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My Red Worms (aka Brandling Worms) have been very


busy this last 3 months. I now have a compost bin full of
seed sowing compost. Was wondering how to treat this
gardening bonus, and keep the bin filled for the winter months with material for them to keep warm in. They dont seem to do much chewing whilst I cling to my central heating, make a ‘den’ in the centre as they know that is the warmest place. They are fascinating tiny creatures, they do have brains too.
I will cover the bin, to help keep them warm .

Decided (while splitting a stock of cardboard for my hard
working Gerbils) to remove the seed sowing compost and
store in clear plastic bags in a large box in the dry shed.

Cut down the Clematis, but not put it in the council bin as usual for their Garden Waste collection. Put it in my almost empty compost bin with Gerbil litter, as the Clematis stalks are a bit tough. Hope they soften up a bit. Also any uncooked vegetable scraps (not potato, onion, or citrus peelings). Hope this keeps them warm, busy and happy all winter.

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Why not potato peelings?

12 Sep, 2015


All my uncooked veg scraps go into the compost bin. The little red worms in there seem to keep going all winter regardless, but no idea whether they are brandling worms or not - they just appear on their own.

13 Sep, 2015


Brandling worms are best at around 15deg C. They will slow down below that temp (I had an angler for an ex).
Like Davros, I would also ask why not potato peelings?

14 Sep, 2015


Will check on this

14 Sep, 2015


I dont put Potato or Tomato foliage in. That goes to our council collection.

14 Sep, 2015


Checked on my copy of Clare Foster's 'Compost'. I do
not put potato peelings in my compost bin, or several other items Clare recommends, for personal choice, because of the fear of rats and mice which have ' rubber' bones and could get in underneath the bin.
Cooked food of any kind should not be put onto compost heaps or anywhere outside. Rats carry disease, and live in sewers.
I will correct Clare's book, which is otherwise very helpful
to beginners.
I do not peel potatoes, as the nutrients under the skin are better than the centre of the potato. I scrub them and slice thinly for the steamer, with flaked home grown carrots, Broccoli (rich in Calcium) Cauliflower, always a small thinly sliced home grown onion, a peeled stick of celery - so my 5 a day are nutritious vegetables !
One Christmas I gave my son his dinner with 12 vegetables on the plate. He took its photograph, and sent it on his new tele/camera thingee to his friends.
Lovely fun.

14 Sep, 2015


There is absolutely no reason why potato peelings can't be fed to branding worms. Obviously if you don't peel potatoes then you won't have peelings and you can't put in what you don't have.
Potato/tomato foliage is a different matter and may or may not be appropriate (though I can't see why it would be a problem if it's shredded first).
As for rats and mice - if they want to get in then they will get in - and they're not fussy about whether the food has been cooked or not - rats in particular will eat most things.
What you shouldn't put in are animal products (meat and dairy) but branding worms do need egg shells (as a valuable source of calcium and 'grit') which should be washed of any remaining egg white before being crushed up.

14 Sep, 2015


Looking at Brandling Worms mouths, I just cannot understand how they can possibly chew crushed up egg shells which would be painful for my mouth !
So its just every gardener's option methinks.

14 Sep, 2015


They don't chew they suck - they don't have teeth. You have to give them a helping hand by crushing the shells. And it isn't a 'gardener's opinion' - it's biology! The worms need grit to be able to digest food and a good source of grit is crushed eggshells.
If you want a gardener's opinion then try which says the same and gives other reasons for putting eggshells in your compost.

14 Sep, 2015


I stopped putting them in some time ago because they just appeared again in the compost when it was spreads. Interesting that the worms can use them - perhaps better start putting them in again.

14 Sep, 2015


What I need is one of those pestle and mortar pots cooks use sometimes to crush seeds. Will have a look in Argos
catalogue. Start saving my eggshells again.

14 Sep, 2015

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