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Wake Up Your Vermicomposting Bin in the Spring

spring-flowersMother Nature is waking up and warming up. The spring sun is bestowing new life and vigor. It’s time to check inside your composter to see how your worms are doing. They get slow and sleepy in the cold, but now, they are hard at work eating food scraps and churning out worm castings, a super-nutritious component of finished compost that helps your plants grow like crazy.

During the winter, in the cold, sluggish months when the worms were sleeping, your composter may have gotten filled up with scraps. These scraps will begin to disappear into compost as everything warms up. Adding a bag or two of extra red wiggler worms can help move those scraps along so you have plenty of rich compost to add to your garden. The best worms for composting are red wigglers. They don’t need a lot of depth to be happy. They tolerate a wider temperature range than other worms, and they stay put in the composter, unlike some worm types that have the tendency to spontaneously migrate.

Worms also breed when the weather is warm and worm eggs survive cold temperatures and know to hatch when temperatures are high. Keep an eye out for eggs and new baby worms. The eggs look like little brown dots. Adult worms don’t usually prefer to hang out with a ton of babies, so if you see a lot of babies in the compost, it is time to relocate some of them to a new composter or out into the garden.

Worms do best when the thermometer hovers above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, but not when it is super hot. Look at the 10-day forecast and plan ahead so your worms can travel safely through the mail. We ship worms on Mondays and it is best to send them when the weather is right. For composting, choose Red Wigglers. For adding worms directly to your garden to break up and enrich soil, choose Super Red Worms AKA European Night Crawlers. Super Reds are great for aerating soil and generating castings right out in the garden.

Refresh Your Composter

Check and see how much “black gold” awaits you in your composter. “Black gold” is dark, rich and crumbly. It is the finished product of composting. It is probably time to harvest some by this point in the season time. If you don’t need it immediately, you can set it aside in a sack or box. If you do want to put it into your garden, rake it into the top 6-12 inches of soil all around your plants. Unlike synthetic fertilizers, you don’t have to worry about overdoing it or about getting it too close to your plants. Plants thrive on compost and happily accept any amount.

Check to see if your composter needs any repairs and think about how well it is serving your needs. Is it big enough? Does its type function well in your gardening system? Do you want to upgrade to something bigger or easier to deal with? If your composter has outlived its usefulness, or if you need to upgrade your composter or switch styles, just check out our huge selection of indoor composters and outdoor composters. Some of our models are versatile and can live outside during the summer and still fit nicely in the house during the cold months. Keeping your worms warm in winter will mean they make more compost in the cold months. We have a large range of styles and prices, so you can find the composters that are just right for your needs.

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