Last summer I decided to do some worm composting outside. I described the situation that prompted me to do this in my last blog post–Too Many Worms. It was very hot outside when I made this decision. I had always read that the worms don’t do well in hot temperatures. It happened to be around one hundred degrees when I made this decision. I made sure to follow two very important guidelines:
- Keep the newspaper covering the worms wet to help keep the bin cool.
- Keep the worm bin in the shade.
This seemed to work well. I checked the worms often and they were doing fine. I discussed this with a fellow worm composter on the internet and he was incredulous that the worms were OK. I was still working off the premise of how do the worms live out in nature when it is hot. Manure piles are not necessarily in the shade! Out in nature the worms can go deeper into the pile to move away from the heated surface.
I realized that being in the worm bin would put them at a disadvantage because they couldn’t burrow down to cooler temperatures. They were blocked by the plastic bin. They were outside in the bin for 2 days when I decided to put them in a raised bed.
I decided to purchase a raised bed and put all of my extra worms in there. I found a great 3′ x 3′ plastic raised bedfrom Gardeners Supply and it is working great. For more information about this raised bed click on the picture. See update on tree roots growing into raised bed. I made sure that there was always a layer of leaves on top for insulation in the summer and the winter.