How to Compost with Worms in the Fall and Winter

The Autumn is upon us, and it will soon be Winter in North America. You might be wondering if anything needs to be done with your vermicomposting worms in cold weather. It’s true, you can take action to preserve your worms! They will actually die in cold temperatures. You have several options, so keep reading to find out what will work best. Do Nothing: If you keep your composter outdoors and exposed, yes, the worms will probably freeze in the winter. It’s true that the action of compost produces heat, and the worms will migrate to the warmer spots. Hopefully, the worms will lay eggs. These eggs are just fine in freezing temperatures. In the spring, when things warm up, a fresh crop of baby worms might appear. If not, you can order more composting worms at that time. Bury It: The earth itself is an insulator. If you have a simple plastic composter, such as a large barrel-type device, you can try partially burying the bin. Harvest some of the finished compost if the bin is really full, but leave several feet of bedding. Dig a hole and put the composter in. At least half of the composter should be above ground. The worms will migrate to the warmer temperatures in the bottom half of the bin. Keep feeding them throughout the winter. They won’t eat as much. You can grind up the scraps. Bury the food so it’s easy for them to find and so they don’t have to crawl out of their warm …

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Fall Composting Tips

If you have a yard or garden of any size, you can turn left-over vegetation into free fertilizer by composting. Look around at all the leaves and gardens! Fall’s bounty includes left-over organic matter that you can harness. Now is your chance to boost your composting program. Here are Uncle Jim’s fall composting tips: Gather Local Organic Material There is plenty of compostable organic vegetation around. Not just on your property. Your neighbors might have material, too! Ask them to save stuff for you. Local coffee shops can save coffee grounds and other kitchen scraps for you. Decorative fall items like pumpkins and corn stalks are also compostable. Vegetable gardens always have lots of left-over material from pruning, rotted fruit and veggies that didn’t get harvested in time, and some of the old vines and plants that have finished their jobs. If you are canning, you will have tons of peelings and rinds left over. Nightshade vines are not good for composters because volunteer plants tend to come up. Raked leaves are perfect for composting. While oak leaves might be too acidic, most other types of leaves can be composted. If you shred them with your lawn mower or a shredder, they will break down even faster. Grass clippings are also good, but should be mixed in to prevent packing down – otherwise, stinky anaerobic bacteria might grow. Avoid composting diseased plant materials. Big sticks and branches will take a long time to break down. Choose Where to Compost You may already have one …

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