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Worms and Composter FAQ

 

What is a worm composter and how does it work?

A worm composter is a fantastic way to recycle your kitchen and garden waste and allows you to obtain a great liquid fertiliser and compost that is high in nutrients and perfect plant feed for your garden. This particular approach to composting involves keeping worms in a comfortable and well fed environment using a purpose built unit for your home or garden, such as the ones available from Spotty Green Frog in our Worm Composting section. It works by stocking it up regularly with your unwanted organic waste and allowing the worms inside the composter to break it down until you are left with highly rich compost and liquid fertiliser.

What worms do you need for worm composting and why use these particular worms?

Dendrobaenas - These are some of the best worms for composting. They are easy to transport and can survive pretty harsh conditions. They also love to wriggle!

How do I get some worms for my worm composter?

You can order Dendrobaenas worms from Spotty Green Frog. Our great value starter pack contains all the worms you need to begin composting.

Are these the same worms that you can find in your garden and can I use garden worms in my composter?

Dendrobaenas are not the same worms you would find in your garden. The common garden worm, which is referred to as a Lob worm tends to burrow deep in the ground and is not as effective as a composting worm such as the Dendrobaenas which will live and feed near the surface. Lob worms will pose no threat to your composting worms if you were to use them in your composter.

Will the worms be in good condition when I get them?

The worms are bred in a comfortable environment where they are well fed and looked after to ensure that they are happy and of the highest quality. Worms are never packaged and dispatched unless it is absolutely guaranteed that they will easily survive the journey. The greatest amount of care is taken when handling, packing and dispatching the worms.

How long will the worms survive after dispatch?

When the worms are packaged it is ensured that they are well fed and completely comfortable for their journey to your front door.  As soon as you receive your worms you must follow the instructions supplied with them. Whilst you prepare your worms for their new home you must ensure they are not being stored in extreme temperatures. If you do not intend to start using your worms for composting immediately you must feed them after 24 hours.  

How many worms will I receive?

The starter pack contains approximately 400 worms, which is more than enough to start using your composter immediately.

How should you handle the worms?

When the worms are packaged surgical gloves are worn to avoid the acid in our skin causing harm to them.  When handling the worms we would also advise you to wear surgical gloves. This can also help to avoid issues concerning hygiene.

What are the ideal living conditions to get the very best out of my worms?

The temperature range at which the Dendrobaena worms thrive and will breed is between 12 to 18 degrees Celsius. In warmer temperatures, their metabolism will often increase so they eat more food, particularly in temperatures of anything up to 25 degrees Celsius. If the temperature rises too much above this they can become very stressed and will die. This is also true if the weather is extremely cold. We advise putting the wormery in the shade during summer months and in the sun throughout the winter months, or even indoors.

How much of my waste will the worms eat and how quickly?

Worms can eat 3 times their own body weight a week. So a kilogram of worms will eat up to 3 Kilograms of your waste a week!

 

What should I do if my worms escape?

Don’t panic! Place any worms you can find back in the composter and ensure they are well contained. If any of them have managed to wriggle away and are never to be found again then do not worry about them. They are very friendly and pose no threat to the environment or other species. Worms often try to escape when they are not happy with their living conditions. See the question below to find out if you are giving your worms the right types of food which they are happy to eat.

What is it safe to feed my worms?

• Food waste from most foods prepared in the kitchen
• Grass cuttings
• Dust from vacuums (not excessive amounts. This can make it difficult for the worms to get oxygen)
• Cardboard such as egg boxes and toilet roll tubes
• Horse manure (excessive amounts will require lots of worms to break this down)
• Hair (both human and animal)

• Denim and cotton clothes (not excessive amounts)
• Shredded paper (must not be shiny or glossy)
• Broken up egg shells
• Tea bags

You should NEVER feed your worms the following materials:

• Non organic materials i.e. metals, plastics, oils, acids, grease
• Bones
• Large quantities of food which are high in acidic content such as oranges and lemons
• Large quantities of strong vegetable matter such as onions, garlic, leeks

 


You can find a range of Worm Products including composters, wormeries, live stock and food on Spotty Green Frog.

More information on setting up the best environment for your worms can be found in our video on Youtube under the title: How to Set up a Desktop Wormery.

We hope you have found this FAQ useful. If you have any questions that are not answered here then please do not hesitate to call us on 0845 459 3270.