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alternatives for newspaper in worm bin

 
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Is anybody out there doing newspaperless vermicomposting? What do you use? Would straw and/or hay work?
 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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I use maple leaves that I collected and stockpiled in the fall.
 
pollinator
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old coffee grounds work well too - you can usually get a bucket or two from a local coffee shop just by asking.
 
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I use what I have, and that can be coconut coir, stove pellets broken down into sawdust, leaves, chopped/dried weeds, used bedding from pocket pets, and/or paper. Any combination of these make pretty good bedding. It's also important to note that after a while whatever you put in there as food also becomes part of the 'bedding'.

But yes, straw or hay works as well. If you're starting from scratch to build a bin using straw or hay, I'd say chop it up in smaller pieces at first to give your worms a few inches to hide in. Then you can pile on more roughly chopped hay, and they'll eat it from the bottom.
 
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Al Senner wrote:Is anybody out there doing newspaperless vermicomposting? What do you use? Would straw and/or hay work?


I've never used newspaper in my vermicomposting. I use kitchen waste, garden waste, shredded wood/leaves/bark, grass clippings. Worms are low maintenance.

The way I'm taking your question, it seems like someone told you newspaper is normal. I guess that's one approach, and no doubt can work well. But it's certainly not essential.
 
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Location: Seymour, MO Zone 6a
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Straw and hay should be fine. I would prefer straw over hay since it is more absorbent. Just try not to get the system too wet. In my experience with redworms, it seems like the bedding serves mainly as a carbon sponge and to regulate moisture. Since most people are using kitchen scraps which are somewhat nitrogen rich and wet, it helps balance the system.
 
pollinator
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I have a lot of old phone books that I shred for my carbon source. I realize it is close to newspaper but our recycling does not take them. They fluff up nice and the worms seem to do well with them.
 
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I use compost mainly.
 
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Johnny Niamert wrote:I use compost mainly.


If you generate a fair amount of compost, you can rotate it into the worm bin.
The compost that you remove periodically will be supercharged with worm tea.
The bedding they use throughout the winter will be ready for spring.
Should help make a wonderful potting soil.
gift
 
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