My worm bin is too wet! | How to dry it out

Worm bins that are too wet can cause worm death quickly because worms breathe through their skin. Worm bins that are too wet will need to be dried out quickly. Open the tap at the bottom to let the excess water out, cover the top with sugar cane mulch and do not add any more food scraps for 2 weeks.

These steps will quickly dry out a worm bin and you can start again to find the right moisture balance.

Find out ways to help your worm bin to dry out if it is too wet.

This article will explore how to know a worm bin is too wet, why this happens and what to do next to solve and prevent this problem.

How to know if a worm bin is too wet

The worm bin bedding should be moist but not too wet. If a handful of bedding is squeezed in your hands and it drips with water then it is too wet.

Why a worm bin will become too wet

These are the top reasons why a worm bin will become too wet. Check through the list to see if this might be the causing the problem with your bin.

Too many food scraps

Adding too many food scraps, particularly those with a high water content like cucumbers, melons or tomatoes can quickly get the worm bin bedding too wet. Too much citrus fruit can also add a lot of water so check how many oranges or lemons you are adding.

While most fruit looks solid, they are made up of a very high percentage of water. This will leak out and wet the worm bin bedding.

Too much rain

Outdoor worm bins are often exposed to a full drenching from a downpour. There will be small holes in worm bins to allow for air flow which can also let rain in. For home-made worm bins it can be tricky to find a lid that fits properly.

Open worm bins are prone to getting too wet during rain and can become a puddle very quickly.

Drainage hole is blocked or the tap is closed

Pre-made worm bins will have lots of drainage holes which should be enough to let out excess water. If the holes are blocked they can be cleared out using a small stick or skewer.

Homemade worm bins might need an extra drainage hole drilled in the side if there is too much water building up. For me a single hole was enough but sometimes one or two extra holes can help it drain effectively.

Adding too much water

Sometimes the reason that worm bins get too wet is when we ourselves add too much water. While you don’t want to allow a worm bin to dry out, we can get carried away with the amount of water we add.

A well balanced worm bin with regular additions of food scraps generally won’t need water added but if you have been, it might be the reason it is getting too wet.

What happens when a worm bin gets too wet

Here are some ways to tell that your worm bin is too wet and what you can expect to see.

It will smell

A worm bin that is too wet can get smelly. The bedding and scraps can start to rot and get smelly. Mold can grow on the food scraps and the bin can get acidic and smell sour. These are all signs that the worm bin may be too wet.

The worms will climb to the top

Worms that are living in a bin that is too wet will often climb up to the top to try to get out of the water. You may see them climbing up the side of the bin, on top of the blanket and even out of the air holes. This is a sign that the worm bin is too wet.

Lots of water will be coming out of the bottom

A very wet worm bin will be releasing a lot of water or worm juice from the tap. You could even see a steady drip of water from the tap. Most worm bins will not continuously drip water if they are balanced. Water flowing out the bottom is a sign that there is too much.

Bugs – Gnats and flies

Bugs will start to come and visit a worm bin that is too wet. The smell of rotting fruit and vegetables and extra water can make it a haven for flies who will buzz around the top of the bin. If they find their way in you may even see maggots in the worm bedding.

How to dry out a worm bin

Here are the easy ways to dry out a worm bin at home to save your worms and to find the perfect balance.

Sugar cane mulch

Adding more worm bedding is a great way to start to absorb the extra water. Sugar cane mulch works well because it is cut fine and is dry. I always add a layer of sugar cane every time I add food scraps to my worm farm to absorb the extra water.

You can also add straw, coconut coir or even shredded newspaper. Mix together a range of bedding materials to give your worms lots of different foods to dry and extra water holding capacity.

Less food scraps

The next step is to reduce the amount of water going into the worm bin. This usually means adding less food scraps, particularly those with lots of water. Avoid melons, tomatoes and any citrus fruits.

Keep to vegetable scraps like potato peelings, carrot peel and the stems of broccoli. These are dryer scraps that will not add too much water to your worm bin.

Cover with a tarp during heavy rain

For outdoor worm bins protect them from extra water by covering them with a tarp during heavy rain. If the weather forecast is predicting a heavy downpour, throw a light tarp over the top during the rain.

Remember to remove the tarp straight after to allow air movement and avoid the worm farm heating up too much. Tarps on worm farms are just for rain so keep an eye on it if you choose this option.

Use a warm blanket

Worm blankets are great for many things including absorbing excess water to help regulate the moisture level in the worm bin. Worm blankets are made from a natural material that will absorb and release moisture.

You can buy a worm blanket or add layers of newspaper and cardboard. All of these layers will absorb the extra water and help to dry out the worm farm.

My worm farm with a worm blanket on top

My worm bin is too wet! | Summary

The balance of water in a worm bin is a fine art and they can quickly become to wet. Look at how many food scraps you are adding, how much extra water you are adding by hand and the weather. All of these could be the cause of a worm bin becoming too wet.

Luckily it is easy to solve with some extra draining and worm bedding.

Happy worm farming.