Red Worm Composting in the Wintertime

Red Worm Composting in the Wintertime

Red worms typically need warmer temperatures to be able to compost; however, what do we need to do during the winter period to keep them in more temperate conditions for them to continue composting? How can we do red worm composting in the wintertime? Winter composting is achievable as long as you are aware of how to take special care of the needs of your red worms. The moment winter begins, the red worms can feel the cold climate because the worm bin starts to absorb the cold temperature. When the worm bin begins to experience the cold weather, the red worms can start to feel the cold temperature, usually as soon as it drops below 57 degrees Fahrenheit or below 14 degrees Celsius. This guide will help you keep your red worms safe and composting fast during the cold and winter season.

Red Worm Composting in the Wintertime: What To Do

In order to warm up your worm bin, you need to keep a couple of things in mind. To keep the heat contained inside the worm bin, avoid frequently opening the container, so the red worms are not exposed to cold temperatures. To try to increase the heat inside the composting bin, dig up a dirt hole under the ground until the bin sticks out of the ground halfway to gain more insulation. If you do decide to dig the compost bin underground, be sure to cover the top with a plastic coating to prevent cold water from entering inside the bin and from affecting the red worms composting performance. Adding grass, straws or dry leaves on top can also positively contribute to the insulation and adds more thermal heat inside the compost bin. It is also recommended to apply a pre-soaked newspaper above the worm bedding with dry newspaper on top of that. You could even move your worm farm inside to a warmer location such as a shed or basement. If you want to go all out, you can also purchase electric heaters to aid in increasing the temperature of the interior of the worm bin. 

What To Consider During the Wintertime

  • Adding a compost thermometer to make sure that the temperature doesn’t drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 5 degrees Celcius to prevent your red worms for dying or weakening their composting performance. 
  • Worms eat less during the wintertime so try not to overfeed them. Leftover and uneaten food by the worms could rot and become a habitat for organisms that may pose harm and create diseases that could harm the red worms. You should also consider that red worms enter into a little hibernation mode too during this season. 
  • It is recommended that you begin to consider warming up the compost bin before the beginning of the winter season and start to provide heat as soon as the weather seems to drop slowly. 
  • Remember that the cold temperature can affect the composting in three main ways which are that organic materials will take longer to decompose, the humidity in the compost bin will decrease, and more pests could enter the compost bin. 

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