Keeping indoor worms happy and healthy can be a bit tricky. It’s alot like having an aquarium, and in most cases requires the same amount of maintenance. Fall is a great time of year to do a little clean up and make sure your worms will be set for the coming winter. If you live in Northern climes chances are the cold weather will be quite a work out for your bins. We tend to use them more for composting over the winter than folks with access to outdoor composters year round. As with everything some people have “the touch” for dealing with bins just like others have a green thumb.
The first thing to check is your bin’s “worm count” this will help you establish a feeding cycle for the bin. A standard formula for vermicomposting is; one square foot of composting surface area to one pound of composting worms to one litre of food per week. If you find one half pound of worms adjust the food for example, this way you’re not overfeeding and creating possible anaerobic decomp in the bin.
Another good addition to your bin at this time of year is to add some unfinished outdoor compost. What this does is pump up your microbial content. Keep in mind that worms can only consume soft semi-digested food. This could be previously frozen or cooked material, or food that is already on its way to decomposing. Worms don’t actually compost for you, it’s all the work of bacteria. What the worms eat is the food stuff already decomposed by microbial action.
Checking the average temperature of the worm bin area is also a good idea. Worms function best between 25 C to 30 C. or around 80 to 85 F. Kinda like an aquarium…. if you want your worms to be operating at peak efficiency over the winter keep them nice and warm.