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Dead Vermi bin

 
Posts: 5
Location: Zone 3b
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So our vermicompost bin was outside for most of the winter, my thought process was that YES the worms would die (sorry worms) but that after a good amount of time inside the bin would thaw out and the worm eggs would hatch and shazaam my bin would be back up and running....so after about a week inside (most likely below room temp tho, we're heating with a wood stove-though the bin is close to the stove) NO worms, nothing, the bin seems to be at the appropriate moisture content, there is food...the bin worked just fine before the freeze....any ideas, I thought the worm eggs were hardy enough to go through a freeze...maybe not, do I need to find myself some more worms?
 
pollinator
Posts: 2409
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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forest garden solar
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It takes the redworm eggs/cocoon 30-75 days to hatch and another 50-80 days to reach sexual maturity.
https://www.google.com/search?q=wormbin+time+tohatch
So assuming that the cold did not kill all the eggs, it would take a while for the eggs metabolic systems to rev up and then up to another 75days to hatch and even then they would be too tiny so add another 25 before they start looking like baby worms. So it is most likely not going to be a 4 day process . And all this is assuming the eggs did not die which is something that I will have to look into for my redworm.
 
gardener
Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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zone 3 freeze, i would add worms and start a new bin with the egg laden contents of the old bin. Just like seeds that can sit in the cold on the ground all winter and still sprout in spring your worm eggs are looking for favorable sustained conditions. They moderate their population so before all your worms bit the dust they cached their future in eggs. If your going to keep your bin warm till spring I would add worms to keep the material leftover working, if worms are functioning then your eggs will hatch over a long period of time, if you leave your bin fallow it could go anerobic which the eggs can pick up on and delay hatch. Doesn't have to be a tonnage but you don't want bacteria or fungi running out of balance while there's nobody to eat them.
 
Robert Bruin
Posts: 5
Location: Zone 3b
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Thanks a lot, I didn't realize that the eggs took so long to hatch...I will definitely have to go get some more worms then, there should be lots of eggs but yah I need this bin to start cranking out vermicast as soon as possible

cheers
 
Posts: 32
Location: Alberta Canada 3b I think....
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depending how large your bin is, it may also take a long time to get the core of the material to a temperature appropriate to worm production. Maybe dig in and check the middle of the bin?

Hope all goes well.
 
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