2 lbs of red wigglers will recycle 1 lb of organic matter in 24h!
What you need:
- A large bin with air holes you can purchase here.
- Shredded newspaper, cut up cardboard/toilet paper rolls for bedding
- “Greens” and “Browns”
- Avoid citrus fruit, animal products and minimize grains.
- (optional) Moisture probe to estimate moisture levels, which you can buy here.
- 1 Pound of worms you can purchase here.
What you do:
- Slightly moisten the bedding before placing it in 1-2 inch layers in the bin.
- Alternate layers of “greens” and browns”, adding a top layer or food scraps and a little bit of soil (about half a cup), (optional) and add some thin paper such as newspaper that is also moistened.
Why? Even though newspaper is compostable, it breaks down quite slowly because of its high lignin content. (Lignin: substance found in the woody cell walls of plants, and it is highly resistant to decomposition. Therefore, to accelerate its decomposition be sure to wet the newspaper.
- Wait for 3 days with the bin covered and pour some water again to keep moistened. If you’re using a moisture probe, it should read 40-60%. If you’re estimating the moisture levels, your bin will be wet enough when it feels like a sponge like – environment.
- Gently scatter the worms around the container so they are dispersed.
- Do not place the bin in the sunlight!
- Keep the bedding moist, but not too wet.
Depending on how moist you keep your worm bin, you will get varying amounts of worm tea to harvest. You should be harvesting about 3 tablespoons of worm tea per week or less.
- Use your thermometer to check that the bin is always at a temperature between 40 – 90 degrees F.
Why? Usually, an ideal temperature for microorganisms is around 160 degrees F. But this temperature is way too hot for the worms to decompose. The best temperature range for red worms is 55-77 degrees.
- Occasionally add more bedding and food scraps to the mix.
Make sure to mix the food scraps so it is mostly underneath the bedding because the worms will avoid being in the light.
- Worms are very flexible eaters so you can feed them as often as every day or as infrequently as every other week. Ideally you should feed your worms every 2-4 days.
HOW TO FEED YOUR WORMS … 2 ways
- Alternating between a layer of food and a layer of bedding starting from the bottom of the bin (where the holes are).
- Dig down into one side of your bin and put the food there. The next time feed the other side of you bin.