(Cape Town and Radevormwald)
I often receive questions about worm bedding and how moist it should be. Worm bedding is the environment where the worms are living and as such is of the utmost importance to any worm bin. Many materials can be used to start a worm bin and quite a few of them are available free of charge. There is no perfect worm bedding but some materials that work very well as a home for compost worms are old newspapers and corrugated cardboard.
They are pH neutral, can hold a good amount of moisture and especially corrugated cardboard can act as a excellent food source as well. In order to convert those materials to worm bedding you should either shred or tear them up into thin about 5cm / 2 inch wide strips and soak them in chlorine free water for at least 30 minutes. After that remove them from the water and let them drain of the excess liquid for 10 to 20 minutes.
Because worms are breathing through their skin and their skin is slightly sticky they need a moist environment to live in which will prevent particles getting stuck to their body and slowly suffocating them. However if the worm bedding becomes to wet it might encourage the build up of acidity in the worm farm which could be fatal to the worms as well. So in case of overwatering good drainage is always handy to have in your worm bin.
The ideal moisture content of worm bedding is similar to that of a squeezed out sponge, still moist to the touch. If you are not sure take a handful of worm bedding (without worms in it) and squeeze it hard. If this produces just a few drops of liquid the moisture content of the worm bedding will be perfect. If in doubt rather have it slightly to moist than to dry.
To learn more about worm bedding have a look at the following article of my website
Kind regards and happy worming
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