Leaving your worms home alone this summer? Here are some ‘worm-critical’ dos and don’ts to ensure they keep busy and happy while you’re away.
- Mix dampened structured carbon (e.g. dry brown leaves/sugar cane mulch) through the bedding – to enhance aeration and assist with temperature control
- Thoroughly moisten bedding using a mist or light spray before you go. Don’t drench heavily as water can displace crucial micro-pockets of air in the bedding
- If you’re going to be away for a while, ask a friend or neighbor to mist your worms to keep them nice and cool
- Add a layer of well-aged horse or cow manure (we use horse poo in our worm farms). Horse and cow manures are nature’s perfect worm food at a good C:N ratio. This will keep your worms well fed while you’re away.
- Soak dry aged manure overnight in a bucket prior to rehydrate all the way through!
- Only cover 2/3 (max) of the surface area – this will ensure your worms have an area to escape any heat generation from the manure if required
- Ensure your worm farm is as cool as possible in full shade. You can also:
- Wedge the lid open a little to provide extra breeze and cooling
- Add, frozen water bottles the morning you leave
- Cover with a wet, breathable worm blanket (hessian coffee bags are perfect!)
- Place a container under your opened tap so excess leachate can freely drain and won’t go smelly and anaerobic
- Have your worm farm in sun or even part-shade, Australian summer sun is too harsh for your worm workers!
- Load up with extra ‘greens’ (veges/fruit/grass clippings) – they will rot, heat up, turn acidic and likely kill many worms
- Cover the worm bed surface with solid layers of damp cardboard/paper. They can form a non-breathable matting that prevents air-flow and cooling
- Use fresh or green manure – it will become ‘hot compost’ and likely kill your precious (and expensive) worm workers
- Use chicken manure – too high in ammonia!