overwintering worms in compost piles

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by marquis de sod, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    I have several bins of worms that I don't want to overwinter in my garage and a 40 ton pile of munincipal leaf/clippings compost stockpiled on site. What would the outcome be if I dumped the worms in the compost for the winter. Will they go deep enough to not freeze? Can they proliferate in the compost if left long enough? Are there methods of vermiculture that operate outdoors , the worms can only improve this municipal compost.
    Thanks for any info.
     
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    A buddy of mine digs a pit about 4 feet deep and puts them in super sacks, I am not sure about the density of compost to worms but he puts them in the ground and covers the super sacks with straw 1 to 2 feet deep, they are all balled up in the spring and seem to get through just fine in the mid 50's temps of the soil

    as creatures they have been around for millions of years so by putting them back in their habitat they should do just fine
     
  3. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    Thanks, Bill. What are the "super" sacks? Would grass seed bags do the trick?
     
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    They hold a cubic yard in most cases and have handles on them so you can pick them up with a loader, it is a common way to transport solids when not in a dump truck

    Yeah as long as they are the ones that breathe, a plastic bag would not be a good idea I think
     
  5. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    OK I got it, we use them in corn/soybean country to load seed into planters, the material is woven nylon of some sort, like many grass seed bags. Breathable and not waterproof.
    I did a little more online research and saw that you can raise worms in windrows of material, it is just slow and leaches nutrients. I just thought I could park them in a big pile of low grade compost, let them improve the pile and then just collect enough next spring to continue producing for compost tea.
     
  6. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    from Raleigh
    Posts: 522

    If you want any more info, I have an acquaintance named Ben who owns Carolina Worm Castings. He's a nice guy and might have some more ideas for you. That's who I buy my castings from for brewing tea.

    he's at info@carolinawormcastings.com

    Tell him Jon from Carolina Organic Lawns sent ya.
     
  7. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    Thanks Jon, I might just do that!
     
  8. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    from Raleigh
    Posts: 522

    You're welcome. Ben's a good guy.
     
  9. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    Send Tim Wilson an email, he's been doing this for years in cold Canadian winters.
     
  10. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    Another good idea , I have his brewer and his email.
    thanks
     

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