Red worms need bedding inside the bin to provide them protection. Our favor bedding materials are peat moss mixed with aged vegetation compost. Peat moss has an excellent moisture holding capacity, while compost provides nutrients for the worm to eat. We also add ground egg shell into our bedding to balance the pH and provide some source of calcium to our worms.
Some people used shredded cardboard or torn up newspaper for worm bedding. These are the most economic material found in every household. If you wish to use them please make sure they are moistened before they can be used. Also it is a good idea to add a handful of garden soil into them to provides the grit worms need for breaking down food particles within their gizzard.
Red worms need good food to grow and multiply. There is one basic rule when it comes to worm food. Worms eat anything that has once been alive and is now dead! From kitchen wastes, table scrapes, to leave and yard wastes, all can be worm food. However we don't use meat or dairy products to feed worms otherwise mites or other pests could be attracted to the worm bins.
After a few years working with red worms, we found pumpkins, cantaloupes and watermelon rinds are some of their most favor foods. Although worms will eat citrus, onions and garlic, they will eat them only for survival purpose. Tropical fruits like pineapples and banana skins are also good worm foods too but they have to be buried deep in the bedding to avoid fruit flies. The rule of thumb is feed the worms a diverse diet and always feed in moderation. If we have left over food that we don’t want to waste, we chop it up and put it in a Ziploc bag in our freezer for next week.
How much we need to feed the worms depends on the size of bin and the amount of worms. Remember the 2:1 ratio for worms. Two lbs of worms is needed for one pound of food per day. The surface area of the bin should be 2 square feet if 2 lbs of waste in one week is consumed.
If we are going on a vacation, we don't need a worm sitter unless we leave for longer than 2 weeks. We could feed the worms a little extra just before we leave. This is the best part of having worms as pets! Feed them and leave them undisturbed. This way, we can go away for up to 14 days.