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Moisture Levels – How The Worm Inn Self Regulates Moisture

Here’s an exerpt from Kmin10’s question on watering The Worm Inn.

Hi Jerry,

I moved my worms from the Wriggly Wranch to my new Worm Inn about a week ago.  So far, so good. The worms are swarming around mushy pumpkin. I’ve seen 2-3 gnats, but no mites (infestation averted). LOVE the Worm Inn!

When I first changed from the Wriggly Wranch to the Worm Inn,  a lot of leachate drained out (at least 4 cups of water overnight).  My poor worms were drowning in the plastic bin!   Now, there isn’t as much leachate coming out (about 1 cup every 2-3 days), but how much should there be?   The worms get mostly fruit scraps (melon rind, banana peel, apple/pear bits, etc.), all frozen and thawed so it’s mushy. I moisten the bedding with a spray bottle every couple of days and try not to overfeed. My question is how can I tell if the moisture level is right between the moisture from the food and the misting?

You’ve done a great job describing the moisture difference between The Worm Inn and a plastic system. The great thing about The Worm Inn is, that as long as it doesn’t completely dry out throughout, it doesn’t matter! About the only way you could make it completely dry out is if you stop feeding scraps and stop watering! The scraps you are feeding are constantly releasing water. This water release keeps the bedding damp around the ”Sweet Spot” of The Worm Inn. In this case, the moisture level is determined by the amount and type of scraps that you are feeding your worms. Although the top will dry out if you do not add additional water for a bit, it doesn’t matter.

I’ll usually water my Worm Inn once a week or so, depending on what scraps I have inside. I recently buried 36 apples in my Inn, and they are releasing water as they break down.   Absolutely no smell, no bugs, and the worms are all over them.

One thing you will notice is how much more lively your worms are in the Worm Inn.   They get sluggish when kept in plastic bins at times due to too much retained moisture, which restricts air flow.

The beauty of The Worm Inn is it’s simplicity.   If you under water, you will notice the worms hanging around the moisture pockets in the ”Sweet Spot”.   If you over water, the exess drains within minutes and moisture levels become perfect within minutes.

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