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Outdoor worm bed

Posted by frugal_gary alvin tx (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 12, 05 at 21:58

I like my worms outside. I built a box out of wood,4'x10'x10".It is under an oak tree and I keep it covered with plywood. After 3 months I now have alot of worms.The thing I dont like is that most of the worms are in the dirt below my bin.The bin does not have a bottom so some of the worms come up to eat.It is filled with cow manure,cardboard,shredded leaves and coffee grounds. I add food scraps to this. Is it likely that more worms will move on up as more stuff rots a little?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Outdoor worm bed

I don't have an answer for you but I'm gonna keep an eye on this thread:)

I'm planning on digging a worm bed this spring just to check things out on a larger scale on the cheap. I wouldn't mind hearing from anyone else who has set up, partially stocked with worms and fed a dug worm bed. Otherwise I'll just have to do it and keep everyone here posted:)A new experiment for after the old one is over.

As for a semi-educated guess I would say more worms will come once everything is as they like it. You say you have a lot of worms but they are are hanging back in the dirt? You may get more further up as population increases or they may always hang back until no one is around to catch them in the act.

It really depends on what you made the bin for initially...did you plan on breeding and selling or did you just want something to take care of food waste? Sounds like a lovely huge bin it may take a while before you see a lot of worms active in the bedding itself. Did you stock it with worms? If so how many?

All I can give you is guesses from what I have read. If you're doing all the right things..enough water, food availible etc. I assume you are since you've had the bin for 3 months. Maybe if you gave more info a more experienced wormer could help you out:)


RE: Outdoor worm bed

I have an outdoor bin that is 4X8 with 2 dividers making 3-2'8" partitions. I cover it with a 4X8 sheet of plywood. The partitions enable me to have one pile virtually composted, the middle one about half finished, and the third un-wormy.

When I remove the finished compost, I put any worms and eggs left into the new-foodstock bin. There are few, because the partitions can be raised a little to allow the remaining worms to move to the "foody" bin.

I also have indoor bins, and when an indoor bin needs harvesting, I just dump it into the empty (or ready to harvest)outdoor bin.

BTW, the bin is alongside 3 raised veggie bins, so moving veggie scraps to the bin, and compost to the veggie bins is simple.

When I built the raised beds, I floored them with hardware cloth to prevent moles and other varmints from getting in.


RE: Outdoor worm bed

I would like to see pictures of your sectioned outdoor beds. I think it sounds like a great location and idea.

I wonder where you are from as well. What happens to your beds when it is winter or do you live where it isn't terribly cold?

RE: Outdoor worm bed

I'll try to get some pictures on site. I live in NE Texas where it's not terribly cold. The rare times when temps begin to get below freezing, I sometimes surround and cover the bin with hay bales, although in this zone the worms are OK without that. They will "get off their feed" when it gets cold, but they survive.

I believe my outdoor worms seem to do better, overall, than the indoor ones generally. Probably because they have a more varied, and substantial, feedstock. (Things I wouldn't put into the indoor bins.)


RE: Outdoor worm bed

Worms will find their way to a water/food source. I will be planting some traps to get some extra worms. You can simply start a compost pile. Keep it wet with plenty of food, the worms will come. As for the open bottom bin, I have used it and so did the moles, golphers, shrews(sp) and voles. You should use a 1/8 inch screen on the bottom to keep out unwanted cat burgers. I have 6 cats that have stoped most of them. I live in the country where varments are plenteful. All these cats and I still have a few problems. However, I do have 6 fat cats and only feed them enough to hang around.

RE: Outdoor worm bed

I want to start a worm bed outside.
I found a natural worm bed under some rotten hay. It was wet underneath due to some recent rain. I raked the top layer back and the worms were practically on top of the ground or just under the surface. I think I will try to keep it damp . The worms were a good size. I might feed them some meal and see if they grow better.

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