Time of year matter?

by Jon
(Pocatello, Idaho, US)

I'm brand new to worm composting, and I wanted to know, since winter will be coming on in a couple months in my area, if it is too late in the season to start a worm composting operation.

Should I wait until next spring, or will my little wormies be fine in my shed outside if I start them now?

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Aug 30, 2019
Is Winter too late to start worm composting?
by: Pauly

Hi Jon,

Many people keep worms outside. This is something I cover in The Worm Farming Revolution book.

You want to insulate the bin with plenty of carbon material on the edges and feed nitrogen materials on inside or middle section in small handfuls. Too much, and you'll cause the bin to become anaerobic and suffocate your worms.

The more carbon you have the better. It's just a great insulator and still provides food. The Nitrogen will compost and generate the proper heating to keep from freezing.

You will need to monitor your nitrogen. Worms will congregate in or near the nitrogen. If it gets too warm or anaerobic, the worms will move toward the carbon.

You'll also need to keep it as close to the ground as possible. On the ground is best and it will still need small ventilation holes to gas off.

As castings generate, you'll acquire a good amount of mass to help keep the bin from freezing. As you generate castings, move it out from the middle and keep adding more shredded carbon and nitrogen in the center.

Straw, plenty of fall leaves, and hay are great insulators for inside your shed, even keeping a small light for warmth will help, but you don't need much.

Maintain proper moisture as well. This can be accomplished by adding your nitrogen foods and spritzing it with a bottle of water.

You worms may not be very prolific but they won't die either. As long as temperatures remain above freezing, your worms will stay alive into spring.

If temps remain above 50 *F, you should see cocoons. If above 60 *F you'll see more cocoons, and so on. Keep a thermometer in the bin on top of the bedding to monitor temps.

I hope you have fun this winter :)

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