Jess’ Winter Worm Bin

I recently received a cool (no pun intended – haha) e-mail from RWC reader, ‘Jess’. Here’s what she had to say (including some pics):

I thought I’d share how I’m keeping my (homemade) stacking worm bin warm in my garage (feel free to share). It was 40 degrees in the garage and when I first checked the temp in the bin – the top bin was 45 degrees (lots of new moist bedding) and the bin below it (mostly complete vermicompost) was 50 degrees.

I took an old heating pad and put it on the lid of the top bin, added some old rags and pillow cases, a large bag filled with water (one found in a large box-wine, LOL) to help insulate the heat from the heating pad, then I covered the whole thing with an old plastic table cloth. Within a couple of hours, the environment was up to a toasty 60 degrees!

Here is a follow-up, Jess sent a little later:

Just rechecked the bins…lower bin is 69 degrees, upper is 73 degrees…turned the heating pad down to medium…I feel like a worm bin rock star (still a newbie as I’ve only been at this for 7 months) LOL!

This is really cool (absolutely worthy of ‘RWC Winter Worm Bin Rockstar’ status! lol), and I appreciate Jess sharing her strategy with us!

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    • Liz
    • December 10, 2013

    Creativity at its best! Great job.

    • Pat
    • December 11, 2013

    what is the purpose of the water bag and what about air flow? How are the worms doing at this point?

    • Pat
    • December 11, 2013

    oh… sorry. I see the purpose of your water bag now. But how did covering it with the table cloth work out in regard to air flow?

    • Jessica
    • December 12, 2013

    The bins have air holes in them and it wasn’t completely covered in the back. I uncovered them the next morning because the temp was expected to rise. The worms are doing great and by keeping the upper bin warmer, I’ve had the unexpected benefit of luring the worms up from the bin that is mostly complete vermicompost.

    • Pat
    • December 12, 2013

    ok. I see….:-). Thanks, Jessica!

    • Jessica
    • December 12, 2013

    Follow-up…I just went out and checked my bins and noticed that the top layer of bedding was getting a little dry, so I added some warm water…these plastic bins are usually “set it and forget it” in terms of moisture, so adding a heat source means I need to pay closer attention…has anybody ever used one of those digital moisture thingies that measure moisture in potted plants? If so, what’s the optimal moisture reading?

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