What’s on the menu today for Wonder Worman’s Super Composting Red Wigglers? There’s Red Leaf lettuce, banana peels, strawberries, oats, pasta, rice and spinach, among other things – Food scraps from the last couple of days. If you have kids and are looking for ways to get them even more excited about having Red Wigglers, make a project out of feeding your worms by creating a “soup” out of food that would normally go to waste – but still a good source of food for your Red Wigglers (Moldy bread? Bring it on! Rusty Lettuce? Yum!). Before putting this mix into the bin, add a bit of water to prevent any moisture from being absorbed by the mix from the existing bedding. Bon Appetit!
As with any new project, there may be a time when you are faced with a problem. Vermicomposting is no exception. Whether your worm bin bedding is too dry, too stinky, too big or too small, don’t let these things deter you. Because with every problem there is a solution. And remember, those little Red Wigglers are working for you!
When Red Wigglers are at their best, they produce lots of moisture. Their efforts along with the natural process of decomposition increases the moisture level in your worm bin. However, too much moisture can lead to disaster.
If the worms are in a plastic bin, the additional moisture will collect on the walls and lid of the bin. This is not a big problem, but if you notice liquid pooling in the worm’s bedding and the worms are bloated, white and look as though they are trying to escape there is definitely too much moisture and not enough drainage – it’s time to create more holes in the bottom of the bin. This solution will help immediately.
After the excess moisture has been drained, the bedding will still be very moist and adding dry shredded paper to your bin is a good next step. The paper can be newspaper or office paper. Doing this, will soak up the moisture within the bedding. Keep a close watch on the moisture level for the next few days and continue to feed the worms.
Make sure to check out the June/July edition of Central Oregon’s premiere parenting publication ‘True North’ for a very informative article on Red Wigglers. They mention the benefits of composting food waste and creating your own organic compost. Great job! Visit them online to read the full article, or pick up a FREE copy at a local retailer.
Red Wigglers need oxygen just as much as humans do. The interesting fact is they do not have a pair of lungs. They absorb the oxygen into their outer layer from the moist environment in which they live in. They also have the ability to excrete carbon dioxide from their outer layer. It is very important to monitor the moisture level in the worm bin. If it is too dry, they may suffocate – too wet, they may drown. But if it’s just right, you’ll have happy Red Wigglers making poop for you.