Getting Started Worming
Your Red Wigglers or European Nightcrawlers are on there way. Preferably you already have your bin ready to go with bedding and now just waiting on the worms. If your like me you have probably procrastinated, you may have had to mow the lawn, start on that honey to do list, or just plain tired from working. No worries you can put the bedding together in a short time frame. Newspaper can be shredded or balled up and soaked in water for a few minutes, wrung out then put into the bin. Cardboard can be shredded or torn and soaked in water for several minutes, wrung out then put in the bin. If you are not sure if your shredder can handle the cardboard then wetting it down and hand tearing works well. If you plan on using peat moss soak in water, it's best to let it soak for 24hrs to allow the fibers to soak up the water. Due to the acidic nature of peat moss, it's not a bad idea to add some agricultural lime(calcium carbonate) or dolomitic lime to raise the ph. DO NOT use hydrated lime, this will kill your worms. Once it's ready it needs to be wrung out then added to the bin. Coconut coir can be soaked for 24hrs, wrung out and added to the bin. Brown leaves can be added, you may want to crumple them up to make them smaller.
You have now received your worms, now what to do. Worms are shipped in dry peat moss. As soon as you receive them add them to your bin. DO NOT wash your worms. You would be suprised at how many people wash their worms, they have already been stressed with being shipped and this will further stress them. I do understand why some people do it but I had a friend that done this and ended up killing alot of them. Once your worms are added to your bin you may noticed that they are balled up together. This is normal and they may be like this for a few days while they are getting used to the new environment. In a few hours if you notice any worms that are just laying on top of the bedding and are moving very little then they are probably not going to make it. Discard these worms. This happens to all worm suppliers that's why extra worms are added. Leave a light on for a few days to keep them from wanting to escape while they are settling in. After they settle in Red Wigglers usually stay put unless there is a problem, European Nightcrawlers may want to leave at any time. On the European Nightcrawlers it's a good idea to use a light or a tight fitting lid. I have also heard that you can use petroleum jelly mixed with salt applied to the rim of the bin. You can add a little food and see how they take to it. This may take a few days if using fresher fruits and vegetable scraps. If there is mold on it then that's okay, they will eat the mold/ fungi too. Just try not to overfeed or overwater. Keep in mind that your worms are also eating the bedding so if your not feeding much then they still have something to eat and will not starve.