If you’re like most new Vermicomposters, you have tried lots of different tricks to keep your worm bin healthy and happy, but in getting the bin established, I’ve heard many stories of people having a few bumps along the way.
One of the biggest challenges we face is the California heat. The worms are at risk when the container gets too hot.
Some say it can get anywhere from 80 to 85 degrees max. Either way, take it from me, hot worms stink.
It’s a challenge to keep an outdoor worm bin cool in California. I have people write me and tell me they tried ice bottles, but they had to be dug out every day and replaced. YUCK!
One of the reasons the heat builds up is the bin is the actually composting itself. When the food breaks down it “heats up” and at times it can get down right hot.
Make sure you have a thermometer to keep track of your bin’s temperature.
We have figured out a little system that seems to work pretty well.
Each day as we collect the scraps, food leftovers (no cheese or meat) and coffee grinds, we put them in a container in the freezer. We keep two to three “rotating” containers in the freezer at all times.
Then at feeding time, I take out the frozen scraps and feed them in the bin. It seems to be a win-win situation. The frozen scraps actually break down more easily, allowing the worms to consume the scraps faster. This help’s keep the worm bin cooler all while reducing the annoying fly problems.
I still feed the worms in a circular pattern around the bin, and they do well enough that we are adding scraps four to five days per week.
It works best when I remember to leave one rinsed container on the counter. Then everyone will contribute scraps at the end each day. I can put the full container in the freezer and put a fresh container out.
The oldest batch ends up going in the worm bin.
If you have tips for keeping your bins cooler, please feel free to comment below. You can also visit my Rainbow Worms website for more information.