Taking Care of Live Compost Worms & Your Worm Bin
Once you've set-up your worm bin, bought your compost worms online, and settled on a feeding and watering schedule, there's not a lot of work involved in maintaining your bin. In fact, worms prefer to work in silence and in the dark, so they are happiest going a few days without seeing you. And even then, they prefer to see you only in short, brief bursts.
You'll notice that when you lift the lid or cover to your bin the worms will usually scatter or start moving. This interrupts their eating (and breeding) so it's best to avoid bothering the worms as much as possible. They will eat, mate, and breed better the fewer interruptions they have!
Here's a quick checklist of to do's to ensure your worms stay healthy and happy:
- Feed 1/4 to 1/2 their weight and only feed after all food from the prior feeding has been processed by the worms. If you see food in the bin or the worms are still congregated en masse in the area where you last fed them, check back in a day or 2.
- Verify the top of the bed is damp and there is no water accumulating on the bottom of the bin or in the base of the bin. Lightly mist the top of the bed if it is getting dry. If water is accumulating in the bottom of the bin, adjust (decrease) your watering schedule and amounts. Pro tip #1: We recommend watering your worms on a set schedule, around once a week. But it's good to check each time you feed and verify the bedding is slightly damp.
- As the worm bin's bed begins to get fully processed - it will start to look like wet dirt and should have the look of felt from a pool table - you will want to mix in a little carbon (e.g., shredded cardboard or shredded newspaper) directly with the fruits and vegetables you are feeding them. Aim for a ratio of 90% food and 10% carbon. Pro tip #2: Since the edges of worm bins are usually the least processed, you can often grab a small handful of the original bedding from the edges and mix it into the food. Just make sure not to bury any food while mixing it!
That's really all there is to it. Compost worms don't require a lot of TLC once they are established in their new home, and as noted above they prefer quiet and solitude to do their work.
If you have any questions or comments, shoot us an email or check the other tips and how to articles on our blog. Thanks for reading and Happy farming!