How To Check & Maintain Your Worm Bin’s Temperature

Check Maintain Worm Bin Temperature

We at the Squirm Firm want to help our fellow gardeners with the upkeep of your worm composting bins. We cannot stress enough the importance of being aware of temperature of your worm bin and constantly keeping it under control. Happy worms make a happy gardener!

The Effect of Temperature on Your Worms

The temperature of your worm bin affects red wiggler worms drastically.

  • What if the temperature of your bin is too low?
    • Your worms eat and reproduce less.
    • How to tell with a glance:
      • Your worms mass together in a ball that looks like ground hamburger meat to keep each other warm.
  • What if the temperature of your bin is too high?
    • Your worms eat and reproduce less.
    • How to tell with a glance:
      • Your worms migrate into the cooler lower trays.

If the temperature is too high or low, these effects will eventually damage the overall health of your worm bin. When the temperature becomes extreme either way, your worms will start to die or flee to more moderate temperatures.

The Range of Ideal Temperatures

[tweet_box]Red wriggler worms enjoy the same climate as we do. Imagine a perfect day. What is the temperature like?[/tweet_box]

When most of us think of the perfect day, the temperature is usually between 60-80° Fahrenheit (16-27° Celsius). These temperatures are also the ideal temperatures for your worms.

  • Which Temperatures are Dangerously Cold?
    • Temperatures below 50° Fahrenheit (10° Celsius) will slow down worm activity.
    • Temperatures below 40° Fahrenheit (4° Celsius) will kill your worms over an extended period.
  • Which Temperatures are Dangerously Hot?
    • Temperatures above 80° Fahrenheit (27° Celsius) will slow down worm activity.
    • Temperatures above 85° Fahrenheit (35° Celsius) will kill your worms quickly.

Temperature Maintenance

We’ve impressed upon you the importance of worm bin temperature maintenance and given you the ideal temperature range for your worm bin. Now, we will impart some crucial tips on how to check and maintain the temperature.

Checking the Temperature

We recommend measuring the temperature inside the worm composter with a soil thermometer since the temperature of the bedding is usually cooler than that of the outside air.

We offer a thermometer for only $7.95 that is especially designed for worm composting. It has an 8″ probe and is color-coded so you can quickly determine the action(s) you should take with just a glance.

Increasing the Temperature

  • What can you feed your worms to increase the temperature?
    • Foods high in nitrogen as they generate heat as they break down.
      • Lentils, mushrooms, peas, leafy greens, tofu, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, and oatmeal.
  • How can you protect your worm bin from the cold?
    • You can protect your worms from the cold by insulating the composter.
      • If your composter is on a cold surface, then place a sheet of cardboard underneath it.
      • Wrap the composter in insulating material such as wool, cardboard, or other fabrics to protect it from drafts.
    • Warning: Do not wrap your worm bin too tightly with these insulation materials. They could restrict airflow, which can be harmful to the health of your red wriggler worms.
  • What are other ways to increase the temperature of your worm bin?
    • To increase the temperature of your worm bin, provide a heat source for the worms.
      • A heat lamp or a spotlight will work well to warm the bin and provide an incentive for your worms to migrate to the top of the bin to eat.
    • Tip: Keep the lid of the bin on tightly if using a spotlight because worms will shy away from bright light.

Decreasing the Temperature

  • Where should you avoid placing your worm bin?
    • To make sure the temperature does not exceed 80° Fahrenheit, never place your worm composter in direct sunlight.
  • How can you keep your worm composting bin cool outside in hot weather?
    • If it is necessary to keep your worm bin outside during all seasons of the year, you must keep it cool during those hot summer months. Make sure to find a shady spot with good airflow and keep the bedding moist.
  • The temperature of your composter is too high, what can you do?
    • To cool the compost, you can place 1/4″ thick wood pieces to separate the trays.
    • If this doesn’t cool the bedding enough, we recommend adding a fan to lightly blow on the composter (make sure to keep the bedding moist.)
    • Use ice to cool extremely hot worm bins. Only do this in emergency situations as it can make your compost too moist and cause water to leak out of the worm bin.

We hope that this comprehensive information about the temperature of your worm bin helps you stay a happy, healthy gardener with happy, healthy worms! Pick up a worm compost thermometer today if you don’t have one already, and share this page with everybody you know that uses worms to compost. Nobody wants to hurt their worms by accident! Happy vermicomposting!

Article by Donny B

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