Why so muddy?

by CA
(Cape Cod, MA, USA)

First I will admit to not being the most conscientious "worm parent" but the bin is healthy, growing still producing. My question is why is it so "muddy" as opposed to granular as I've seen in so many other harvesting videos? I have tried adding strips of paper and more coconut coir or peat but it always seems to be sludge from top tier to bottom.

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Oct 27, 2019
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Worm Bin Too Muddy
by: Pauly

Hello CA,

Thanks for your question. I'm not sure what system you have but that's okay.

There can be 3 answers to this.

1. Your feeding too much nitrogen foods or the foods (kitchen scraps) contain a high percentage of moisture, such as fruits and some vegetables.

Cut back on those types of foods and keep within the 20:1 / C:N (carbon to nitrogen) ratio or higher.

Always remember that carbon is food too.

2. Allow the excess moisture to "gas off" or vent.

Make sure you have plenty of tiny ventilation holes at the top or top sides of the bin. You can also drill few holes in the bottom (if using a static bin, like a Rubbermaid) to allow the leachate to drain out.

If using a static bin, leave the lid off. This is what I do and worms will not come out of the bin due to unfavorable climate. It's just too dry. If they do want to come out leave a light on above the bin and always make sure your bedding/food is stable.

Their conditions must be favorable to keep them in the bedding.

3. Maybe too much spritzing. I doubt this is your issue but you could be spraying the bin with unnecessary water to keep the top moist.

Worms will always seek out moisture and only need to have it damp withing the bin for optimal productivity. Beneficial microbes prefer it this way as well.

It's what makes the system thrive.

I hope this helps,
~Pauly

Oct 28, 2019
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huge success NEW
by: Becky K

I have had my bin for over 5 years now and it is completely successful! I harvest the castings about every 3-4 weeks - getting about 1/3 out at each time. This give me a large metal bowl full. I could probably do this more often. I use about 2 handfuls with each 5 gal. of rain water and get so much good "Worm wine". Plants are very healthy. I even saved a tree that 2 professionals said I should cut down. I drenched the root area about every 7 days and the tree is thriving now.
Happy with what I learned at the Worm Ranch.

Oct 31, 2019
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Thanks NEW
by: CA

I am so impressed with your answer. Not just what but why - I appreciate your thorough answer and suggestions and will put them into effect. The fruit and veg overload could be the culprit.

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