With the latest cold snap over the past several weeks many have asked for ideas on keeping their worm bin or worm farm warm.
There are a number of ways to assist in accomplishing this depending on your individual situation.
Of course the most obvious is to try and relocate your worm bin if possible.
If your home is a little cool, and your worm bin is inside, try locating it by a heat vent.
Do not block off the heating vent but rather enable the worm bin to absorb some of the heat when the heater is running.
Be sure your worm bin is not sitting on the cold floor nor on anything that is a good conductor of the cold if on a cold floor.
A good trick is to either use a couple small Tupperware type containers on the four corners of the bin or old egg cartons to support the worm bin.
If your worm bin is in a garage or basement which stays a little cool, you can first try to build a worm bin heater which I have previously posted.
You can find the post here.
Another way to help keep your worms warm is to add more green products such as your vegetable scraps which will produce heat as they decompose.
Now I need to add a word of caution here as if you add to much, the acidic levels will increase for one as well as you may end up heating the worm farm too much, hence cooking your worms.
READ : Back porch compost tumbler
The best way to accomplish heating your worm bin this way is to dig out a trench on one side of your bin.
I would not take up more than ¼ of the worm bin for the trench in case something goes wrong, the worms will still have plenty of room to be comfortable in.
Add some layers in here starting with some shredded newspaper and or cardboard so as to absorb some of the liquid which may form from decomposing scraps as you will be adding extra here.
Next add a layer of vegetable scraps.
Follow this up with a layer of shredded newspaper and cardboard as well as some spent coffee grinds if you wish.
Follow up by sprinkling some finely crushed eggshells.
You can repeat these steps until the trench is about level with the surrounding bedding.
Top off with some damp shredded newspaper and cardboard and keep it damp to help eliminate any odor that may try to escape from the decomposing scraps.
Once the food begins to break down, the worms should begin to move into this area to keep warmer.
A few tips to speed up the heating process are to first use a blender or other machine to pulverize your vegetable scraps.
This helps to speed up the decomposition process as the scraps can decompose faster as well as give more surface area for microorganisms to attach too.
A second tip is to freeze your food scraps and thaw out prior to adding to your worm bin.
Be sure the thawed scraps are also at room temperature before adding.
The freezing helps to modify the molecular structure enabling the decomposition to have a head start as well as break down faster.
By chance if the acid levels begin to increase in your worm bin, the fastest way to help neutralize it is to use some hardwood ashes or even charcoal ashes from the grill.
Use moderately as a little goes a long way.
Good luck in your worm farming adventures,