Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Great Escape

A few weeks back (I know, I'm way behind on things as usual) I harvested the castings out of the composter.  The worms seemed to have been pretty busy and things were looking ready.  I cleaned out most of two bins and put half a bin worth of castings back in the new tray with the worms that I separated out.

Well, I came down the next morning and found this, the great worm escape of 08.  The white stuff in the picture is paper shreds but the rest are (unfortunately) dried up worms that headed out of the bin.  They were everywhere.  I found a few live ones and popped them back in but I'm afraid many many did not make it.

I had plenty of castings in there and plenty of paper so I know they weren't looking for food, so near as I can tell, it was water that they were after, which is weird cause things were fairly moist at the time.  Worms need to be wet in order to breathe so I'm afraid the intrepid few/many set off in search of a little something to wet their whistles. I actually felt quite badly as they had been working so hard for me and here I was dropping the ball on them.

So, point taken, when harvesting form now on, add plenty of water and make sure they have enough to keep them comfortable.

Just goes to show you that it doesn't always go well with things, but if you keep learning, hopefully it'll head that direction in the long run.



eyeofthestorm said...

Dave, so sorry. We returned from being out of twon for 8 days to find our worms had attempted a similar mis-adventure. My worms had plenty of moisture, though. I think they decided the house was too warm (we turned off the air in our absence) and were seeking cooler pastures. Now we're keeping the thermostat set higher al the time, but within the range of the worms' comfort.

I, too felt badly. They're the best pets I've even owned - hard workers and always glad to see me...I admit, I am puzzled at how they always greet me, since they have no eyes...

Melissa said...

I've had similar sad scenes before! Although one thing to consider, the guy I got my worms from told me more people kill them from over watering than under. Also he said if you move them around or anything, the ph of the soil being different will make them prone to try to escape, so leave a bright lamp shining over the box for the first 48 hours or so, since the worms are photo-phobic they'll be much less likely to make a run for it.

Dave said...

Greet you, mine run? Ahh we do get attached though don't we. They're pretty pesky as of late so i think all is good in the bin. I gave them some cantaloupe as a little mea culpa and I think they are cool now.

Dave said...

The overwatering I know as anyone who has taken a walk after a rainstorm can attest to. I don't think it was that. I actually thought they had enough water so the PH thing is making me feel better and makes sense. I'll just keep a light on next time I do it and see what happens.