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By Alvarez

United Kingdom Gb

My wife and I have an allotment and on it we have constructed a 4 X 4ft compost heap made from old pallets. It receives tops of veg. such as beetroot, carrots, beans etc etc all chopped into about 2" pieces. It has straw, shredded paper and horse manure and is turned. So far, we have not attracted red worms and there seems to be no heat generating, Consequently the process of rotting down is hardly occuring. What are we doing wrong?



Is it covered? I use a plastic bin and it generates a fair amount of heat. Also, is it very new? If it is, it may take a little while to get going. It will also take some time for the worms and other bugs to come into the heap - particularly as it is still to get going.

If you do not have it covered, try placing a top layer of grass cuttings on top to build up the heat.

2 Aug, 2011


Alternatively cover with some old carpet.

2 Aug, 2011


How to get the worms, i have always followed this procedure, eggshells, teabags leaves veg clippings and old cardboard soaked in water, keep adding these and build it up, i prefer to leave the compost open to the elements which ensures all the insects etc can get in to help the process, in dry periods i chuck some water in too, to keep it from drying out to much just keep some soggy cardboard on the top in next to no time you should see masses of red small worms/tiger worms, for some reason soggy cardboard allways works and given time you will have some great compost, once you move this, save a good fork full containing the worms to give yourself a start on the next compost.

2 Aug, 2011


The worms do not come in from the top but up from the ground. No reason not to cover to help the heap to heat up. Personally we add no cardboard or brown stuff...

2 Aug, 2011


We add egg boxes (soaked first), shredded paper and layers of straw, grass and veggie, then more, the usual stuff it all goes in, give it time and the creatures will move in, you could if you wanted buy some worms from wiggly wigglers to get a good start or just be patient!

2 Aug, 2011


If you can bring yourself to do it a jugful of urine is said to help things along.

2 Aug, 2011


Also, keep it moist, but not soggy, and keep it turned frequently. The living things that make compost all need moisture and oxygen to work.

2 Aug, 2011


Just to add, you dont want the compost generating lots of heat if you want to encourage the worms, if you want you coul try this method, get some cardboard soak it and lay it in a shaded part of the garden, keep it damp, within weeks you will find lots of these wriggling red worms when the soggy card is lifted, then add to the compost to get things moving.

4 Aug, 2011

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