Tag Archives: worm bin too wet

Worm Bin Too Wet?

Worm bin too wet? My worm bin is getting quite wet in the bottom-not dripping but wetter than it should be.  There are too many worms in the bin so I need to transfer some to a new bin. This is a reminder post that you should look at your worm bin once a week and move all the bedding around to aerate it.  This also enables you to make sure the environment is still healthy:

  • not too wet
  • not smelling bad

Worm Bin Too Wet?  Make Sure There is no Nasty Odor

Worm Bin Too Wet-Mixing It UpIt should have a neutral smell not a rotten smell.  Stirring it up refreshes the oxygen which is very important because composting worms need oxygen.  It is easy to stir it up.  Use plastic gloves if you don’t want to touch the compost.  If the bin starts to smell bad it means that an anaerobic process is starting and you need to do something about it:

  1. transfer some worms to a new bin
  2. stir up the bedding with the worms in it
  3. add some shredded or folded newspaper
  4. hold off on the food scraps

until you re-stabilize the environment.  Stirring up all the bedding aerates the bin.  It is hard to imagine that just a little mixing up refreshes the oxygen for the worms but it does a great job of it!

Folded newspaper works well placed under all the bedding.  It will absorb the extra moisture and then you can use it to cover the worm bedding in the bin.  Another great addition is cardboard egg cartons.  This is a win-win situation. ( You are recycling the egg cartons.  In my opinion all egg cartons should be cardboard.)  And the egg cartons supply great little oxygen tents for the worms.

Read this thread on worm bin smells bad for more information.

 

Worm Bedding-Using Shredded Newspaper

 Worm Bedding Too Wet

Sterlite 10 gallon worm bin

Sterlite 10 gal worm bin

This is about worm bedding-using shredded newspaper. Since I posted about a week ago, about my worm bedding being too wet, I have been transferring some worms to a new bin filled with shredded newspaper.  The moisture situation has stabilized and I haven’t had to add any shredded paper since then.  So there were just too many red worms in there for that size of worm bin.  I would expect that eventually there will be too many worms for the bin because there are a lot of worm egg cocoons in there and the worms are mulitplying all the time.  I have already given away worms because I had too many for my bin.  For the new bin I am using a Sterlite 10 gallon opaque plastic bin that I bought at WalMart.  It cost $3.97.  Another good choice for a worm composting bin is a Rubbermaid 14 gallon container which I recently saw at KMart for $9.97.  So it is possible to start vermicomposting without spending too much.

Using Dry Shredded Newspaper

When I learned to set up a worm bin I was taught to use moistened shredded newspaper-just wet enough so that if you squeeze it no water comes out.  Just like a wrung out sponge.  I found a video on Youtube about making a Rubbermaid worm bin composter.  (The video uses music which gets too loud at the end but basically it has good information.) Dry shredded newspaper is used-this is the first time I have heard this.  It makes sense because if you start with dry shredded newspaper then there is less moisture to start with and it will take a longer time until the worm bin is too wet.  It just keeps that extra beginning moisture out of the bin.  So I decided to experiment with this.

Will the worms die?

Worm Bedding Using Shredded Newspaper

Worms covered with moistened newspaper in dry shredded newspaper

That is my big question.  In the Youtube video she puts in 3 lbs of worms, with the peat moss they arrived in, along with lots of food scraps. So those worms have lots of moist space to move around in and don’t have to venture forth into the dry shredded newspaper.  I didn’t have so many worms to begin with because I was slowly transferring them from another bin.  So I put down a double layer of moistened newspaper, about 12 x 10 inches, to put the worms on with some of their previous bedding and food scraps.  I did this so they wouldn’t fall down into the dry newspaper and get dried up–I’m not sure this would happen but I wanted that protection.  After a week I have checked around in all the dry bedding and I don’t see any worms in it dead or alive which is what I expected.  The dry bedding right under the worms is starting to get moist from the food scraps and the worm poop.  And the moistened newspaper under them is starting to break down so I expect they will start venturing forth into the rest of the bin. One thing to watch out for is that the moistened newspaper covering the worms dries out quickly so you have to spray it almost every day. I also tried this in a much smaller bin and all the dry bedding is damp now so it works out great.