The most important steps in setting up a worm farm is selecting the right bedding material. Compost worms require a material to live in it’s called bedding.
Worm Farm Bedding:Worm farm bedding must:
- – Retain moisture and stay moist while allowing air circulation, and drainage from excess liquids.
- – Not compact, [so that there is plenty of air circulation throughout the bedding].
- – Be odourless
- – Be of neutral PH
- – Not contain sharp or abrasive objects, as worms have very sensitive skin.
- – Block out light, as worms are light sensitive.
Worm bedding can be of many different materials.
The more variety in the bedding material the better the finished worm cast will be. Worms are very adaptable and will thrive once the right conditions are reached. Worms will eat their bedding – around half of their daily intake will be bedding.
Some suitable types of bedding are:
- – Shredded paper and cardboard.
- – Old garden leaves and cuttings.
- – Aged compost.
- – Aged Animal manures.
The bedding must be aged past the compost heating stage, as the heat will kill the worm stock. If you mix different types of bedding together there will be a vast improvement in the finished worm cast because of the various nutrients that are mixed in the bedding. You must also put in a small amount of sand/soil, as the worms will consume this to help their digestion, because they have no teeth. The grit in their stomach grinds up the food with muscle action.
When putting the bedding in your worm farm you must make sure that it is damp, not wet, just damp so that one or two drops of water runs out when you squeeze it. Once a week before you feed the compost worms you should lightly lift and fluff up the bedding material to create air space, and this stops the bedding from compacting and helps control odour. Each week make sure that you feed in a different location of the worm farm and only feed when the last feeding is nearly consumed. Always make sure that the food is well covered to prevent flies. After feeding I like to apply a small amount of garden lime. This helps to keep the flies away and keep the bin smelling nice.