Okay, the title sounds kinda gross, but it's true. I finally got my composting worms in the mail yesterday and quickly put the little buggers to work. I think I followed what most of the vermiculture do-it-yourself websites suggest pretty well. I lined the bottom of my compost bucket with damp shredded paper, dumped my food scraps in with a handful of potting soil, placed the worms in the mix and covered them with more damp shredded paper. So all good right?
Wrong! These little wigglers did not want to stay put. After about 15 minutes I had oodles of worms working their way up and out of the little holes I drilled for ventilation. 20 minutes of worm wrangling later I tried covering my newly acquired bird bait up again with a little more potting soil and wet paper...and waited. No surprise, they still weren't settled. So, I tried what I should have done in the first place (and what I recomend for anyone else who tries this). One site suggested just covering the pile with a whole sheet of dampened newspaper and placing a light directly overhead. The light encourages the worms to burrough deeper into the compost pile, in theory at least. I didn't want to bring the bin inside so I just made do with the patio light outside. By now it was about 12:30am so I decided to pull it in for the night and hope that $30 worth of worms would stay put overnight. Hell, I'd be happy if I only kept $10 bucks worth at that point.
After a somewhat anxcious day at work wondering if I just blew $30 buck, I came home and quickly checked my compost pile...and wah da ya know...I still have worms. I'm not sure how many really, but they seemed to have finally settled. I did have to round up a couple stagglers, but for the most part I think the last technique worked. Now I just hope they're hungry enough to eat all our food scraps.