In the Garden: A big can of worms

For a while now I have wanted a wormery in the garden, but have never, until recently, properly looked into the options. Well I can honestly say I am quite surprised at the expense of it all…although in the long run I can see I would have some lovely compost for my veggie garden and be reducing my household waste.

My options seem to be as follows:

Omlet: Hungry Bin

Hungry Bin

Starting price – £175.00

These look amazing and seem to include everything you would need, looks very portable with the wheels, but at nearly £200 I really do not think I could justify the cost.  It is a lot to spend on worms and compost in my opinion and kind of distracts from the ‘money saving’ aspect I like about composting etc!

Original Organics : The Original Wormery

Original Wormery Internals

Starting price – £52.95

A lot more reasonable price, includes everything you need to set up, but doesn’t look as easy to access the compost as the Omlet one? Something maybe to investigate further. Also not portable, I’m not sure I would want to move it though so not a big issue.

Wolverhampton Council – Getcomposting.com

Can-O-Worms Basic with Budget Pack, 45 litres

Starting Price – £53.00

This is a ‘can o worms’ composter is available, apparently at a discounted rate from our local council. It includes everything to start up as the other two above, but I like the look of this as it is in layers and seems easy to access and maintain, there is a more expensive one with additional layer, so I wonder if maybe this one could be added to if I got on okay with it?

Tesco Greener living DIY version

*No photo available*

Starting price – A plastic tap plus worms

This article tells you how to make your own wormery from a box (am thinking I would use my old recycling box) and turn it into a wormery. Looks like it would be awkward to access the compost, but it would be easy to drain off the ‘worm juice’. Realistically I think this is the one I will try as it is cheap and I won’t have a lot to lose if it turns out to be not for us.

I am interested to know your thoughts though?

Any tried and tested wormeries?

Has anyone done any blog reviews etc, or know of any you could link me to?

I am more of a look at before I buy person so will have to try and see if any local garden centres stock any of these so I can get a feel for them.

Any opinions?

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Out in the garden: Weekend washout

I had big plans for the weekend, however due to rain not a lot got done.

On Saturday we took the boys to see the Olympic Torch relay and despite the rain we all enjoyed it, there was a lovely atmosphere.

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I loved the neon queen posters as well! Not sure if they had been put up for the torch or if they were left over from the jubilee?

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On Sunday afternoon we took the boys to their Nans and went to fetch some trees/bushes. We chose an apple tree, a plum tree and a loganberry bush. We came home and planted them behind the coop…I am regretting not buying a raspberry and blackcurrent bush as well now!

 

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They hens were very inwuisitive and looked like they couldn’t wait to get out and pinch all the berries!!!

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I am considering getting one of those omlet moveable fences to keep them away from the top part of the garden…does anyone have any experience with them? They are £99 so would like to hear some real life stories about pros and cons before buying!

Yesterday we had our first 4 egg day!! Clever girls 🙂

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I have ordered a few bits and pieces to decorate the coop and run so will update you all when they arrive.

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News from the Coop: A place for everything….

Today has been a tidy up day as far as the coop and run go. When we got the hens it was constant solid rain so we did the basics and made it fox proof and functional!

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The food and water were hung up with wire tied to the roof which was a bit if a pain, as taking it down at night took forever….I decided chain and clips would be best, but not cheap at £3 a metre as I needed 4 metres….plus clips….then in our local discount warehouse I got 2 hanging basket chains at a bargain 80p each…and they had the hooks on…I just unclipped them so they were a long chain. I had enough to do the food container, the water container and make a chain to clip the inner coop door open.

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The ground was getting boggy and muddy so we popped over to a lovely little local nursery on the edge of the forest and got a back of bark and layed it on the floor of the big run. The girls love it! They have been entertained all afternoon and it looks so much tidier out there.

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I still have plans to make it prettier on the outside but that will have to wait for another day.

Am now off to shred some paper as I have been doing a bit of research and apparently it is ok to use in the laying boxes as long as its changed every day…we are changing the sraw every day at the moment so it won’t make a difference to us and a good way to recycle our paper.

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Ooh! Those three eggs we got yesterday? Well two of them were double yokers!!!

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News from the Coop: Chickens, a good place to start

I have wanted chickens for a long time, but it must be said the man of the house has taken a fair bit of convincing!

Last year and the year before we had a family of foxes living in next doors garden which was ever so overgrown, however at the end of last year the neighbour had it cleared and landscaped and the foxes seemed to move elsewhere. So this year I won my battle (although once I visited some chickens and took some photos it was quite easy!) 😀

We already had a large run and a dog kennel which we used to keep our rabbit Honey in until she passed away (so it was proven to be fox proof!) originally we were going to adapt the kennel and turn it into a coop, but in the end we opted for a new coop with the pan to attach the run to it (I do still wish we had adapted the kennel and am trying to plan a way to do it).

Here is our set up so far – taken in the rain whilst it was still being double meshed!)

It now has slabs and solar lights around the edges and I plan to pretty it up at bit more with some mini picket fencing around the edge and a few pretty plants growing over the top. Ideally I would like to add the kennel to the side of the run as a shelter but thats going to take some convincing so for now it will stay like this!

We bought the hen’s from Staffordshire Chickens, a small family supplier of chickens who were so helpful! Richard and Gail looked after all their birds so well and answered all our questions. I have already recommended them to a few people who have seen our girls and wanted some of their own!

Now time to meet the ladies:

Top left we have Scramble, who is a Staffordshire Amber Link, she belongs to J and is the brave one who likes cuddles! She was the first to get used to us and is such a character. Always the first one to come up for treats and a bit of fuss and is a very good chicken and is always first up to bed at night.

Top right we have Henrietta, a Staffordshire Calder Ranger. This one is my Hen and she is lovely, a bit bossy, but friendly and probably the mother hen of all of them.

Bottom left is Megg, a Staffordshire Rhode Rock. Megg belongs to A, she is bossy and loves her food and is always last to bed- a perfect match for A! The colours on Megg are stunning, definitely our prettiest hen.

Bottom right is George, she is Staffordshire Blue Ranger, and is named after a footballer apparently, but I have no idea how this makes a chicken name! George seems to be at the bottom of the pecking order with the ladies and seems to get picked on a bit by Megg. We give her lots of fuss and slowly she getting a bit braver! She seems happy though and has lovely coloured fluffy bluey grey feather.

The hens were all 18 weeks old when we collected them and I was expecting to wait a good few week for eggs however we got our first two yesterday (just 8 days after collecting them) and then another two this morning! I think it is Henrietta and Megg who are laying, but George keeps following them in and sitting in the laying box so maybe she will lay for us soon!

So far we are all very pleased with our decision to have chickens they are so funny to watch and easy to care for and we have had a lot of requests for eggs already!