Will red wigglers hibernate outside

spiced_ham(z5 OH)May 16, 2010

Hi all,

I have a big compost pile, but it tends to be seasonal (wood chips, leaves etc) and far from the house. I tend so that it is usable at a specific time and then gone. Adding kitchen waste is a hassle because of the mess and the long walk to the pile (for a small amount of scraps at any one time). So I'm planning to start a garbage can composter near the back door for the kitchen scraps. I want the scraps to break down quickly and it is my understanding that red Wigglers will do this better than my native nightcrawlers etc., but I am wondering if I do invest in RWs can I just let them exit the holes in the bottom of the can when winter hits so they can hibernate in deep ground? Will they naturally return when things warm up, or should I just let the the native worms do their thing?


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Depending on where you live, your bin may attract native worms. If you have native worms in your compost pile, you can expect to have them in your bin.

Some redworms may overwinter, depending on how cold it gets and how well insulated the bin is. Otherwise they will lay eggs like crazy and die, then things will start up again in the spring when the bin warms up and the eggs hatch.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 10:38AM
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You may want to take a looke at RWC's experiences with over-wintering in-ground worm pits in Canada.

Here is a link that might be useful: scroll down to Winter worm composting

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 10:43AM
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spiced_ham(z5 OH)

Thanks for the info, it is helpful.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 8:52PM
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