New Worm Farm Issues
I have just started a worm farm a few days ago and have been very excited. I followed all the instructions precisley when setting up and placed a moist hessian bag on top. A friend of mine has a worm farm and told me that she had lots of worms and not to buy any as she would give me some. On day one after setting the farm up, I put her worms in and the next morning noticed that they were either dead or couldn't even find them after tilling gently through the soil. I figured I should just buy some since I read that we really needed at least 1000 to get started (plus her worms looked really tiny and super skinny, that may not matter but I'm just used to seeing plumper worms) I should also add that it was 41C/105F that day! I thought perhaps the worms over heated due to the extreme heat and moved it to a shader place.
I bought 1000 worms and added them to the farm. These worms looked really healthy and were nice and redish purple in colour- not yellowish like those from my friend. I added a small amount of food scraps- about a small handful(a few carrot peels, tomato top, mango peel and celery tops) and a tiny bit of shredded cardboard. I noticed my husband had wetted down the hessian cloth that evening. The next morning my husband checked on them and a large amount of worms were all on the top of the compost or stuck on the hessian bag.
That day it was really hot again, about 43C/110F. When we got home in the evening I found that many of the worms had gone all over the hessian bag. After reading some advice about heat on the internet, my husband put a frozen ice block gently in the tray to cool it off, as suggested by some peopple. I also decided to inspect further and lifted the working tray up and was horrified when I saw so many worms in the liquid collection tray, many which had drowned in liquid. I didn't even realise there would be that much liquid already (about 3 cups?) the tray slopes down a littleas the ground is uneven so there was a good bit of liquid on the side towards the tap with what looked like all the worms my friend gave me and many of my new worms were on the dome shape in the middle or elsewhere. I gathered all the alive worms out and put them back in the working tray and gave them a pep talk!
I've been so disappointed and not knowing what to do next. I don't know if it is the heat or something I have done wrong. Is the compost too wet or dry? It is nice and moist but not soggy- (I noticed my friends was like a thick mud, which mine is not) It just seems like they are not happy in their new enviornment and I feel terrible for them and for us! We were so excited to start our farm.
Any helpful advice would me appreciated.....Thanks in advance!