Composting Worms and Freezing Cold Weather

When the weather outside is frightful, you may worry about how composting worms survive the freezing weather. Winter temperatures can fall below freezing in most parts of the continental United States. What happens to composting worms in low temperatures? Is it important to prevent Red Worms or European Night Crawlers from freezing? How does temperature affect the composting process? When It Is Cold When temperatures plummet and stay low for a long time, everything

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Foods That Can Hurt Composting Worms

Composting worms make food scraps break down quickly, but some foods can hurt them. Vermicomposting with worms is increasingly popular with people who want to reduce trash, produce free fertilizer, and save resources. Therefore, vermicomposting fans have a vested interest in keeping their Red Worms or European Night Crawlers healthy. Worms can break down a wide variety of organic materials, with a few exceptions. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm explains which foods can hurt composting worms. In a Tight Space In the wild, worms will wiggle to a suitable food source. They have an entire smorgasbord outdoors. A composting bin is a tight space. We set up this

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Can I Feed Cardboard to Composting Worms?

Cardboard is readily available, but can you feed cardboard to composting worms? Vermicomposting enthusiasts turn trash into valuable organic compost with the help of Red Worms. Obviously, fruit and vegetable scraps are an ideal food to bury in the composting bin. However, most of our household consumables come packaged in cardboard. Can you compost cardboard? Which types of cardboard are best for worms? Can worms live exclusively on cardboard? Properties of Good Worm Bedding When you start a composting bin, you need material for the worms to live in. This is called “bedding.” Bedding is typically made from a mixture of coconut coir, pure peat moss, shredded black ink newspaper, partially-decomposed leaves, and/or small amounts of untreated wood chips. Additionally, certain types of cardboard make good bedding. Bedding needs to contain cellulose. Cellulose gives structure to plants. When worms eat cellulose, they acquire some nutrition. However, worms will also need regular feedings of fruit and vegetable scraps to stay healthy. The best bedding retains the right amount of moisture. Ideal bedding should feel like a wrung-out sponge when squeezed. The pH of bedding should be neutral — not alkaline and not acidic. And it should be light and fluffy enough to allow air flow and worm movement.

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Winterize Your Worm Composting Bin

When the cold winter weather comes, you can keep composting with worms. Composting worms slow down when the temperature drops below 57 degrees. However, below-freezing temperatures will freeze the worms in an outdoor composting bin. You can take steps before the freezing temperatures set in. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm recommends you choose one of these options: Leave them as-is outdoors Insulate the outdoor bin Partially bury the outdoor bin Move the bin to a warmer place, or Move the worms indoors Option 1: Leave Them As-Is Outdoors Worms are among the oldest

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How to Grow Worms as Fishing Bait

The cost and inconvenience of buying live bait is a nuisance when fishing with worms. If you only need live worms occasionally, stopping by the bait shop is no big deal. However, frequent worm fishing requires a significant amount of live bait. You save time and money by keeping your own supply of worms on hand. As a pleasant side-effect, the worms generate compost that makes your plants grow strong. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm offers three varieties of fishing worms and advice on cultivating each one. Types of Fishing Worms The three types of fishing worms we offer are: Mealworms European Night Crawlers (Super Reds) Red Worms (Red Wigglers) Draw on your expertise to decide which type of worm

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What are the Differences Between Vermicomposting with Worms and Hot Composting?

Many of our customers ask, “What’s the difference between vermicomposting with worms and regular composting?” Here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we are experts on composting with worms. Let’s explore how these processes are similar, and how they differ. Which method is more convenient? How can you produce high-quality organic fertilizer for your garden and lawn? Which is fastest? How to Set Up Vermicomposting vs. Hot Composting Vermicomposting harnesses the power of worms to break down organic matter quickly. Regular “hot” composting may attract a few wild worms. However, “hot” composting produces more heat than vermicomposting. Temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit will kill Red Worms. Both methods break down organic waste into fertilizer. Most kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and yard waste are suitable for composting. The main difference is in the setup of the composting bin or pile. Regular “hot” composting involves throwing organic waste into a bin or pile. The material starts to break down using an aerobic process. The compost pile heats up. The ideal temperature for hot composting is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. At 200+ degrees, it can even produce steam! However, temperatures high enough to steam will kill beneficial microorganisms. Therefore, this type of compost needs to be turned and lightly moistened on a regular basis. This means you lift the organic matter and introduce air with pitchfork or shovel on a regular basis. You need some strength to do this. Or get a tumbler-style composter that you can turn using a crank. Vermicomposting is usually done …

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What are the Benefits of Composting?

Composting is the natural process of breaking down organic materials into fertilizer. In our modern world, unwanted items go into the trash by default. Trash is stored in a landfill or incinerated. This process is an utter waste of resources. Composting has many benefits for the household and the earth. Finished compost also creates free fertilizer for the garden. Let’s find out the benefits of composting and, more specifically, composting with worms. Household Composting Benefits You know how household trash has a bad

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Composting Beverage Waste, Coffee Grounds, and Tea Bags Using Red Worms

Vegetable scraps are obviously compostable, but some beverage waste is also perfect for composting with red worms. Composting worms speed up the process, breaking down inedibles and left-overs into a dark, rich organic fertilizer. This is called vermicomposting. Red worms are the best for vermicomposting. People who compost may overlook their compostable beverage waste. However, certain types of left-over beverage-making material is safe for the worm composting bin. How to Compost Solid Beverage Waste Preparing popular drinks results in left-over organic materials: Coffee Grounds: Half of the US population drinks at least 1 cup of coffee or equivalent each day. Where do all those coffee grounds go? Instead of filling up landfills or burning up in an incinerator, they could be composted. Worms love them! Coffee filters are also fine. Use a spoon to scoop out K-cups. However, coffee grounds are acidic. Therefore, rinse some eggshells and let them dry. Crush them up. Mix some crushed eggshells with cooled coffee grounds, then add them to your vermicomposting bin. Eggshells reduce acidity and provide “grit” for the worms’ digestion. No, caffeine will not make them jittery! Note: Loose coffee grounds can get stuck to the inside of the compost collection pail. If this bothers you, keep them in the coffee filter and use a separate container that is easy to clean. Loose Tea: Perfect! Add cooled loose tea to the worm bin. Tea Bags: Yes! The tea bags will start to break down in the worm bin, and the worms will …

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Vermicomposting Bedding Guide by Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm

In a vermicomposting bin, bedding is the material that composting worms live in. When you set up a worm bin, you will need to add bedding before putting the worms on top. What is the purpose of bedding? Which types of bedding are best? How do you prepare the bedding, and when should you add more bedding? Read Uncle Jim’s Vermicomposting Bedding Guide and find out! Why Composting Worms Need Bedding Bedding is meant to simulate the worm’s natural environment. The best type of composting worm is the Red Worm. These hearty, medium-sized worms have a ravenous appetite for

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How Do Red Worms Eat and Make Compost?

Red worms love to eat. Composting enthusiasts sometimes wonder how red worms eat. These simple creatures have no teeth. How do composting worms convert kitchen scraps into valuable compost? How do they travel through the soil? What kinds of foods do they like? Does the worm need any help from other creatures to prepare the food? Uncle Jim explains how Red Worms eat, and how to prepare kitchen scraps that are easy to digest. Types of Foods for Composting Worms Red worms love fruits and vegetables from your kitchen and garden. Save your left-over,

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