Saturday, 7 March 2009

Worm spaghetti anyone?

Yesterday was a bright sunny day, so I decided to sort out my worms.

Wormery, composting worms you understand.

The wormery has been sheltering from the harsh frosts in the shed all winter. The cold weather has meant that the worms really haven't been converting much of our food waste into compost, but the change in the temperature means that they'll soon be back to their composting best. They are on their third wormery tier, so it was definately time to sort the worms from the compost and make space for more food waste.

Sorting the wormery compostStep one

Get the wormery out of the shed and lay some plastic sheeting on the grass.

Step two

Take the top tier off the wormery and set to one side.

Step three

Tip the other two tiers of worm compost onto the sheeting and use the empty tiers to weigh down the plastic sheeting edges.

Step four

Get all of the worms out from the compost and put the worms back into the wormery and use the compost.


Only it's never quite as easy as that, especially if your not that keen on handling worms!

The trick to sorting the worms from the compost is to understand that worms do not like to be exposed to the sun or to dry out. So they will seek dark, damp places.

With that in mind, I put some dampened newspaper onto the worm/compost mix and pile the compost up. The worms work their way down and towards the moisture, so the compost can be skimmed off the top. I keep a small container near me to rescue any rogue worms.

Worm SpaghettiTowards the end of the sorting process my mind usually flits to a book I read as a child, The Twits by Roald Dahl. The worms have so little space to hide from the sun that they mass together in a wiggling, wriggling worm spaghetti.

If any readers have young children and are thinking about getting a wormery, I'm sure that kids would love to help you sort your compost.

Incidentally, the wormery we have is the Can-O-Worms. We bought it (3 years ago) for about a third of the normal retail price through our local council. So if you are thinking about getting a wormery check out your council for offers first.


  1. The worms just moved into my compost bins and multiplied - I didn't have to buy a wormery. Last year I gave several plastic pots full of worms away through Freecycle. When I put some stuff in the bin today, the worms were very active.

  2. Hi Aphra,

    I think if I were thinking about getting a wormery now I'd make one. The brandlng worms (aka red or tiger worms) that are best for converting the decaying food waste can be bought quite cheaply as they are also used as fishing bait.

    Even better if they just move in like yours!!

  3. This advice has come just in time. I've been feeling guilty about mine for a while and really do need to sort them out (ensuring the chickens are out of sight first) :-D


Please don't be anonymous, tell me your name or something!!