Thursday, October 24, 2013

Worm Bin Winterization

I don't know about how the weather is where you're at but just north of me, they're getting snow. It's not even past Halloween yet! "Winter is coming" is the motto of House Stark (Game of Thrones). The words behind this motto is one of warning and constant vigilance. It's very reassuring for someone like me, actually. We don't get a winter quite like the characters of the story but regardless, us Canadians have a lot of winterizing to do before the frost sets in and the snow starts. I have been slowly working in the garden to clean up and get things ready for the winter and for next spring. I wanted to try my hand at planting garlic for next year and I have planted 10 bulbs and cleared out the remaining legumes. I still have a little left for clean up but the major items have been cleared up and I've also take in my vermicomposting bin.

I'll go through the steps I took, to get things ready:
  1. I made space for my bin in the basement. It is returning to its old spot.
  2. The bin was cleaned up by washing the exterior with a powerful spray of water and sifting through the compost to ensure that everything is still healthy.
  3. I do the clean up outside.
  4. While sifting through the compost, I am looking for ear wigs (ugh) and other critters that are not desireable to be found in a worm bin. I pull these out and dispose of them back into nature.
  5. I washed the outer bin that acts as a catch all and the lid.
  6. I notice a lot of mites in the bin. These look like tiny brown specks all over the walls of the bin. I make the effort to wipe down what I could see and get rid of as many as I can.
  7. All washed parts of the bin are left to try and then put back together and brought inside.
My worms seem to be pretty happy but the quality of compost is questionable in my mind. I see that they have eaten most of what's there and there is really only very fibrous items still remaining but the paper doesn't seem to break down enough. I envisioned that there would be a lot more "dirt" and less of the broken down paper bits. I'm not sure what I should be seeing here but I thought it should be more homogenous. I've since mixed things around and added a dry layer of newspaper shreds. I haven't had to wet down my shreds anymore because the moisture from the bin is enough to get new paper wet.

Next steps? It's becoming more self-sufficient but now I have to do some research about what the ideal compost should look like and what I need to do, to achieve that.


  1. at least the worms are happy in the bin and won't come out and attack you!

    1. yep. it takes a lot of work to keep them happy too. i have to remember to feed them!