So if you are considering buying or creating a worm farm, you need worms and there are different types that will thrive in slightly differing worm farm environments. Below are a few pointers to consider followed by an easy guide table for comparison to find the ideal worms for your situation.
Worm Farm Outside Location – Climate
If your worm farm is going to located outside, your climate will come into the mix on decision making, and you may need to move them at certain times of the year.
Worms don’t like extreme hot or cold. So sun protection from the heat as well as insulation from the cold and/or relocation will need to be considered. The worms may withstand a short burst of a few days of harsh weather conditions, however, any longer and they are likely to stop eating and reproducing or even die.
Worm Farm Usage
What do you hope to use them for? For some it is predominantly about waste reduction and verma compost production. For others its about reproduction using for bait or selling on for bait or other worm farm enthusiasts.
Extreme Weather Protection Ideas – Heat
- Keep them located in a shady spot out of direct sunlight or minimal sun during dawn or dusk.
- Garages can be warmer in winter and cooler in summer, providing a more even temperature year round.
- Move them inside.
- Create a sun shade/canopy or use a garden parasol or sail.
- Drop a couple of ice cubes in the corner of the top tray or buried in the middle.
- Sprinkle water on food scraps and freeze them first.
- Place a piece of hessian or old towel on top and keep it damp with cold water or ice.
Extreme Weather Protection Ideas – Cold
- Moving to a warmer location like a shed or garage, particularly if you have a heat source nearby like a light or even a car that’s garaged will provide heat as its cooling down to the area.
- Moving them inside, kitchens, spare rooms utilities or basements.
- Wrapping in blankets, carpet, bubble wrap, hay bales or anything that will insulate (They still need to breathe so ensure there is adequate air supply.
What Is The Right Worm Type For Me
|Latin Name||Behaviour||Internal Temp Boundaries|
|Red Worm||Red Wriggler,Tiger,|
|Good all rounder, ferocious appetite, hardy, reproduces after 9 weeks. Less sensitive to environmental changes than other worms, adapting to the change.||Optimum 18-27 °C|
10-35 °C (50-95°F)
|African Night Crawler||ANC||Eudrilus Eugeniae||Chunky muscular worm, ferocious appetite, reproduces after 5/6 weeks. More sensitive temperature and does not like cold.||Optimum 23-26°C (75-80)°F|
21- 32°C (70-90°F)
|European Night Crawler||ENC, Euros, Belgian or European Night Crawlers||Eisenia Hortensis||Chunky worm, shorter than ANC but thicker. Good for fishing as wriggles on hooks. Good appetite hardier than ANC but not as hardy as Reds. Reproduces after 13 weeks.||Optimum 15-21°C (60-70°F)|
|Indian Blue||Blues, Malaysian Blue, Travelling worm||Perionyx Excavatus||Often mistaken Red Wrigglers but they do have a blue or dark coloured head and skinny. They will eat similar volume. Fast movers, possibly sensitive to thunder storms & invade other worm bins. Prefer the heat and wont withstand colder temperatures. Popular in tropical climates. Reproduces after 6-8 weeks.||Optimum|
15- 32°C (60-90°F)
The above gives approximate temperature ranges for inside the worm farm. Worms will always thrive in optimum environments, this includes temperature but there are other factors. See my post on keeping a worm farm here.
When a worm farm is not optimum there is less eating and less production. If the inside of the farm is exceeding ideal temperatures, for instance its winter and you go into a really cold snap. Without intervention they may die, or at a minimum they will reduce their activity, eating and certainly reproduction levels. Having said that eggs will be in the farm, so if left they will hatch later once warmed up.
I live in the southern part of the UK. In January / February the outside temperature was hovering around freezing or just above for most of the time. At one point we were at -5 for about a week. I have Red Wrigglers, they live in an outside tower wormery.
I had them on a sheltered part of the patio which would catch the winter sun if we had any. I put some straw inside and had them wrapped in a box, a bit of carpet and covered in tarpaulin.
They were battered by rain, wind and some freezing conditions. During the minus snap I didn’t open them up, but once the temperature was above freezing I checked on them, and although they hadn’t eaten as much, they were still fine. A few weeks later once the outside temperature was about 7°C (44°F) (inside would be warmer) they had clearly been much more active.
Where Can I Purchase Worms?
If not found locally, online is the easiest way of making a purchase. Any good provider will post them securely and safely, with enough food to last the journey. I have conveniently provided some sellers links on amazon below.
I purchased my own worm farm including the worms the kit pictured below, through Wormcity that sell on amazon, and I was pleased with the service, information provided and the results.