Troubleshooting My Worm Composting Problems

Posted on Jan 20 2010 - 5:20am by Mike Lieberman

It’s time for me to troubleshoot my worm composting problems again.

After starting my worm composting bin in my kitchen, they died when I made a composting mistake and drowned them out. This time I kept the bin too dry and the worms died.

I brought the container into the worm lady at the Lower East Side Ecology Center in the Union Square Farmers Market. I wanted to see if the bin was the issue.

She looked over the bin and said that it looked fine. Her recommendation was to fill up the bin about 3/4 of the way full with shredded newspaper bedding and to gently rinse it with water until they are moist, but not dripping wet.

After I wetting the bedding (get it wetting the bedding?), she told me to dump the worms on top and let them sit out in the light for a few minutes until they dug themselves into the bedding.

When they dug themselves into the bedding, I was to put some food scraps in the bin for them and continually add throughout the week. She also recommended to sprinkle coffee grinds or to put tea bags into the bin to keep up the moisture, but not too much. I learned that lesson already. If you don’t have either, you can use a spray bottle to mist the bedding.

This is my third time with the worms. Any additional advice for me? What else might I be doing wrong?