Return to the Vermicomposting Forum | Post a Follow-Up

keeping worm bin without lids

Posted by Celbrise none (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 19, 12 at 20:07

i started to keep my bin without a lid and the worms don't seem to be comming to the air anymore. i assumed it was due to lack of oxygen. now my main problem is the top layer of bedding keeps drying out. the bin itself is in shade 100% of the day since it is in my closet but since exposed to air it dries out faster. i was wonder how do i keep it moist for days if not weeks? right now im having to spray it down quite heavily. before i tried a cotton shirt that too dried out pretty fast.

any ideas on WHAT actually works? something i can cover with that is breathable to allow oxygen.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: keeping worm bin without lids

Lay a sheet of news paper over the top. The paper probably won't fit tight enough on the top to wick water up.

RE: keeping worm bin without lids

You need a topper!

Favorite of my worms is burlap. I get free used coffee-bean bags from a local roaster, organic and free trade and shade grown. The more layers the better. It will also cool your worms like an evaporative cooler. Worms will hang out between layers of burlap and breed. It is like a moist-air cool sauna for squirm. I swear it can do wonders.

I also use used carpet and old blankets (after a stint in the dog house) as toppers. Carpet works great and last much longer than burlap.

Lots (8" or more) of moist cardboard, hay, straw, leaves, or compost also work well. Mulch the squirm with almost anything organic.

The key is the topper must BREATHE More or thicker is better.

When you feed just pull back the topper and lightly top feed only to prevent heat build-up.

RE: keeping worm bin without lids

Just for the case of low maintenance, in the bigger picture it doesn't matter to the worms if the top layer is a bit dry. As you dig down there will be more and more moisture until the worm are fine. In this case then, it's just the bedding on top won't be eaten for a while, maybe until you put food on top or mix it in giving it moisture. I seen a few vids where the top layer is quite dry.

No written rule that every part of the whole bin has to be worm perfect all the time. Not saying if you want to aim for this, that it's wrong. Just want to point it out as some folk have left or maybe never started a bin due to what seems like a lots of rules, work and delicate conditions.

Anyway on that note, the other suggestions work well. I've used similar before, currenlty using old VC that's not ideal, sprinkled on top to cover it a bit and give the VC a second runthough.

RE: keeping worm bin without lids

If you think about it, having the top layer dry more closely matches the worms natural environment. They'll stay down deeper out of the light and where it's moister.

Here is a link that might be useful: BorealWormer

RE: keeping worm bin without lids

it's not the fact that the top layer is dry but the fact at how fast a rate it has been drying i went from rung out sponge to dry within hours only on newspaper at the top layer and that is pretty fast to me to be drying out.

i will go get some burlap we have a bunch of sheets of it in the garage i can just cut a few and place ontop

RE: keeping worm bin without lids

Yeah, just place the wet burlap on top and you'll be fine. I wouldn't worry about how quickly the top layer dried out. The layer just under that won't dry out. I've been running one of my bins without a lid for a few weeks and the worms are thriving.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Vermicomposting Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here