Setting Up Your Bin
Before the worms arrive they will need a home set up for them.
The following info should get you set for a smooth start:
- Container A container should be able to provide adequate surface area for the amount of worms you buy. A good rule of thumb would be that a pound of worms can fit into one square foot of surface space. Since the worms rapidly multiple under ideal conditions, I would suggest starting with 1/2 lb of worms per square foot of space. Both wood and plastic bins can work, they should allow the worms to live in 8-12 inches of compost and bedding.
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- Oxygen Living organisms need oxygen. At a minimum, the container used should have air holes drilled every 2 inches along the top of the container and a number of air/drainage holes drilled underneath. A catch pan can be placed under the drainage holes to catch “leachate” that can be used as compost tea (when oxygenated and added to rainwater).You will want to place a homemade bin on something like bricks to allow ventilation under the system.
Environment Worms will need a place to work and a place to rest. I like to set up a worm bin this way: 1) bottom (working layer) 4-6 inches of the bin should place some moistened, half decomposed compost. 2) Add one handful of sand 3) top (resting layer) layer of 4-6 inches of moist bedding. The bedding can be any organic carbon source: shredded newspaper, shredded cardboard, fall leaves, dried grass, hay or straw. Let this mix sit for one or two weeks to let compost “cool” and to let microbes work on decomposing to provide best worm home. The moisture level of the worm bedding should be like a wrung out sponge.
Temperature and Light Worms prefer a dark, cool place in the range of 40-80 degrees F.
- Food We will discuss food in a blog post. Don’t fret, your worms will be busy adjusting to their new home and eating the compost, bedding and material provided with the shipping. You should not feed them for the first week.
Worms Eat My Garbage book by Mary Applehof. Her Website: