I got my worm bin and worms yesterday (yippi) but I am concerned that I have not made the bedding damp/wet enough. How do I know? I soaked the bedding in water then squeesed it out before putting it in the bin.
It sounds like your bedding should be wet enough. Everything you read says that if it feels like a wrung-out sponge it's just right. Remember that vegetable waste is 85% water so your bedding would stay wet just from that.
If you have made it a day or so without the worms clumping together in a big wormy mass, you should be fine... have the worms spread through the bedding? If they are trying to escape or go back into a giant wormy ball then I'd worry.
Hope that helps.
As a new person, your bin will probably be more on the wet side than the dry side. As Sherry said, the food will get it to the right moisture level, and keep it that way, for you.
I a compatriot of yours.
The amount of water you add is dependent on a number of factors viz. prevailing humidity, the feed stock you use and also the type of bin you use.
I will take a guess that you are using a plastic bin from Wizzard Worms from Greytown KZN? I started with one and it is still in use and have made many more along similar lines. It is a very long time since I last added any water to the bin in any form other than that that is included in the food that I add to the bin. I add a lot of dry shredded copy paper and kitchen scraps (tea bags form a lage part of the above). I do find that a signifcant number of worms migrate down to the very bottom of the bin (where it is very wet despite the drain holes) and as a result I put dry shredded paper down there and every few weeks or so I dump the worms plus devoured paper from down there onto the top tray and put fresh paper at the bottom and so the cycle continues. My worms are not enjoying the current cold weather (we are a good few degrees warmer than Gauteng) and hence their food and bedding consumption has decreased considerably. I hope you find your worms as fulfilling as I do.
Thanks all, I checked last night and they are not clumping in a giant wormy ball and are evenly spread from what I could see. I didn't want to disturb them but couldn't resist looking:) Thanks:)
No worries, your worms should be fine even if the top layers of the bedding are completely dry, so long as there is an area of the bed that is moist. It only needs to be moist, not wet. If it is a plastic bin and you keep it too wet, you might start to notice a bad odor from it, that means add dry bedding and dry the bin out a bit and perhaps don't feed too much.
Here is a link that might be useful: TCLynx
I'm also a compatriot. I started out by reading everything about vermicomposting that I could lay my hands on. That gave me a lot of confidence. I was therefor quite convinced that vermicomposting should be easy enough when I got a can-of-worms as a present six months ago, . Well, I was very wrong. Not a week goes by that I am not learning new things. From feeding rate, feedlots, moisture levels, perceived pests, etc. I'm also getting to understand to be discerning about information on vermicomposting. From what you are describing, you have a good moisture level, and the food will mostly take care of moisture levels. Most of the time when I had to add water, it was to get rid of ants. And since I'm also in Gauteng, I think you might struggle a bid with the temperature if your bins are outside. But hey, our temperature minimums just slows the worms down, they do not die. My point? By actually doing vermicomposting, you will have a lot of fun. What is perceived to be problems, are really challenges. And on this forum there is a lot of experienced people to help you.
Welcome to our wonderful world!!
Thanks zaleon! So far so good:) I'm keeping them inside until the weather warms up and have a shady spot for them outside where I think they will be ok. They seem happy enough, when I open the lid they scurry around to get out of the light, so are quite mobile!