Step 3 in How to Vermicompost
How to Prepare the Vermicompost Bin Bedding
Good bedding makes a comfortable home for your worms, by supplying moisture and providing a place for them to crawl and roam. When food begins to decompose, it generates a small amount of heat, which can be harmful for worms. The bedding gives them a place to go to get away from the heat when needed. The worms will also constantly crawl through the bedding searching fro their next meal, and will munch on a little bedding along the way. Also, sufficiently covering the food with bedding will discourage fruit flies.
You have several economical options available for use as worm bedding in your vermicompost bin:
- Shredded newspaper.
- Shredded cardboard.
- Dried, cut straw or grass.
- Shredded dead leaves.
- Canadian peat moss (must be rinsed first).
- Prefabricated worm bedding (from a fishing/sporting goods store).
Shredded newspaper is our preference for worm bedding, mostly because we have it already. The newspaper ink is harmless to the worms, but avoid any shiny pages. You can use a paper shredded, or just tear the papers into strips about an inch wide.
Fill the bin (from Step 2 - How to Prepare the Vermicompost Bin) about 3/4 full (very loosely packed) with bedding. Then spray with water just until moistened. (It is better to do this a little at a time, so that you don't have a lot that drains out the bottom.) The goal is to moisten the newspaper, not fill the bin with water!
Worm bedding should always be kept moist, but not soggy. Too much water can drown the worms.
After the bedding is moistened, sprinkle it with a couple of handfuls of dirt (with no fertilizer in it). This will introduce beneficial micro-organisms to the bin, and supply some roughage to help the worms grind up the food.
Next: See - How to Vermicompost - Step 4
Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.