Successful worm farming in the best environment
Worms (just like people) need an ideal home that provides a suitable environment to survive and breed. Every animal on the planet will seek out an ideal location and type for that to happen. People like to have an environment that is safe, dry and/or moist, warm and/or cool. This is known as Human Thermal Comfort.
What is the Worm Thermal Comfort, i.e the most vital elements for a worm to live and breed? pH, moisture, aeration, temperature.
What do you understand about thermal comfort?
Thermal comfort is where you feel comfortable with your surrounding environment. Your influences are air temperature, radiant temperature, relative humidity, air velocity, activity and clothing. Humans use tools such as orientation, shading, passive solar heating, passive cooling, insulation, thermal mass, glazing, skylights, and building a design for a particular climate. This is for a person, what about a worm?
Where do worms live? Underground in the soil.
About the above 4 factors
The ideal ranges from about 15°–25°C. Worms prefer a dark environment, well shaded and undercover. If the soil temperature gets too hot or cold, the worm can cool or heat itself by burying deeper into the soil. The further down the more stable the temperature. Temperature always moves from heat to the cold. If it is cold outside, the heat from your home will move automatically in that direction until neutrality is achieved. You don’t want to be cold if it’s winter so you would want to stop that. Same in reverse – hot outside but you want your home to stay cool and therefore comfortable.
If you live where the weather gets extremely cold in the winter, perhaps you would think about bringing your worm bins indoors or adding extra insulation to the bin for the winter because freezing temperatures can actually kill your worms.
Do you think Walpole is that cold?
If soil gets too acidic, they will wiggle away to a less acidic location. Worms like a pH level of 7 (0 = acidic, 14 = alkaline)
Worms need to be moist to breathe. They take in dissolved oxygen through their skin. Worms are basically 75–90% water. If he dries out, he can’t breathe so he dies. Worms need an oxygen-rich, moist environment of 70–80%.
Just like humans, a good worm environment needs aeration. We build a home that allows us to open windows when we wish to cool down our house. Clean air flowing through also moves good and bad bacteria out and around a home.
Same with the worm home. It must have excellent aeration within the ground. In a worm farm the bedding material decays through good bacteria (aerobic). Aeration of the soil is then needed to make sure bad bacteria (anaerobic) don’t take over.
How do worms aerate? Is this done by them eating and moving through the soil? The key to successful worm farming is to understand your environment first.
Where do you live, what is your climate.
Australian has a broad range of climate zones ranging from:
- High humid summers, warm winter
- Warm humid summer, mild winter
- Hot dry summer, warm winter
- Hot dry summer, cool winter
- Warm temperate
- Mild temperate
- Cool temperate
Overall a worm environment needs to provide food, shelter from sunlight, consistent conditions (temp, air, moisture and pH) and mating partners. If these components exist, your worms can survive.