Worm composting, why are the worms trying to escape?

Discussion in 'Organic Gardening' started by CariAnn88, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. CariAnn88

    CariAnn88 Seedling

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    Hi,

    I've just started doing my own compost using worms. Never done it before so I don't really have an idea to what I am doing apart from what I have to put in it. I've seen some videos on how to make it.

    I went into the garden today and noticed my worms are trying to escape. Can someone please help and tell me why they are doing that?


    moderator's note: added a more descriptive title to topic
     
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  3. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    A few pictures would help us in addressing your problem since we don't know what we are dealing with. In general, a few adventurous worms is O.K. but en masse then there is a problem. Pictures, a description of the compost bin, when you added the worms and what you are putting in the compost would help.

    Jerry

    P.S. We have several members that have wiggled through a host of worm problems.
     
  4. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    My first thought is temperature--either too cool or too warm. Worms can stand a temperature range from about 40 to 94 degrees F.
    Second thought is that the bedding is too dry or too wet. If you can squeeze water out of a handful, too wet, and if you toss it in the air and a handful separates into little bits, it's too dry.
    Hope this helps.
     
  5. CariAnn88

    CariAnn88 Seedling

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    Jerry - I will take a few pictures tomorrow morning. It's only about 6 worms that have gone to the top. I added the worms yesterday and put in soil, paper and tea bags at the moment.

    Marlin - I will test the soil tomorrow. I think it might be a bit to cold for them out in the garden. They are under my storage bit of my raised greenhouse.
     



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  6. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Cariann, what all are you using as "compost" is it a finished pile with no worm "food" available or is it a pile that is getting hot and is too warm for the worms? maybe they are looking for food, I first started with torn up wet card board for the initial food for them, then I put a bunch of kitchen "stuff" on the pile. egg shells, greens, potato peels, carrot peels, tea bags, coffee grounds, leaves, straw, etc. I have heard to not use citrus, dairy, meat or fats in there. My worms are thriving on the combination I keep throwing at them.
     
  7. CariAnn88

    CariAnn88 Seedling

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    I am just using multi-purpose soil.
     
  8. jbest123

    jbest123 In Flower

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    In that case you have more worms than worm food. Throw in some grass, leaves, newspaper, cardboard, and kitchen scraps. To me number one is rotting horse bedding. There are several types of worms some want to migrate into the subsoil and some will spend their entire life in compost.
     
  9. CariAnn88

    CariAnn88 Seedling

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    Thank you, I will try that :)
     
  10. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    In addition to all the above,,how is the weather? And is the worm bin close to anything that runs with a motor? They are sensitive to any kind of ground vibration as well as thunder. I used to pick up night crawlers to fish with. Once we were going to the lake the next morning,and I had about 200 in a Styrofoam cooler with soil. During the night we had a good thunderstorm, I woke up during it to find my nightcrawlers crawling all over the floor. They need a good quiet place. Too wet would be my guess for yours. But you can just add dry stuff on top and they will be fine.
     
  11. CariAnn88

    CariAnn88 Seedling

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    I have a raised bed greenhouse, so they are under the storage bit of my greenhouse. It's cold here at the moment and they are in the back garden, it's quiet where I live.
     
  12. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    I would add some dry material mixed with some cornmeal on top. then if you can add a few inches of dry leaves on top of that with a bit of soil. That will give them something dry to crawl into. They naturally will migrate up or down as the weather and moisture dictates. Water settles to the bottom, they will go up, too hot they go down ect. I have raised redworms and nightcrawlers several times. And make sure your bed has good drainage.
     
  13. CariAnn88

    CariAnn88 Seedling

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    Okies I will do. Thanks :)
     
  14. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    CariAnn---how did your worm adventure turn out?
     
  15. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Hi CariAnn 88,

    When I started my worm composting, DonnaS guided me through the whole process and I had great success. Check out this posting but bear in mind the weather condition is different.

    Good luck!:)
     
  16. Jani May

    Jani May New Seed

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    For Happy worms:

    WHAT WORMS EAT

    FEEDSTOCK:
    Fruits & Veggies (they love melon!) Leafy yard clippings (they love roses!) Breads, pastas & rice Corn meal, oats, and grains
    LIMITED FOODS:
    Citrus (changes PH) Coffee (Changes PH) Onion (Changes PH)
    AVOID:
    Meat and Dairy
    Oils and Salt
    Corn Cobs
    Beans and Seeds
    BEDDING:
    Fully composted manure
    Finished compost
    Coir
    Shredded cardboard or newspaper
    Shredded Leaves or 'brown' yard waste
    Sawdust or Wood shavings
    A handful of dirt or something with grit every few feedings

    Try to make sure the tempature is where it should be. Same for moisture level.
     

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