Vermicomposting – How to take care of your worms

Your worms need 6 things to stay healthy: temperature, food, moisture, airflow, bedding, and darkness.

Temperature: Your worms need to be stored between 55 and 77 degree. During the hot days of summer you should keep your worm bin in the shade and during winter you should keep it indoors or in your garage.

Food: Worms are vegetarians so any garden waste you normally would add to your compost (expired fruits and vegetables, bread, egg shells, cereal, etc) you can give to your worms. There are some tricks to make the fruits/vegetables easier for the worms to eat by putting the food in your freezer for a few days and/or putting it in a blender and make a worm food smoothie.

Moisture: Lack of moisture is the easiest way to kill off your worm population. Like us worms contain a high percentage of water without moisture they will dry out and die. Most of the time the food you add will give your worms enough moisture to be happy but on hot/dry summer days you might need to add a little extra water to your bin.

Airflow: Worms need air to live, make sure your worm bin has air holes. You must also ensure that your bin does not get too soggy which can suffocate your worms. If you find your bin begins to get too wet add some shredded paper and mix in with the existing bedding. If you bin frequently gets waterlogged you may want to add some extra air holes to your bin.

Bedding: Bedding gives worms space to live and also allows area to bury food scraps. This also adds material to store some extra moisture.

Darkness: As long as your bin is created out of a opaque material and you keep a lid on it this one should take care of itself.

7 Responses to “Vermicomposting – How to take care of your worms”

  1. ourfriendben Says:

    Love your homemade vermicomposter, Cheap Veg! And these tips are great, too. After years of lusting after one, I finally ponied up the big bucks and bought a multi-tiered worm composter from Worm’s Way a couple of years ago. It spends the winter in my greenhouse and summer out in the shade, and I’ve had the greatest time with it. It’s so much fun and so little bother! And geez, the difference the vermicompost makes in my growing beds. Highly recommended!!! But better still to make your own and save!

  2. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Glad you to hear you enjoyed the vermicomposting posts. We started ours late fall so this will be the first year reaping the benefits. Looking forward to seeing how it works and seeing how the casting tea works.

  3. Digger Says:

    One way to help the worms digest the food scraps is to not refridgerate them (the food scraps, not the worms) and let them sit at room temperature a few days before feeding. The bacteria will begin to break down the food and the worms will have an easier time of it. Freezing, though, sounds like a great idea to break up the food fiber into smaller particles without the mess and labor of grating. You could freeze it, then let it set out and you’d have a nice oozy mess. Yum!

  4. Red Worm Says:

    It’s always a good idea to leave a light on over your bin. Worms will crawl from: excess noise; cold; for no apparent reason. Not a pleasant occurance. The light will discourage this, although if they are determined to crawl, nothing will stop them. But take heart. If the bedding remains a neutral ph, there is adequate food, the moisture is just enough, the temps don’t get too cold, and there’s no excess noise or vibration, the worms will want to stay put. The light is just insurance.

  5. len Says:

    ya all my worms die they get to soggy so how do i take care of that

  6. Olivia Says:

    I thought how you explained how to take care of worms very well. im nine and im cuirios about worms.So, now after reading that page I can confedently search for worms knowing what to do and knowing who taght me. Sincearly Olivia

  7. Roch Says:

    Is there a link between the moisture and the appearance of mites in the bing? My bing is quite moist and there’s white a bit of those bugs in there?

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