Leaving your worms home alone in summer

2 min read

Worms Summer Holidays

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.

DOs:

  • 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

DON’Ts 

  • 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!

If you follow these tips your worms will continue to thrive while you’re enjoying your getaway. Happy holidays!

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