The Ideal Bedding for Your Composting Worms - Uncle Jim's Worm Farm

The Ideal Bedding for Your Composting Worms

Compost, Live Worms, Mealworms, Red Worms, Vermicomposting
Coconut Coir for Worm Bedding

To have the best vermicomposting experience, your worms need the best bedding. Our Red Worms are the best for composting. They will savor your leftovers and produce the best organic fertilizer.

The good news is that there are multiple different beddings to choose from for your worms. Uncle Jim has pre-made bedding that you can buy. You can also make your own worm bedding from objects already in your house!

Any bedding should mimic a worm’s natural environment. To do this, the bedding should be:

  • Soft and gentle (nothing that might cut their delicate skin!)
  • Porous enough to allow airflow (worms breathe through their skin)
  • Neutral pH balance of 7
  • Moist (but not too moist, like a wrung-out sponge)
  • Non-toxic
  • Edible materials

Our recommended beddings for your vermicomposting bin are:

Fall Leaves are good to use as bedding as long as they have been composted beforehand. Fall leaves are currently very abundant. Rake them into a pile and leave it outside through the winter. They will be ready to use as bedding by the time spring rolls around.

Brown Corrugated Cardboard can be found in almost any home. Most stores will also give it to you for free if you ask. Your worms will love this type of bedding in the bin. Just shred it or tear it into pieces.

Shredded Paper, so long as it is unbleached or from black-ink only newspapers, can make for some good bedding when mixed with other materials. Avoid any bleached office/printer paper or newspapers with colored ink, junk mail, or envelopes containing plastic because these will hurt your worms.

Straw and Hay can be easy to come by (depending on your location). You can find these at local farms or garden centers. When used in small amounts, these are a good addition to your worms’ bedding.

Aged Manure from Cattle or Horses can be used so long as it is not fresh. You should leave the manure outside for several months to a year before using it as bedding for your worms. Make sure that the animals creating this manure were not recently wormed, as this wormicide will most likely kill your composting worms.

Coconut Coir is made from coconut husks, and it is packaged into bricks for the easiest shipping. Uncle Jim’s offers coconut coir in 1.4 lb. blocks. You can also find these in your local gardening store. Coconut coir is good because it is renewable and expands when water is added. It allows for good airflow and drainage.

Peat Moss is very easy to find at garden centers. However, make sure that peat moss is the only ingredient. Do not use it if the packaging states chemicals or additional ingredients.

Pre-existing Aged Compost is popular amongst experienced composters. Those who already have a steady supply of compost can use it as bedding for their worms.

Mixing several types of bedding is good for your worms, as it mimics their natural environment. By mixing bedding materials, you have so many possibilities to create a wonderful world for your worms. We definitely recommend mixing beddings because it makes your worms the happiest and most comfortable, and that will give you the most fertilizer!

Following the steps listed above will keep your worms happy and provide you with a plentiful amount of fertilizer. Uncle Jim’s is #1 for composting worms and supplies in the United States. All of our worms and born and bred at our rural farm in Pennsylvania. Our Super Reds can be used for composting, fishing, and aerating the garden. We also have mealworms that can be used for fishing, pet food, and even science experiments.



3 thoughts on “The Ideal Bedding for Your Composting Worms

  1. 1 Can green worms be put in with red wigglers?
    2 I’ve only been worm farming about 6 months.My farm is 12″x!6″ Worms are doing fine reproducing like crazy but not getting large,is this because of the size of my farm.

  2. Uncle Jim, I have read in your blog that it is best to shred the cardboard. I have finally found a home shredder that can do just that. It is the Bonsaii 18-Sheet Heavy Duty EverShred C149-C Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder. I got mine on Amazon and tried it out on the inner box the shredder came in. It worked great. I also tried some cardboard from my hand torn box and it handled that as well. Note: The outer box the Bonsaii came in is significantly thicker cardboard and that didn’t fit; so there is a limit. This shredder says it can handle 18 sheets of office paper at one time although it says you should generally limit the input to around 12 sheets. It ate the whole inner box in one sitting of maybe 10 minutes. I hope this gives you and your readers an idea of what is available. BTW: I have no connection to this company or Amazon.

  3. I took coco coir and mixed torn brown paper added water. They are in a plastic tote with holes. Ground of some veggies and put under mixture in corner and sprinkled corn meal on top. Still trying to escape at night. I put them near the seedling grow lights to force them to go down during the day but again at night a climbing they will go.

    Any suggestions or will they eventually adapt?

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