Frequently asked questions on composting with worms and wormeries.


Since we launched our web site people have shown great interest. Following the navigation links on the left you will find a lot of information on the Dendrobaena worm, and how it works for fishing as well as composting. There are tips on how you can make a wormery, what to feed the worms, and how to keep them healthy. Below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about worms and wormerys: 


I am going on holiday, what should I do about my composting worms?

There is no need to worry about your worms. They are happy to look after themselves for a month or more, just give them a good balanced feed, making sure the moisture balance is ok. 


What are the dimensions of The Worm Works wormery?

Each tray, base unit and collecting tray are 40cm x 40cm x 13cm (L x W x H). The lid is 5.5cm high. As you only use each tray as it is needed and each tray rests on the material in the tray below it, the total height of the wormery is variable. With the standard 3 trays supplied the maximum height would be approx. 62-67cm. If you want more composting capacity, additional trays can be bought from us.

There are lots of tiny white worm-like creatures in my wormery, are they baby worms and if not will they cause harm to my composting worms?

The tiny white worm-like creatures are often confused with baby worms but are in fact called nematodes. You need not worry about them, they are a natural part of the composting process.  However an abundance of them can indicate that your wormery is too acidic and it would be beneficial to add Lime.  Nematodes are also an excellent biological control for fruit flies. 

There seem to be a lot of worms, will there be too many for the wormery?

No, worms for composting will breed and this will help your wormery be even more efficient. The type of worms supplied by Bucket of Worms will automatically regulate their own numbers to suit the space they have. 

Is there a temperature band at which a wormery will work best?

The best temperature is between 12C and 23C inside a wormery. A worm's metabolism increases with warmth, therefore they eat more at warmer temperatures. Dendros are surprisingly hardy and once a wormery is established, with a few inches of bedding, they can survive frosts. However, if you are experiencing a severe cold spell you can bring The Worm Works Wormery into the garage, conservatory or even the kitchen. Alternatively you can cover wormeries with some form of insulation, eg an old blanket.

Would the Worm Works be better insulated?

Insulation will keep your worms working harder during the winter months.

When I open the lid there are worms clinging to it. Is there a reason for this?

The most likely reason is that the worms are hungry, or that something in the conditions of the composting bin is not to their liking.

How long will the worms live?

Worms have been recorded in bins living up to 10 years, although half of this would be more common. You will always have a good supply as they are constantly breeding, assuming they are looked after properly.

If I cut the worms in half will this increase the population?

No, one half of the worm may survive.

How long will it take to get a wormery going?

It takes time for the worms to settle in and for you to get the conditions right, so getting started can take 1 - 3 months.

Should you turn The Worm Works like a compost heap?

No, the worms will do what is needed. Other types of wormery would need to be gently forked through every 3 - 6 weeks. 

Can you use tap water in wormerys?

Rainwater, springwater or indeed the leachate collected at the bottom of your wormery would be the best. The problem with tap water is that the chlorine in it will kill the micro-organisms present in the compost, this will not only slow down the composting process but kill some of the worms' food.

How much food should I put in the The worm works?

The instruction booklet will give you advice, but you will know if you are feeding them too much if the food lies in the wormery uneaten. It is better to under feed than over feed.

Will mould on the food harm the composting worms?

No, they will be just fine. Mould is a natural element within the decaying process.

Well, we've had the wormery in our kitchen now for about 3 weeks and we are really very impressed with it! I have read all of the instructions very carefully and set them up accordingly. The worms themselves are making quick work of the scraps that we have given them so far and there is a great deal of fine compost in the bottom tray already - we are really impressed. I haven't added a second tray yet as I am unsure of what bedding I should put in - should I wait until there is a bit more of their own 'compost' and stick that in, about an inch thick? Will that be enough or should I find some more coir bedding from somewhere?I

f you cannot source any coir locally to you, the cheapest option would be to start a new tray using damp shredded newspaper and maybe a handful of compost from the first tray. I wouldn't take too much compost from your 1st tray yet, the worms are very happy and I wouldn't want to disturb the balance of such a newly established wormery.

We seem to have *lots* of little bugs - I am presuming they are mites. Does this mean that we have overfed the wormery? Should I be doing anything about the mites, or just leave them to get on with it?? 

You will always find all sorts of 'bugs' in your wormery, they tend to be part and parcel of the composting process. The occasional, every 2-4 weeks, addition of small amounts of lime should prevent the wormery going acidic which can happen during the composting process. As far as overfeeding goes, just make sure that the worms are active in amongst their current supply of food and that the scraps are well covered with wormcast before adding more food.