We can’t count the times people have asked us about putting Red Worms in their outdoor composters. Here in Manitoba we generally tell them that the worms will not survive the winter. If they want to vermicompost in the yard we encourage them to remove a small colony before freeze up and keep them fed inside over the winter.
This all may change pending the outcome of our next little experiment. Last may while preparing a large order of worms, we put a few eggs and juvenile worms into the outside Earth Machine style composter. It should be noted that this compost sits on the ground, not a cement or even a wooden slab. It’s about ¾ full of both ready compost (on the bottom half) and semi cooked compost on the top. We have turned the top layer every month and in doing so have seen the worm colony grow into a successful group of little soil makers.
We plan to leave this happy bunch to their own devices over the next 7 months or so. Leaving the lid off should encourage a nice snow cover and ice cap. Providing the compost is big enough to remain unfrozen somewhere inside our worms should emerge cold but alive come spring.
As always…we’ll keep you posted.