The key to getting started and keeping your worm bin trouble free is to follow four simple rules:
1. always bury the food under the worms and the bedding,
2. only feed in corners (alternating every week),
3. keep at least 3 inches of shredded newspaper on top (the newspaper should not be wet, moist like a wrung our sponge is OK. If it is dry, that is OK) and
4. don't over feed them.
Rule 1: burying food prevents fruit flies from finding the food in your bin.
Rule 2: feeding in corners prevents overfeeding because you can observe how much food is left from previous feedings. Corner feeding also allows worms to flee if something is wrong with the food (pH, temperature, etc.).
Rule 3: a nice think layer of bedding keeps your bin from getting too wet and also helps prevent fruit flies.
Rule 4: overfeeding is a source of problems (moisture, smell, fruit flies, etc.). Feeding too little is preferable to feeding too much. Start slowly and ramp up over time.
If you have not already started, I would encourage you to download instructions to build your own bin and get started now.
It is not too late to begin.
Originally published on November 19, 2008