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Add Worms

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You will want to add red worms (Eisenia fetida or Lumbricus rubellus) to your bin. Don't use nightcrawlers or other garden worms, which are usually brown or gray in color, as they are burrowing worms and will not be content with the habitat you provide. See a list of worm suppliers.

When you add your worms, lay them on top of the bedding and leave the lid off the worm bin for an hour. Since the worms are sensitive to the light, they will burrow into the bedding.

Make sure your worm bin itself is placed in a good location for both you and the worms. Aside from your own aesthetic preferences, red wigglers are happiest when the temperature inside the bin is anywhere between 55°F and 80°F (13°C and 27°C). Common indoor placements that often meet those temperature needs include the kitchen, garage, laundry room, or basement.

If you want to keep your worm bin outdoors, you'll need to make sure it has enough shade in the summer and plenty of insulation in the winter to maintain the desired temperature range. Water can have a negative impact on your worm bin as well, so make sure your worm bin is protected from heavy rains as the worms can drown.

Worms will eat both the food and the bedding, producing a dark, rich product called vermicompost. Add more bedding as the older bedding disappears every month or so.

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outdoor composting
other ways to recycle food scraps
using your compost
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