Raining in my bin

aeloNovember 9, 2009

Hello, I'm new to the worm bin, i started our two weeks ago. I have used news paper for bedding since our office gets the paper delivered and it just gose into the recycling bin anyways, i figure "free bedding";) anyways i have a question that i hope someone can help out with. I have mad my own bin out of a old rubbermaid, drilled the holes to very simular size and shape as the one the eco shop sells for like $50.00 and im worried that it is too wet in the bin. everytime i take the lid off it looks like its raining inside. Ive added a little bit more dry bedding and it seemed to help a bit, but is dry bedding not good for our worms, it took a couple day befor it was moist. Should i keep adding dry bedding a little bit at a time or should i make more or bigger vent hole to let more air movement? or is this normal for a two week old bin? any suggestions will help a newbie. Thanks

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I can only guess, but from you describe, I think what you see is normal condensation on the lid and sides of the bin. If the bin was too moist, I would think you would have water draining out of the bottom.

My experience with newspaper for bedding is that it does not do well by itself. It will work, but if you can mix it with something else (shredded cardboard, dry leaves) you may have better results.

Newspaper bedding tends to dry out. That would lead me to believe that the newspaper is losing its moisture, and it is condensing on the lid of the bin.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 12:42AM
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Thank you very much, that makes a lot of sense, thank you mother nature its fall and we have an abundance of leaves in our yard. I'll give it a shot. I'm also happy to hear that it could be a normal amount of condensation.
Thank You

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 2:17AM
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aelo, at the Canadian Tire by my place they have a bin at the exit full of free cardboard to whomever wants to take it away. Right now I use mostly leaves and shredded corrugated cardboard which I find works really well. Larger strips of corrugated cardboard (use it dry) under the compost or used under wet food items does a good job of absorbing excess moisture.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 7:47PM
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rom.calgary and sbryce, thank you for the advise, my oldest girl (5years) and i raked up our leaves last night and i'm looking for some were to keep them over the winter. just one quick question, the bedding at the bottom of my bin seems to be compacting dwn,im guessing under the weight of the food and such, should i rotate the bottom to the top and the top to the bottom?will this help the worms and decomposing food, or just make the worms upset?

thanks again

    Bookmark   November 12, 2009 at 10:39PM
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There should be no need to turn the bedding over. The items in your bin will compact down quite a bit from when it is first added but the worms get through it all just fine. As long as the worms seem happy then I find it best to leave them alone. As for the shredded newspaper bedding I find that if you soak it overnight and then squeeze it out and fluff it just before use it seems to stay damp much longer. Something about the soaking causing the fibers to loosen or something.

Sounds like you are off to a great start... Keep it up,

Mr Ed

    Bookmark   November 12, 2009 at 11:26PM
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Leaf and paper bedding seems to compact together more than other items. Corrugated cardboard, leaves, paper, manure, coco coir, grass & straw ... the list goes on and all can serve as bedding material. A key to help keep down the compaction of bedding materials is to not have one type. A good mix is a good idea. ie. Newspaper only will tend to clump together but if mixed with other fibers that get in between and prevent the individual pieces from matting together then the newspaper provides a good bedding material.

A good analogy for this is the difference between the porosity of various sedimentary rocks. If the rock is composed of similar sized grains they will over time pack together into a tight form of sedimentary rock allowing very little liquid or gas to penetrate or flow through it. When that rock is formed of grains that differ greatly in size and shape, it forms rock with gaps and pores that allow the flow of liquids and gasses.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2009 at 11:07AM
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