Q & A

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Eric Vinje

Hello Jason,

Getting a vermicompost started can be a little tricky. I find that adding newspaper (or whatever your carbon source my be) at a 3:1 ratio to organic matter. Adding too much organic matter can turn your system thermophilic, and literally cook your worms.

Keeping your system moist constantly is the next important thing. Too much water, and you risk drowning your worms and too little they will dry out (along with their bacterial food source). The water collected from your system, aka the worm tea, is always rather pungent. It is comprised of fantastic nutrients and soil probiotics, so don’t throw it out. I dilute mine, adding about a cup per gallon of dechlorinated water.

Your worms will move all around the system, often concentrating on foods they like most (or maybe the food that bacteria likes most). I’ve noticed that the higher the water content of a food, generally, the more they seem to enjoy it. Onion and citrus products stick around the longest in my system, I would avoid adding them until you have a large worm population.

Good luck!