Wormsicles in Colorado

by Kerri
(Green Mountain Falls, CO)

I live at 7300' elevation in Colorado. I have a big compost heap started in the back yard, complete with kitchen scraps and rabbit and chicken poo. I'm a little afraid to buy worms and add them to the mix, becuase I think they will freeze (my compost does not seem to be hot). Should I just keep them in my indoor compost bucket til it's nice outside?

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Mar 05, 2012
Worm Farming In the Winter
by: Pauly

Hello Kerri,

Thanks for posting to the community help. This is a terrific question and you had me at "A little afraid." Okay so that's actually in the middle of your paragraph.

Anyway, worm farming in the winter is definitely something that you'll want to be confident of and knowledgeable about before sending your worms away for the winter.

Many worm farmers make the mistake of building an outdoor bin for the winter and think that the worms will be nice and toasty.

Although compost does heat up and get nice and hot, not every compost will do this. It depends on what foods you introduce to your worm bin.

Some foods will get hotter than others. For instance: Grains like corn or wheat are high in carbohydrates. This is a great energy source.
Foods like composted manure or leaves will not heat up as much.

I have put things into my worm bins that didn't heat up at all.

This is a decision that you might want to wait making till next winter after you have done a little more research on what foods to add and how to build/insulate your worm bin.

If you have some knowledge on winter worming you can be successful with just a trash can and the right foods while lining the can with some leaf litter or other materials. But living in Colorado where it can stay below freezing for quite some time will take research, trial and error.

So when you said that you were a little afraid was a good sign to me that you made the right call to inquire the opinion of another before doing so. I would suggest trying it with a few worms next year till you think you've got the hang of it.

For now you might want to keep them inside where they will be more productive. Worms are always more productive inside during the winter months due to the climate control. You will have much more castings come spring time.

Hope this helps you make the right call,

PS I did not get your email for some reason. If you want to enter the contest, fill out the contact us form and sign up for the newsletter and I'll add you to the entry.

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