Central Texas Vermicomposting Outside?

jonnnMay 11, 2012

I've been doing vermacomposting inside for the last 6 months. Like most people who are new to worms, I overfed and have had a fruit fly explosion. I moved the bin outside for awhile and have moved it inside as I thought it will be getting too hot for the worms (Reg Wigglers).

Does anyone keep their worms outside in the shade during the summer? I figure the worms would just dig deeper into the soil but even then over time I would think that would get too hot for them.

My other thought is to build a little box for them in my garden and use that as a central depository for food scraps. They can come and go as they please and they'll stay cool and moist beneath all the mulch I have down.

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Perylene(7b TX)

I would think it's a bad idea, but maybe someone who's successful at it could chime in. My outdoor bins made it through summer two years ago, but I learned the hard way last year that a red worm's upper heat tolerance is 95 F before die off. Really helpful vermicomposters suggested that all my worms 'vaporized' (yikes!) during the heat wave, even with my daily ice packs and extra monitoring of moisture levels, so from now on my bins are spending the dead of summer indoors. Keep in mind any food, decomposing bedding, microbial activity, and the humidity of your bin will also create additional heat on top of your outdoor temperatures!

I know Bentley over at redwormcomposting.com does something called vermicomposting trenches outdoors around his gardens. I haven't read much about it, but I'd like to think that a trench would stay cooler below ground than a small box or pile above. Then again, you could have problems with fire ants moving in?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 10:57AM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

Well I'm doing it this year. I built a box that I plan to put under trees by my front door. It has holes in the bottom so they can escape if need be but I'm hoping I can keep it cool enough to save the adults.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 4:34PM
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maden_theshade(8 - Austin)

I have done all my verimcomposting outside for several years now. I started out with a black plastic pot that a small tree had come in. Then I got a bigger tree and had a second bucket. Now I have three large plastic garbage bins plus a tree bucket. The bins are old and have holes in the bottom from their previous life. I keep the lids off, keep them in the shade and water more frequently when it gets really hot. The smaller buckets get the kitchen scraps and the larger bins handle garden waste.

I only dump the bins out about once a year, mainly in the fall after I have a big pile of leaves ready. I'll dump the entire bin in the grass, put the new leaves in the bin and then capture worms to put back in the bin. The rest I let go in the garden.

Throughout the year when I need worms for a certain spot in the garden, I'll go to the smaller bins and pull back the top layer and pull out a cupful of worms. There are always lots and lots of worms.

I've only had ants once in one of the smaller bins (with the kitchen scraps). I checked the vermicomposting forum and decided to just start flushing the bin with water more frequently. Sure enough the ants moved out quickly.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:05AM
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