I received a cool email from RWC reader, Christy – who wanted to share with me her winter worm bin set-up (after she saw the recent post about building a small winter bin). I asked Christy if I could share her info/photos and she was more than happy to oblige.
Here is what she wrote:
I saw your latest post about a worm heater and I thought I would give you pictures of the heater I set up in my parents worm bin. Their bin is sitting in their unheated Rabbit Barn. The barn has dropped below freezing several times (once for almost a week) but the bin has stayed above 65 degrees on the heated end.
The Heater is really simple to set up. I used a one gallon glass jar and a 2 – 5 gallon aquirium heater. The total cost is less than $10.00. I filled the jar with water and cut a hole in the lid for the cord. I place the heater in the jar according to the directions. I use an aquirium thermometer to check the temp. of the jar. It stays between 72 – 76 degrees. The jar is barried directly in the bin and placed close to one end to allow the worms a place to go if the heater gets too warm. The worms have stayed very active all winter even during very cold spells. The bin does dry out a little around the heater but it is easy to mist the area every few days.
Thanks again, Christy – this sounds like a nifty system!
A great idea! I decided to start your heater-style (used a plastic bucket with a heater guard) in one of my basement bins. Hopefully it will increase the numbers.
Then I’ll do the next.
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Redworms look Gray, what is wrong if anything?
If the worms are also unresponsive and/or starting to die there is definitely something wrong (could be one of countless problems). If they are still vigorous and basically acting ‘normal’ it is likely nothing to worry about. I don’t think I’ve seen gray Red Worms myself, but again I focus more on the overall health and well being of the worms, rather than the coloration (which can change a fair bit).
I’m planning on using this set up to keep my outdoor garden soil from freezing so I can get lettuce all winter long. Up in Boston, MA as long as I get plastic over hoops for my raised beds I can grow greens all winter long. Unfortunately I didn’t get the hoops up before the freeze and now can’t get any of my lettuce seeds to germinate (the soil is slooooooowly thawing but I need to get up and running)!
I’ll try and post pics when I get to this next project next week!