Is your Worm Compost too Wet? There’s a fix for that
Too much moisture in your worm composting bin can make a worm bin smelly and muddy looking. It also reduces the amount of available oxygen for your composting worms. Too much moisture in your worm bin is usually caused by one of two things:
- You added too much water when you first made your worm bin. Oops!
- Your worm bin got too wet over time by adding high water content food scraps (80%-90% of most veggie food scraps is water).
Either way, if your worm compost is too wet, if it has too much moisture in it, there is easy to fix.
- Add a couple handfuls of fresh dry bedding. Shredded paper works really well for this (love using my paid, shredded bills!) but any type of worm bin bedding will work. Mix the dry bedding in and it will soak up the excess moisture. This will work for any type of worm bin and should be the first thing you try.
- If your bin does not have a drain in the bottom, you may need to turn it on its side to drain some of the excess water from the bottom. This needs to be done a couple times a year if you are using a storage tote style worm bin. Simply tip your worm bin on its side so that the worm bin leachate can run out one of the air holes that you drilled. What is leachate and can I use it? Learn here.
- If you find this to be a recurring issue, try leaving the lid off your worm bin for a couple days. The added air flow will help dry out your overly wet worm bin.
Worm composting bins should never be dry and should never have standing water in them. Ideally, the worm bedding should be at about 80% moisture. The bedding should definitely feel moist but when you squeeze it, no water should drip out. Also, when you squeeze it you should not hear crackling of dry paper or dry leaves. When your worm bin bedding is at the correct moisture level it should remind you of laundry right when you take it from the washing machine. The clothes are thoroughly saturated with water but not dripping at all. Learn more about the correct moisture level of a worm bin here.
Need a convenient way to keep track of these and other worm composting tips? Check out the worm composting troubleshooting infographic here.