Too cold?

sk290December 5, 2009

It's supposed to get down to 35 on Tuesday here in Southern CA (coastal Dana Point, zone 9b). Is that too cold for the worms to be outside? Should I bring them into the garage? Usually I keep a benchmark of 40s before I consider moving my potted plants in because I have so many of them (lots of cactus and seedlings).

I've read that their range is 32 to 95 so it sounds like they would be okay. Maybe bringing them in might get them a bit more active anyways. I haven't feed them much since the food is still there from the last feeding about a week ago.

What do you guys think?


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plumiebear(z9? CA)

Sandra, I'd bring them in if possible for the reason you mention: get them more active. My bin is outside and contains over 18 gal. of composting material with the worms included. Even though the nights have been in the mid-40s here, the compost doesn't seem to get below 60F when I check early in the morning. So I doubt there's danger the worms will get too cold, but warmer certainly is better. I've been mixing in bread crumbs & rice in with the fruit/veggie scraps and the temps in each new feeding area gets to about 70F.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 3:28PM
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Hi Andrew,

I have wondered about adding grains (rice, pasta, oatmeal, ...) to the bin to increase the temperature. My bin is very large for the number of worms and they would have enough room to roam elsewhere if it gets too hot.

On an unrelated subject, aren't you the one who had a bad experience with BSL in your bin? Mind sharing your experience? I've heard that they were great so I wanted to hear the other side of the story.



    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 3:43PM
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I am sure they would be fine where they are. Even if the outside temps are in the mid 30's the bin will take a long time to cool to those temps. With the daytime temps in the 60's the bin is not going to drop that much.

There are winter composters in the mid west who keep insulated bins outdoors where the HIGHs are in the mid 30's for months at a time. Our So Cal winter nights are no concern for a decent sized system.

Mr Ed

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 6:36PM
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jonas302(central mn 4)

it sure will not kill them as even a light frost won't get your bin to bad if it was going to be that cold for a while though I would bring them in as others said the worms would be much more active

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 6:56PM
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plumiebear(z9? CA)

Hi, Sandra. I think that was steamyb who had a bad experience with the grubs. I'm hoping to establish a colony here next Spring. Here's my story:

Here is a link that might be useful: The grubs have arrived!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 7:38PM
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Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. I was so worried about my worms! :) Not really used to this icy cold.


Sorry for mistaking you for someone else. lol Great blog though!


    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 9:36PM
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