My box keeps on getting dry

homeinametronomeMay 1, 2013

I made a brand new bin, I started with a bag of shredded newspapers, a few eggshells, a bit of their castings, and 250 grams of worms.

I spray water every mornings, and every nights, and still every week when I go and put in the food, the bedding rustle like dried leaves in autumn. I saw a dead dried up worm and was horrified. I see that a lot of them are alive and well in their own castings, deep in the bin, but I try my best to give them a moist environment so they have room to move about.

I think the problem is:

a. I drilled a few more holes than I should have.

b. Its a brand new bin (two months), it will take some time for them to adjust.

So is the solution to just keep on spraying water on them morning and night?

This vermicomposting seems to be more high maintenance than I thought! I'm trying to save the environment here, but I am consuming a lot of water, and getting stressed! jeesh!

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The bag of shredded newspaper you started with, was it damp or dry? It should be damp.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:30AM
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It was damp. But it dried up almost completely the next day!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 9:59AM
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What are you feeding? I always have a bin that is marginally wet because the foods (vegetable, fruit waste) generate a lot of liquid as they break down. I have to add lots of cardboard to keep the bin from getting really wet. BTW I live in the desert southwest where humidity is very low all the time.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:13PM
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If your bin isn't a plastic tote-type one, get one. Then burn the one you have after performing an exorcism, because if that thing won't retain moisture with 2 waterings/day, it is possessed.

That one dried up carcass isn't indicative of an overall bin problem necessarily. Sometimes other living things...just croak.

If it is moist throughout, it's OK


    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 7:50PM
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Maybe it is not the worms I like. Maybe I only keep a few worms around as an excuse to read Chuckiebtoo's posts.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 12:22AM
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CB2 & EQ2. What a fantastic pair.

I have 2 large, Rubbermaid-type plastic bins with 1/2" holes drilled all around for air flow. The bins are situated outside, but under shade. My climate is pretty dry with no rainfall between April & November. Last year's Summer temps (in my area) averaged high 90's F every day for more than 2 months and I had a standing fan blowing air on the bins almost 24/7 for much of that time. That, together with Ice packs helped to keep the bins cool. Unfortunately, the added air flow also helped to dry out the bedding on a daily basis. This year I have more options. I've added more shade over and around the bins and I'm thinking of cutting carpet to fit the inside (on top of the bedding). Possible options: wet carpet; wet carpet with gel ice packs on top; wet carpet with chunks of ice on top; soaked and frozen carpet with/or without ice on top. I'm also thinking of some sort of internal frame (like an oven rack on legs), to keep the weight of the ice off the bedding. I could also add wet burlap on top of the bins to help cool by evaporation. Will keep you posted.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 1:36AM
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I live in Northeast Texas & our summer temps are like that albeit with a little sporadic rain.

If your nighttime temps get down in the 70's and the bins are in the shade, you can probably keep them babies happy by spraying the (newspaper) bedding each morning, keeping the bins closed, and checking them late in the day.

If they're dead, you're reading the wrong newspaper.


BTW....IF you still wanna use ice, put each bin inside another tote of the same size with ice in it.

Truthfully, I don't see much of a prob with those temps. Course, my worm shed in the backyard IS air-conditioned. Mostly kidding...I hardly ever turn the unit on.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 1:00PM
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You keep worms alive outside in Texas? I was worried about overheating them by bringing them outside in MN... I guess I have nothing to worry about!

Right now our lows are in the mid 50's at night. Do you suggest I just throw them in the garage?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Eric, them babies will do fine in Minnesota with a little TLC. All they need is just a little dampness (maybe a notch above dampness) which would be....."half-wrung-out-sponge moisture content.

Ever use a spray bottle on them? That's entertaining!


btw, a cantaloupe rind stripped of its fruit. Kinda weird how they can do that what with no teeth.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Is that 6 worm bins going at the same time there Chuck?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 7:33PM
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Yeah, but I got 10 or 15 more not in the pic.

Smaller is easier....way. Safer. No titanic disasters. Tend not to get too wet as easy. Easier to move around. Take care of.

Plus, I give them away to newbie greenies sometimes if I think they're serious about it.


Oh, I've got 2 or 3 of those big ole totes, but just as security blankets.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 12:34PM
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