How to vermicompost in the cold of winter?

Vermicomposting is an environmentally-friendly method of producing compost from organic waste. This technique is easy to set up at home, but can present challenges during periods of extreme cold. In this article, we’ll give you some tips for practicing vermicomposting in winter.


Have you noticed that it gets colder in winter? ???? Although it is strongly recommended to place your vermicomposter indoors, many people place it on their balcony, terrace… in short, in the cold!

A quick reminder: optimal temperatures for vermicomposting activity are between 15° and 25°C…

Between 5° and 15°, activity slows down, between 0° and 5°, activity stops, and below 0°, there’s a mortal risk for the worms !!!

(Temperatures given here are measured inside the vermicomposter).

In nature, worms burrow into the soil or find warm spots to take refuge in when it’s cold, as this article explains.​


Protect your vermicomposter from the cold

The decomposition of organic matter provides heat, but not much of it (1 to 2 degrees more inside the vermicomposter than outside). So it’s vital to protect your vermicomposter from the cold!

Ideally, it should be placed indoors.

If you have no choice but to vermicompost outside in the cold, you’ll need to protect your vermicomposter with cardboard, blankets, etc., to prevent temperatures from dropping too low inside.


What about worm activity?

As worm activity slows down with a drop in temperature, don’t put too much waste in, otherwise you run the risk of fermentation starting: as the activity of aerobic bacteria and worms slows down, other bacteria take over – the anaerobic bacteria involved in fermentation. The result is a rapid rise in temperature (easily detectable), the release of toxic gases for the worms, unpleasant odors, leakage or death of the worms… In short, disaster!

Pour ceux qui veulent démarrer un lombricomposteur placé à l’extérieur, ce n’est pas le bon moment, attendez de meilleures conditions ! Pendant la phase de démarrage, il faut laisser le temps aux vers et autres organismes de se reproduire. Avec les températures extérieures actuelles, pas de reproduction… donc pas de démarrage possible. La seule solution : démarrer en intérieur ! En cette fin d’année, prenez aussi soin de vos chers animaux de compagnie, maintenez-les au chaud !

Vermicomposting in the cold: tips

  • Choose a suitable location for your vermicomposter: away from the cold and bad weather!
  • Check the temperature: make sure the inside doesn’t freeze or ferment.
  • Add dry cardboard: with the cold, there will be more condensation inside = humidity.
  • Protect your vermicomposter from the wind and insulate it so it doesn’t lose heat.

By following these tips, you can practice vermicomposting even during periods of extreme cold. With a little care and attention, you can continue to produce quality compost all year round.


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