Back at the beginning of December I wrote about my plans to keep a (compostable) cat litter worm bed active all winter (see “Winter Cat Litter Composting Bed“), along with my main “Winter Worm Composting Windrow“. Well, things didn’t go quite as smoothly as I’d hoped they would (thanks to a big winter storm that blew in and caught me off-guard), and that component of my “Winter Composting Extravaganza” was abandoned.
Now that warmish weather has once again arrived I’ve been having a look at the bed to see how things are coming along. If you compare the above picture to this one (from the December post)…
…you’ll notice that the overall volume has certainly decreased! So clearly, even despite the fact that I wasn’t able to keep the bed “active” over the winter, something was still going on (of course, most of the activity likely occurred this spring).
Naturally, the big question on my mind has been: “how is the worm population doing?”. To find out, I’ve been digging around in the pile a bit every now and again this spring. Initially, the results weren’t exactly awe-inspiring! I found some worms down on the lower edge of the bed, but couldn’t find many further up.
The colonization of the pile still seems to be a work-in-progress (I wrote “worm in progress” on my first try – haha), but there are definitely a lot more worms to be found in the main bed! What’s interesting is that they seem to be mostly concentrated in the outer layers of the heap, and present in concentrated groups (i.e. they are by no means evenly distributed throughout the upper layers of the bed.
I think it’s just a matter of time before this bed is absolutely crawling with Red Worms. Now that consistently warm weather seems to have arrived, I don’t think it will take too long! I recently added some cocoon-rich material from another source as well (more about that in an upcoming post), so that should certainly help!
Anyway – I will definitely keep everyone posted!
**NOTE** – Cat litter composting warrants some caution, and should generally only be attempted by those with previous composting experience. Any dog or cat waste composting systems should dedicated to those waste materials alone (i.e. don’t toss them in your ‘regular’ compost bins), and should not be set up near any water sources. Cat litter shouldn’t be handled at all by pregnant women or young children.