How to stop your wormery tap clogging up September 11 2015
Since starting to learn about worms I've also learnt how grim it is when things go wrong with the wormery. Sometimes the tap can get clogged up with bits of gunk and this means that the water can't escape. If it doesn't get addressed quickly it means the worms can drown so this must be avoided at all costs.
A can-o-worms tap (like the one we have at The Garden House) is easy to access and unblock but if you have one of the big stand-up bin type wormeries the only real way to unclog it is to empty the whole thing out which is a laborious and disgusting job. You have to empty it out every year or so anyway to get to the good compost at the bottom but you don't want to have to do it too often. It smells disgusting.
So the tip is not to let your tap get clogged up in the first place.
The wormery already comes with a plastic layer that fits between where the worms live and the tap area but this needs an extra level of protection. This is what the plastic layer looks like:
The secret is to put the toe of an old pair of nylon tights over the back of the tap and secure with an elastic band to prevent anything from clogging it up.
Here is a close up of the inside of our tap:
When we were setting up the ONCA wormery, we were feeling a bit anxious about the worms drowning so decided to set up an extra safety layer. Gary, one of the ONCA volunteers, came up with the genius idea of putting the rest of the tights over the plastic tray. Because they're nylon, the tights won't biodegrade or be chomped through by the worms and they will prevent any large bits of debris from falling through to the bottom, whilst letting the moisture seep through to the tap section. Amazing way to not waste the remainder of the tights we cut up for the tap.
Here are Gary and Lauren, the ONCA Gallery manager, showing off the idea in action. It's ace when you meet people who are just as enthusiastic about worms as you are. When I emailed Lauren to tell her the wormery had arrived her actual reply was that this was "fantastically exciting news".
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