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Too dry?

Posted by sk290 9b ( on
Wed, Nov 18, 09 at 16:39

I was adding my new worms to the bin today and my boyfriend said that it looked a bit dry inside. The bedding material is moist like 'a well rung sponge' (I've read that somewhere).

Somewhere else I've read that you're supposed to get a drop or two of water if you were to squeeze it which doesn't sound like 'a well rung sponge'. I would have no drops at all whatsoever.

I added some food to the bin last week and assumed that it would have enough water in it (frozen and defrosted). I also soaked the bedding over night when I set it up about 2 or 3 weeks ago and there is a tiny bit of condensation underneath the cover right now.

Does it sound like it's okay inside the bin? Should I spray some water in it? I haven't seen any worms trying to escape or dried up in the ground so I'm assuming they are happy.

Also, the bin is clean and I was wondering if that's the reason they are not crawling out. What do you guys think?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Too dry?

It sounds just a little on the dry side, but probably just fine. The top surface of the bedding will be drier than the bedding down a little deeper.

RE: Too dry?

I guess I could lightly spray some water in it. Just didn't want it to turn out slushy. Thanks!


RE: Too dry?

Though I've read the "well wrung sponge" advice plenty of times, I have to say it goes against their nature. They need plenty of moisture to breathe and it softens food and bedding to be readily eaten. If worms aren't bunched up around the food, the next place to look for them is the wettest part of the bin. They thrive in wetter soil. People say "well wrung sponge" just because they don't want to chance the bedding going anaerobic. As long as there isn't standing water, the bedding will be fine. Will some go anaerobic? Yeah. Particularly toward the bottom if there is any food down there. Just like in soil and manure, which is their natural habitat. For the most part, the worm holes will aerate the stuff. Occasionally leave the lid off.

I have found that in a plastic bin it is best to gauge by the condensation. If condensation builds too fast and is dripping too much, there is too much water. It should just be damp. When it drips and the bedding looks saturated, that is when to leave the lid off for awhile and maybe even turn the bedding some. You could also throw something like an egg carton in to absorb moisture.

RE: Too dry?

Remember that worms don't have lungs to breath but need oxygen to live. They absorb oxygen through their skin via moist bedding material. While you can recover an overly wet bin by adding dry materials a overly dry bin can deprive worms of oxygen. If I was going to err I'd err on the moist side.

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