Almost immediately we’ve found out that managing a worm farm is not as carefree at it may first appear. Caring for worms does indeed have a certain responsibility attached to it!
Here’s what happened. It was a bit cold outside still, with lows in the high 30s, so we decided to keep our worms indoors until things warmed up a bit.
So, after we first started the worm farm, I’d simply blend up some kitchen scraps, open the bin up once a week, empty out the blender, see how they were doing, and let it sit. I sprayed it a few times with a spray bottle for added moisture, just in case.
I read that if the bedding feels a little dry, then it you should mist it with water. Unfortunately, because we have a pretty hectic schedule, I wasn’t paying as close attention to the moisture levels as I should have been.
Well, it turns out that our bedding mix soaked up the water like crazy, and the fact that we left the worms in a closet in the bathroom turned out to add to the humidity with two people showering.
I also realized that with grinding up the food scraps in a blender to help with the decomposition process also adds lots of moisture. I would throw in the scraps, add a little water, and blend them up.
This in and of itself would have been plenty of moisture added to the bin. In fact, I spoke with a gardener who feels that the food scraps have all the moisture your worms really need.
So, after noticing that lots of worms were leaving the bin one night, I checked out the conditions. The bedding felt very wet and the worms weren’t all that active like when we started. I figured conditions were too wet so to compensate, I threw in more compost mix and gently stirred things up. Unfortunately, conditions were too moist already and the worms were in trouble. Within 48 hours, a lot of our worms were gone.
I felt like I’d failed my poor little red wigglers and vowed to take better care of the next batch.
(A note from two months later: Indeed, this was an important lesson and our worm farming experience has gotten better.)