I have spent the last couple of weekends harvesting castings from my red worm bins and european nightcrawler bins. I had tried to hold out until after Labor Day, when it’s only 95 outside. The heat can add stress to harvesting castings for you and the worms. Exposed worms can dry out and die quickly.
Loaded down with finished worm castings I was left with little choice. The girls pitched in and really helped speed things. My harvester that was built last winter, really came in handy. We were able to crank through 100+ pounds in no time. The girls picked worms stuck in the harvester screen. On a side note: Use cooking spray on the wire mesh to help keep the worms from sticking.
In picking egg capsules and smaller worms from two separate harvest runs (red worms/ european nightcrawlers), I was surprised at the performance of the nightcrawlers. The cocoon or egg capsule production has definitely slowed down for the red worms compared to other times of the year. Compared to the red worms, the nightcrawlers had about triple the amount of eggs. That’s right, from what I have seen this Summer, the European Nightcrawlers have outperformed red wigglers in reproduction.
This past Winter and Summer have been the most extreme temperatures I have seen since beginning worm farming. The good news is that with a little planning and preparation worms can flourish in just about any part of the country.