BEDDING FOR INDOOR WORM BINS

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We have explored the carbon to nitrogen ratio http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2012/07/23/carbon-to-nitrogen-ratio/ in composting and the same principles apply to vermicomposting.  To create a healthy, productive indoor worm bin, you need to maintain a carbon to nitrogen ratio similar to that of any out-door compost.  In a worm bin it’s easy to accomplish, the C:N ratio can translate into food vrs bedding.  Raw food scraps have a very high C:N ratio, they contain mostly Nitrogen.  Newspaper is the opposite with low Nitrogen and high Carbon.  Keeping the C:N ratio at the optimum of 30:1 is relatively easy.  But, are all beddings created equal?  There are certainly some you should stay away from.  Glossy paper (like magazine covers) are full of chemical compounds that don’t breakdown easily and can poison worms.  Any plastic is a no-no.  Likewise, paper products that have been treated with paints or dyes other than regular print.  You need not just use paper however, we have had success with hemp pulp, fine wood chips and sawdust, all untreated.  We would caution using saw dust however, it needs to be mixed with a looser material because it is so dense.  Straw works great as do dried leaves, careful where you collect these products as they too may be chemically treated.  It’s always a good idea to add a bit of unfinished compost, to enhance microbial populations.  As always please feel free to comment or question this or any post, hope to hear from you soon.

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