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Worm Composting During Winter And Insulating Your Worm Bin

composting in the winterComposting with red wiggler worms during warm temperatures can still be tolerable for them. But how about worm composting during winter? Is insulating your worm bin something that you can carry out effectively during much colder temperatures? Well, these are all still possible.

Winter vermicomposting is doable, just as long as you know how to give extra care for your red wigglers needs. During the winter, your red wigglers will start feeling the cold temperature as soon as the worm bin starts to absorb the wintry weather. The temperature is usually felt by the worms as soon as it goes below 57 degrees Fahrenheit. So, it’s better to find a place for where you can keep them real warm. Of course, you wouldn’t want to have an inactive worm bin at these times; and start losing all those organic fertilizers that you can make good use of for your garden. One good advise would be is to keep a compost thermometer around, so that you’d be able to keep good track of the rise and fall of temperatures.

You can also warm your worm bin by simply doing the following tips:

Tip 1: One way of maintaining your red worms bin from turning into a popsicle is to keep the same warm conditions inside and outside of their habitat. So, if their condition is something that hinders them from performing their composting activities well, then there will be worm bin inactivity (there will be a tendency for them to move and process slower, or to hibernate for them to save their energy).

Tip 2: What you can do to keep the worm bin warm from the cold temperature is to put some presoaked newspaper on top of your worms bedding. You should also put in some dry newspapers on top of the moistened ones.

Tip 3: It’ll also be best to feed your red wigglers food scraps that are in smaller doses, or in their blended forms already. This set-up will make it easier for the worms to eat comfortably.

Tip 4: Also refrain from opening your worm bin at frequent times, unless you want your red wigglers to be open to the colder elements outside. Try not to do this, so that you’ll still be able to contain the heat inside the bin.

Tip 5: If you want to take-in more heat for your vermicomposting bin, then you may want to dig a hole in the ground, and have your bin buried in it. You can dig probably something as deep as half of your bin’s measurement to get more insulation. But do make sure to protect your bin with a plastic material, so that any water substance is prevented from entering the container. You may also put in dry leaves, straw or grass on top of the bin, to add more heat. Much like us humans, we tend to slow down with whatever it is that we are doing during cold weathers. The same thing happens to these red wigglers. So, try implementing these tips when worm composting during winter. These will help in insulating your worm bin well throughout the cold weather.

Uncle Jim’s recommends the The Worm Cafe Composter

WormCafeIf you’re thinking about recycling your food scraps from the kitchen, then the Worm Cafe Composter is just the perfect solution for you! This eco-friendly composter fits perfectly well for houses that have limited spaces. So, purchase one for your home today!

To learn more about the product, check the The Worm Cafe Composter here.


16 comments on “Worm Composting During Winter And Insulating Your Worm Bin

  • kevin kim says:

    Worm compost bin get a little warm due to composting inside. When I made a large bin of 2 feet side square, I observed up to 10 F heating with ample food provided. So insulating the bin using building material or dry leaves should help the bin warm.

  • Can I overwinter my worm bin by putting it in the middle of my compost bin? it would be surrounded by 16+ inches of compost on each side and would have the added benefit of being in the middle of a compost pile

  • I live in Maryland and the temperature usually stays above 20 degrees in the dead of winter. That being said I am new to this type of composting.

    My composting is a 30 Qt plastic container purchased from Walmart. I put my worms in all the usual stuff suggested by people on the internet. The on great suggestion I found was to add a 10 watt light bulb to my bin. This has keep the average temperature in the bin at 70 degrees; and this has keep the worms warm and happy.

    Hope this helps!

  • Is it safe to order worms in the winter, will they survive the journey? I live in northern vt and so far, the winter has proven to be a cold one.

    • Hello Kate,

      We do ship worms year round with confidence! We do recommend, however, during extreme cold that if you know you will not be home to receive your worms immediately upon arrival that you request to have your worms held at your local PO for you to pick up upon arrival. You will find this as an option to select when purchasing your worms. If you do not see it, you can always leave us a note at check out to hold your worms! As always, we do have our 100% live product guarantee if something were to happen during transit and your worms were to arrive dead! We do ask to be notified within 48 hours of arrival if that is the case! I hope this information helps!

  • Beverly Rampey says:

    I have my worm composter in my mud room. I have a heater in the room which keeps the cats in the room warm, but the soil in the composter always seems cool to the touch. The worms don’t seem to be as active as I thought they “should” and I have found them pretty balled up down in the middle of the dirt. Should I add a small blanket over the top or ?

  • My worms were active a couple days ago, but we had a very cold snap. I moved the bin to an unheated shed and covered with light blanket and rug; the soil was cold, and the worms will not really moving. Will insulation work, and will putting the bin in a hole really work in the Northwest (our winter temps might be 0-20 degrees, usually closer to 20).

  • I have a crawl space under my home. My USDA hardiness zone is 6a. The gas furnace is located there. Would that make it warm enough for worms to winter over?

  • Carol Stepleton says:

    So I cultivate the castings before winter sets in or in the spring? Just got a box one that is already going.

    Thanks Carol

  • Christena Scott says:

    Growing up composting was not a novel idea! Everyone did! However I live in the city now and have a cubicle backyard. Also being single I often have very little scraps. We do not have red worms in this part of New Mexico as we are part of the Sonoran desert. We do use little tiny brown worms that can be found in some gardening areas. Like most people I compost using a small coffee can slightly buried into the ground. Every six months I clean it out and use it around my plants, it’s good for indoor plants as well. We have very few days of really cold weather- below freezing. I do nothing to winterize my small can, perhaps I should try it this year. The worms I use, are the worms found at the local fishing shop near the lake, that is 100 miles away from where I live. Thank you for encouraging people to compost, it’s nature’s best recipe for enriching the soil!

  • I have a homemade wooden and screened three tier compost bin I live in zone 7B Atlanta area could I just leave it in the garage next to a window of course it has a tight fitting lid and cardboard on top of the compost. No light can get in.

  • Jean-Michel Tremblay says:

    I live in Maryland and we get some cold weather for 3-4 months a year. I purchased a seedlings/reptile heating mat. I put my bin in a bigger bin and i use insulated Amazon bubble wrapping that i collected over time. I placed the heating pad on top of the bubble wrapping in the big bin, underneath the small bin.

    The heating map consumes 20w and so far it consumes around $1 of power per month. It keep my bin around 75-80f with freezing temps outside.

    • This is a great idea and I shared it with Elizabeth Meister in this feed. She was looking for a way to insulate her bin. Perhaps you can network with her?

  • How about Northern Virginia? It can get quite cold. Right now it’s in the teens. We want to build an outside raised garden to put then in but I’m afraid it’ll be much too cold right now. We can wait til it warms up, but then what do we do next winter?


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