mixed with washed sand and fine grit for the seed mix, seeds do not need nutrient but prick out into a slight nutrient mix and then pot on to a good potting mix as they grow.
    Hope this helps,

    Frank

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Sam, I think you could speed things up by separating the leaves from the rest. Leaves (from trees) take, as far as I understand, longer to break down than mowings, kitchen stuff, etc. You could make a leaf 'bin' out of chicken netting and leave for a year or two, or a large plastic sack with lots of holes in it.

    Palais glide, a friend of mine opened her dalek type bin in September and found a large rat looking up at her. I have not had that experience with my 2 dalek bins, but they are on very compacted ground. It is good, I think for the bins to be in contact with the earth rather than resting on paving stones, but you could put a couple of layers of chicken netting down to stop rats.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Sam, look at the thread 'composting' with a very useful piece by charleyfarley(?)

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