Several months back, you may remember a post we did about raising composting worms during the winter. Now that the weather is warming up and we’re expecting some heat waves in the not-too-distant future, we here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm want to help you prepare for raising worms in the summer.
It’s not hard to keep them cool and comfortable, but you need to follow these important guidelines or your worms won’t thrive or survive the heat!
Hot weather can kill worms. Even if they don’t die, it can make them very sick and unproductive. The best way to take care of your redworms this summer is by considering the following tips:
Worms need to be moist to be healthy and happy. Hot air has a tendency of drying things out. If your bedding gets too dry, it won’t be the heat that kills your worms, it’ll be the lack of moisture that does them in. One thing you can do to prevent overly dry conditions is to keep your bedding slightly more moist than usual. But, be careful, you don’t want to add too much water. Just make sure you don’t go too long before adding more water in your compost pile and bedding.
The deeper your worms dwell, the less likely they will dry out. Give your worms a place to retreat when they start feeling too warm by providing more depth to their bedding so that they can find a cool place to enjoy.
When it’s hot, the easiest way to reduce the effects of heat is to keep your composting unit someplace in the shade. Keeping your worms out of direct sunlight makes a big difference when it comes to worm bed maintenance.
With hotter temperatures comes more worm hatchlings. You’ll want to keep a watchful eye on the number of worms in your beds to avoid them from becoming too crowded. Fully mature worms don’t necessarily like to mix and mingle with the babies and it may drive them over the top.
Another challenge that you’ll be faced with throughout the summer is keeping flies and mites out of your compost pile. Since food scraps tend to attract these specimens, you run the risk of mites taking over your worm beds and laying eggs in the food scraps. To avoid this from happening, you can simply lay a burlap cloth or landscaping cloth over the bedding to protect it from the pesky bugs.
In many areas throughout the U.S., the summer can bring some pretty extreme heat, making outdoor worm composting a challenge. Consider these suggestions this summer and you’ll end up with perfectly happy worms and outstanding compost!
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