Care of Worms

What to do when you get your worms?

The good news is you’ve got a few weeks until you have to do anything.  The Starter Worm Farm comes with everything you and your worms will need for several weeks.

You’ll want to keep your farm in a cool, dark place, or at least out of direct sunlight.   The garage, under a sink, in a pantry, are all good spots.  Remember, that your worms will do best in temperatures from 40F – low 80sF.  In the Summer keeping your bin’s moisture level up will help keep them comfortable.  I like to see some condensation on the underside of the lid, and when I dig down a couple of inches I want it to feel like the inside of a moist brownie.  You can add moisture with a spray bottle or just a light sprinkle of water.  If the bin gets too muddy or wet just leave the lid off for a few hours, or mix in some shredded newspaper or cardboard.

If you are keeping your farm indoors don’t worry about the smell.  As long as you don’t overfeed, and are not feeding dairy or meat it will smell like good rich soil.  The only thing you’ll need to do for your worms to be “house broke” is to cover the top with a thin piece of cloth, dishrag, old pillow case, anything that will allow air to pass.   This will keep out the fruit flies, and your worms won’t bother your wife, mother, or anyone else.

The farm comes equipped with enough food for several weeks, but you can add a handful of scraps or so in one corner.  Try not to over feed to avoid the heat produced from the composting process.  When the food is gone or mostly broken down it’s time to feed again.

In a few weeks you will want to create a new bin and split your worms.  They multiply so quickly you’ll want to give them room to grow and have more babies.  Take a handful or two of bedding and worms from your farm to begin a new bed or bin.  You’ll be able to try different sizes and methods of raising your worms, and keep your original farm producing, as well.  Repeat this step as needed, usually every 6-8 weeks.

All the best and happy worming,

Kyle

21 Responses to “Care of Worms”

  1. Allie V. June 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Which type of worm would you recommend for an outdoor compost bin consisting of dirt, grass clippings, kitchen scraps and leaves in Houston, TX?

    Thanks,
    Allie

    • Texas Red Worms June 23, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

      I would start out with the red worm. Putting them directly into your compost bin would be too hot for the worms. I would keep the compost bin, and use the compost as feed stock for your worm bin in another location. You can raise worms outdoors or inside. In the Houston summer heat you will want to find a well ventilated shady spot that you can keep moist and protected from direct sun. I am currently using frozen water bottles to keep my outdoor containers cool on these 100+ degree days.

      • Allie V. June 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

        Thanks for your quick response. I won’t be able to raise the worms indoors, so therefore, should I use a different worm, other than red worms? My compost bin is in the shade and I water it regularly, but it’s still Houston and very hot, even in the shade. Would earthworms do better? There is dirt in bin for them to burrow in.

        Thanks,
        Allie

  2. Doris Miller January 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    I would love to get started with this project. My real concern is how to keep the bin cool enough (it will be outside in the shade) in our miserable Texas summers. How can I get a kit from you?Thanks, Doris Miller 340-4453, Castle Hills

  3. Will Marek February 25, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    I live in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs Area) and I had a problem with worms dying during the summer, even in the shade. I tried taking the worm bin inside in my closet, but my wife didn’t like the idea. She suggested burring the bin in a shady area. As it turned out, the worms were very prolific in their new home, even though the temperatures reached 110. I’ve concluded my wife is very smart.

  4. FRANK WOOLLAND November 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Looking to raise worms strickly for fishing. What is my best choice? I can’t find worms to dig in the area where I live. HELP

    • Texas Red Worms November 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      They are all good for fishing, it just depends on what size worm you want. European NightCrawlers are larger and are popular choice for many fishermen.
      Thanks.

  5. LAlino July 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    I purchased a bin of Alabama Jumpers this past spring. I am trying to learn Organic Gardening. They worms were doing well in the garden. I divided and spaced them into to separate areas of the garden 6 weeks ago. I cannot find a single worm now. I have dug up my garden area and see no worms. Could they have died or do they just go deep beneath the ground in the hot days of summer?

    • Texas Red Worms July 23, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

      The most likely answer is that they have gone deeper to get out of the heat. You can encourage them to come closer to the surface by covering with an old rug or piece of cardboard. Anything that you can use as a mulch blanket. This will protect the area from the sun and help keep it from drying out too quickly. You can add food scraps and water as needed. Jumpers can dig deep and I have heard as deep as 10-12 feet!

  6. me Casa October 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    I feed my worms corn meal… I used them for fishing and have a worm bed under the stairs… what is your recommendation for feeding??

    • Texas Red Worms November 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      Corn meal is great. My primary feed stock is composted manure and veg waste.

  7. Patrick November 29, 2013 at 12:26 am #

    What are the sizes of these starter worm farms?

  8. Ashley February 26, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    I am a Environmental Education teacher at an elementary school (Pines Montessori) and we are looking to start composting with worms. We have been composting as a school for about 5 months now with a tumbler composting bin and the students are very excited about bringing worms into the program. We currently have 2 Worm Factory 360’s. I would love to get one factory going first. What weight of red worms would you suggest starting with for one of the Worm Factory 360s?

    Also, our worms are going to live outdoors… is now (March) an acceptable time to start the process? Our school is located in Kingwood, just northeast of Houston. Thanks!

    • Texas Red Worms March 3, 2014 at 1:13 am #

      I would recommend starting with one pound. This time of the year is great temperature wise for the Houston area, and the worms would grow and multiply quickly. Before you know it, you would have enough worms to fill up both your bins. I would suggest moving them indoors for the summer months.

      Thanks,
      Kyle

  9. Stephan August 19, 2014 at 1:45 am #

    I live in Houston and want to start worm composting but do not have any area indoors to put them during the hot summer months. what would be a good alternative. I have a patio that is shaded all day long but would still get as hot as the general air temperature. Any suggestions?

    • Texas Red Worms August 19, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

      A wooden box or old coolers are a good choice and provide good insulation. A large tank or tub will have more volume and more volume will have more insulation as well.

  10. John July 17, 2015 at 12:46 am #

    Hi Kyle,

    I am in Midland. It gets hot here in the summer. Will those hotter days around 115F hurt the worms? Will keeping the moisture up and the wormbin in the shade be enough to remedy this degree of heat?

    Thanks in advance,

    John

    • Texas Red Worms September 29, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

      Yes, the heat is tough on worms. Shade, lots of organic matter, keep covered, and moist are the things you will need to do to survive a Texas summer.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Worm Composting Bins and Garden Worm Tubes « Texas Red Worms - March 31, 2011

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  2. Preparing your worm bed for Alabama Jumpers and Red Worms.. « Texas Red Worms - April 19, 2011

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  3. RedWorm Composting: Thanks for your participation this past weekend. « Texas Red Worms - July 25, 2011

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