is my worm bedding too wet?

I set up my worm farm using a commercial worm farm (the bedding was soaked peat that I squeezed out along with some shredded paper and then the bag of worms on top). I had a hessian sack to cover the top then a plastic lid. However straight away we had horrendous stormy weather and I soon found the collecting tray full of water so water had obviously been entering the sides and through the holes or cracks. The hessian sack soon became very moldy so i discarded it and have just been using the plastic lid. I have been very careful not adding much food as it was starting to get moldy (but have since realized from reading your posts that this is ok and probably a good thing!)The bedding now resembles wet mud and the worms are all wriggling and seeming ok as there are lots of eggs and tiny transparent worms so I assume the moisture level is ok? I didnt think they were consuming much food but now I think maybe I just need to leave the food in longer as it seems they need it to rot a bit first. Does the moisture content sound ok?

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Oct 29, 2018
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Re: Ants in a worm bin
by: Stephan

Hello anonymous.

I am quite sure that you are doing a great job with your worm bin. Ant's are quite common in worm farms so you are not alone with that experience. I would guess that the ants would leave your worm bin rather sooner than later if it is standing in water especially if their queen is actually not in your worm bin.

Newly established worm bins will quite often take several month to really get established properly and find a natural balance.

So don't give up! It will come right

Kind regards and God bless

Stephan

Oct 29, 2018
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Re: Another way to soak up moisture from bedding.
by: Stephan

Hello Otis,

thank you for sharing your strategies to reduce the moisture levels in your worm bins. I love to use corrugated cardboard in my worm bins too but love your idea of placing those ccb chimneys in a worm farm for extra ventilation and moisture absorption. Quite brilliant!

Hope to hear more about your worm bin experiences as those can help many worm composting enthusiasts in our communities!

Kind regards and God bless

Stephan Kloppert

Author of "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget"

Editor of www.worm-composting-help.com

Oct 29, 2018
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Another way to soak up moisture from bedding.
by: otis11

Hello all.
I line the sides of all my worm bins with corrugated card-board (CCB for short) even when the bedding is not too wet. I do this whenever I start/re-start a bin. Use it with the ribs going vertical. IMHO, this will help with evaporation. When collecting CCB, I go for the multi ply ones, when lucky I can even get a triple ply, and with inferior quality since the stronger boxes will not absorb moisture that well and took too long to break down. Once they're wet and soft, replace them with new dry pieces. For the ease of doing this I cut them to ca. 8" wide. It's easy to rip the wet pieces by hand and they will become bedding. Just be careful when ripping them because worms like to crawl and live along the ribs.
Depending on the size of bin and to help absorb moisture even more, rolled pieces of CCB could be buried "chimney" like throughout the bin.
Hope this helps.
Servus.

Oct 25, 2018
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Thanks
by: Anonymous

Thanks Stephen for the advice. I don't seem to be having much success as a worm farm owner as now I have a problem with ants!! I guess from reading about this that the bedding is unlikely to be too wet as normally ants don't like the wet environment. I've put all the legs in water but I just wondered if I needed to worry about the ants that are still in there? Will they eventually die? I have added plenty of crushed egg shells so hoping this will alter the pH a bit.

Oct 24, 2018
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Re: Is my worm bedding to wet?
by: Stephan

Hello,

your worm bin should definitely not getting flooded as this can lead to many problems including worms leaving the worm bin and / or possibly drowning. Worms can handle some moisture but as you mentioned that there are lots of se through tiny worms. These could be pot worms which are relatives of compost worms that like to live an an slightly acidic environment which could become a further problem for your compost worms.

I suggest you add some dry shredded newspaper to the bedding which can absorb some of the moisture from your bedding and possibly pore some crushed egg shells over the surface of the worm bedding which will help to stabilize the pH levels in the bin.

Add some food to the surface of the bin and leave it there for the worms to feed on.

Kind regards

Stephan Kloppert

Author of "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget"

Editor of "www.worm-composting-help.com

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