It’s the tail end of winter and you can feel the hints of spring on the wind. Hopefully people are starting to get over the garden withdrawal symptoms that can really get you down in the first cold months of the year. If you’ve moved you worms inside to over winter or you normally keep an indoor bin, it’s time for “health check”. It’s also time to investigate the temperature. Red composting worms like their environment to be hot, between 78 to 83 degrees F or 26 to 28 C. Most home set ups can not achieve these types of temperature without added fixtures and heating units. You can help ensure a warm(ish) habitat however by using moisture and the composting process itself.
Assuming that your bin is working at room temperature, let’s say 20 C or 68 F moisture content can be crucial. We’ve noticed bins stalling out because they are too wet and cold. While it’s true moist air holds more heat, the same can not be said for compost. If your worm bed is saturated not only do you run the risk of it becoming septic, it will also drop in temperature. It’s really important to attain active compost, that biological process will generate a small amount of heat alone. Check to see how wet your bin is, add dry bedding as needed to continue the active composting action.
Sometimes the food material you are putting in a bin needs a bit of a jump start to really get “cooking” in the compost bed. Try freezing the waste, thawing it and draining it of any extra liquid. Chopping or blending that material is also beneficial to speeding (and warming) up the bin.