How Do I Prepare a Worm Bin?
Bedding material is needed to give your worms a place to live. They live in it and will eat it along with the food provided.
Preparing the Wriggly Wranch worm bin:
A bedding material made from coconut fiber (Coir) is provided with your Wriggly Wranch worm bin. Place the block of Coir in a bucket of warm water for about 30 minutes. It will expand and break apart. Place the cardboard that comes with the worm bin in the bottom of a tray and spread the wet Coir on top of the cardboard. Place the worms on top of the Coir bedding. They will quickly disappear into the bedding. Add a small amount of chopped up food and cover the food with shredded newspaper. Spray the paper with water to dampen it.
Preparing a plastic container:
Add a handful of dirt to the bottom of the bin for grit and fill the bin with shredded, moist, black and white newspaper. The newspaper strips should be no more than 1" wide and remain fluffy. Large pieces of wet paper have a tendency to compact reducing air circulation.
Preparing a wooden bin:
Add a handful of dirt to the bottom of the bin for grit and fill with shredded, moist, black and white newspaper. If you are preparing a wooden bin to be placed outside, animal manures from cows, horses or rabbits can be added as bedding along with decaying leaves. Manure, decaying leaves and wood are natural habitats for worms.
Additions to bedding:
In addition to the wide variety of foods (see listing) you may also provide grit to help break down food in the worm's gizzard. Because worms have no teeth, they take in small bits of dirt or grit with food. When it reaches the gizzard powerful muscles contract and with the help of grit break up the food.
Adding a handful of soil when preparing the bin provides grit and will inoculate the soil with bacteria, protozoa and fungi aiding the composting process. Calcium Carbonate–CaCO3–95%, ground limestone rock, egg shells, or oyster shells provides grit and are helpful in keeping the bin from becoming too acidic. Avoid caustic, slaked, and hydrated lime. The wrong kind can kill worms.
Rock dust (a couple of times a year) provides grit as well and enhances plant growth.
Where can I put my worm bin?
It must be protected from direct rain, sun and/or excessive cold. Your bin can be placed indoors (there should be NO odor) or if you prefer, put it in a sheltered outdoor location such as a shed, garage, carport or balcony.