A worm’s environment is key to maintaining the health and the efficiency of your composting bin. Coir, a fibrous material derived from coconut husk, is an all-natural, nontoxic, cost-effective product that can improve worms’ habitats. Here’s how to use coconut coir worm bedding.
Benefits of Coir
Coco coir offers a number of benefits for worms. Coir is fibrous and, when prepared properly, light and fluffy, creating the perfect home for worms. Coir provides support without too much compression, plus air pockets for air flow. Worms are able to move around freely.
Worms will often eat their bedding, so it’s important that coir be nontoxic. Harmless, chemical-free coconut coir worm bedding means harmless, chemical-free worm castings, as well. Because coco coir absorbs and retains water and nutrients so efficiently, adding moist coco coir to worm bins keeps the environment damp and low-maintenance. Coir’s absorbent nature helps manage foul odors in worm bins, too.
Preparing the Worm Bin
Coir is often sold in dehydrated bricks and must be moistened and loosened before being used in your worm bin. Soak coir in water, allowing it to expand. Squeeze out excess water like you’d squeeze out a wet sponge.
If you prefer a mixture of bedding materials for your worm bin, choose additional bedding carefully. Any extra material should also be non-toxic, have no chemicals, retain moisture, and resist compression. Strips of cardboard or newspaper work well for this purpose. Avoid cutting pieces too small, making them more likely to clump together. Pine shavings and small amounts of decomposing leaves also make good mixtures.
Pick a cool, dry area to keep your bin. Before adding coconut coir worm bedding to the bin, poke several small holes in the bottom and sides of it and be sure it has a lid. This will allow fresh oxygen in, while keeping worms confined. Prop your bin up off the ground, such as with bricks, which allows air to flow through the bottom holes and waste matter to drain.
Add a handful of soil to your coir or coir mixture to help your worms’ digestive processes.
When you’ve prepared your bin and coir, fill it until it’s approximately three-quarters full. Add your worms to the top of the coir, and let them burrow to their liking. Before putting the lid on your bin, put a damp piece of cardboard or paper on top of the worms.
Worm bins using coconut coir worm bedding are relatively low-maintenance. After putting your worms in the bin and allowing them to adjust to their new environment for a few days, peek inside to see how they’re doing. The coir should be moist at all times, but not soaking wet.
Add compostable materials such as eggshells, coffee filters, coffee grounds, and vegetable and noncitrus fruit remnants to keep your worms happy and full. Avoid feeding them dairy or animal products or oil. Each time you add food to the bin, add a layer of coir bedding, as well. Check on your bin every few days to determine whether your worms need more food or bedding.
Keep your worm bin healthy and productive by using coconut coir worm bedding.