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Tips for Managing Your Worm Bin: Part 2

Worm Composting

Now that you have a worm compost bin, here are five tips for maintaining it so that the worms are happy, it does not smell bad, you don’t get fruit flies or other pests, and you get some nice compost for your yard or houseplants.

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Easy Vermicomposting for Beginners

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Worm Composting

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Composting: spritz newspaper with waterComposting: add food, peel back the top paper

Keep the top piece of newspaper moist by spritzing it with water. Worms need a moist environment to thrive and this sheet will reduce water loss and create a barrier between the food and the air, reducing the chance you will attract flies.

When you add food, peel back the top paper and bedding and add the food on one side. Cover the food with bedding, again to reduce pests.

Adding food on only one side will make it easier to know when and how fast the worms are consuming it. It will help you monitor how often and how much to add more food scraps.

Remember not to put meat, dairy, citrus peels, onion, garlic, or chili peppers in your worm bin. These foods will make the bin smell bad, will attract flies, or will be disagreeable to the worms.

Add some ground eggshells or a small amount of soil with the food waste. Worms need sand or the broken shells to help them digest food waste.


Part 3 will explain how to harvest the worm poop (castings) and make “worm tea” to nourish your indoor and outdoor plants.

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Worm Fun Fact

When you see earthworms on the pavement after heavy rain, they have not come out of the ground to avoid drowning. The waterlogged grass and pavement have created an opportunity for them to move above ground and explore a new place without drying out. Think of it as worms vacationing! Unfortunately, it is a risky venture, because a hungry robin may be lurking or they may not get back underground before the water dries.

Kathy Johnson
Youth Programs Director