5 Great Reasons To Split Your Worm Bin

5 Great Reasons To Split Your Worm Bin

Multiply the power of your composting worms! Simply split your herd and use a portion of those worms to start a new bin; then watch their value increase!

Worm composting has garnered worldwide interest and is rapidly gaining in practice and popularity. As more and more people become worm farmers and learn how best to utilize their potential, a very real supply-and-demand situation has evolved.

But we’re ahead of the game! We know exactly how to remain abundant in worms. The solution is perfectly simple: Split your herd when the population reaches a high point.

In the Beginning…

We’ve seen it with our own worm herds. It started out quite simple–maybe just a few worms to eliminate those kitchen scraps. Pretty soon we discovered more ways to feed them, more ways to use that black gold, and more people who were curious about “that worm project we had goin’ on.”

Before long, our population of red wigglers bloomed into hungry masses of gentle fertilizer machines. They grew into fat bait for some and quietly repurposed scrap paper and kitchen waste for the lot of us.

The only way it could have gotten any better was to breed them faster and prepare for world domination!!

No, no. The surest way to make a good thing even better is to have MORE OF IT!

So, that’s what we are after this month–more red wiggler action! Today, we’ll check out a handful of excellent reasons to divvy up your worms and give them all a sort of fresh start–while you plan for a great payout too!

Here are five great reasons to split your bin:

  1. I want to share my worms with friends and family.
  2. I want to increase the population of my worms.
  3. I want to recycle a greater volume of scrap material.
  4. I want to yield more vermicompost more frequently.
  5. I’m not ready to harvest, but my worms are overcrowded!

1. Sharing and Caring

I’m not entirely sure, but I think worm farmers might seem “quirky” to anyone who hasn’t experienced the awesome benefits of a vermicomposting hobby. Luckily, we quirky folk still love to share our passion with friends and family alike. That’s why my favorite reason to split a worm bin also spreads the word and positive impact of red wigglers in action. The best way to share the full value of a worm herd is to offer some of it to start a new bin for someone else.

2. Population Stimulation

Someone absolutely new to worm composting may be shocked to see how rapidly worms reproduce and build their population. These guys instinctively mate until space becomes limited, and then they just maintain that. That capacity is determined by the size of the bin they are in. So, once your worms no longer have ample space to sow their wild oats and cohabitate with all their offspring, they stop. Their population reaches a plateau and will hold right there–unless and until you harvest the compost, split their bin, and give everyone a fresh start and much more room to grow.

If you want even more worms working hard for you, start up a new bin with half of your worms, so they all can have a fresh start. Instantly, both groups will sense the wide open space of a new frontier and will quickly rev up reproduction to populate the area. Boom–a rich harvest PLUS plans for twice as many worms.

3. Scrap Hack!

If you and yours find that the corn cobs and watermelon rinds of summer are enough to keep your red wigglers plump and content, you probably have more food scraps than they can consume each week.

The abundance of produce we enjoy through the end of the harvest hardly wanes till summer peters out. So, instead of hoarding leftovers for winter meals–or, GASP, throwing it away!–why not split your bin so that you can keep your healthy food habit AND turn all that scrap into gold–black gold!

A second bin will double your composting volume and keep that much more out of landfills and trash heaps. Win-win!

4. Twice as Nice

It takes only a few months for a single pound of composting worms to multiply so greatly that you can harvest finished vermicompost on a fairly regular basis–about once per quarter, depending on the conditions of your worms.

But how does that compare to the rate at which two bins can be turned over?

Not surprisingly, the rate is no different. It will still take at least a couple of months to get your compost ready to harvest. But with two (or more) bins working simultaneously, you may find yourself harvesting regularly enough to use your compost as abundantly as your heart desires.

5. Divide and Conquer

When the thought of processing your worm bins to rid them of aging compost is just too much to bear, a simple division can save the day.

Best practices call for a harvest of worm compost to ensure your worms don’t remain in an environment that over time may become toxic. Vermicompost salts increase after so many months, and those salts are damaging to the health of our worms. However, “diluting” the existing vermicompost by dividing it into new bins and incorporating new bedding will safeguard your worms from potential danger until you are able to harvest out the finished compost.

With so many great reasons to start a bin in the first place, it’s no wonder having more than one bin only compounds those benefits. So, share your worms to start out a curious friend, or divide your worms to watch your yield boom. No matter what your reason is to divide, more bins mean more worms, and more worms make the world a healthier place!

You are probably raring to go, so stay tuned for next month’s blog where we will break down just how to divide your bin and multiply your impact!

Happy worm composting!

Readers Comments (3)

  1. Is there a best and a worst time/season of year to divide a worm farm?

    • Louiseds- Worms don’t react to the seasons as much as they react to the conditions within their enclosure. Thus, there are no better or worse times of year to divide a worm bin, per se. A division is really dependant upon the quality of the contents of your worm bin and worm population at the time. Still, you can expect that during cold seasons your worms will be less active and therefore initially slower to repopulate a new bin. Best of luck!

    • Paige- Great question! I’m glad to hear your worms have given you some great compost to work with. There are a couple ways to go on this one. Compost added to the garden at this point will still benefit the soil by repopulating it with healthy beneficial microorganisms. Added along with mulched fallen leaves you will be going a long way to preparing next spring’s soil for planting. However, if you wish to store your compost over the winter I suggest keeping it in an airtight container so that the moisture keeps those organisms alive. Store this container where it will be protected from freezing. Holding off on putting it in the garden will allow you to use your compost in a different way come spring. Used as part of a seed-starting mix or directly in planting holes, your youngest plants will have the very best opportunity for success.


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