More on Small Winter Worm Bins

Worm Bin Heater

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.

Worm Bin Heater

Thanks again, Christy – this sounds like a nifty system!

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    • Mike
    • February 27, 2009


    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.

    Thank you!

    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

    • jolj
    • September 19, 2009

    Redworms look Gray, what is wrong if anything?

    • Bentley
    • September 25, 2009

    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).

    • Mark Knapp
    • February 9, 2010

    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!

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