Red wriggler worms at the top of the compost bin

Credit: Jupiter Images

The GVRD has an excellent on-line booklet on this subject on their website.

Or read Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof for good advice.

As you suggest, worms in a bin are completely dependent on humans for their care. For example, their bedding shouldn’t be completely decomposed and wet or they will suffocate. The bedding can also become too acidic.

In a nutshell: Change their bedding about every two and a half months. To catch most worms before you do this, don’t feed them for ten days and then attract them to one spot of the bin with fresh food. Then, after a day, scoop out that area first to get most of them and put them in a bucket with damp newpapers and leaves until you have a new bed ready.

I used to dump the entire bin out onto a tarp (on a cool day in the shade) and they dive under the bedding to get away from the light. You can lift it up and pick them out carefully. This requires some time and patience — put on your favourite CD or radio station to pass the time! Composting is good for your garden and good for the planet.