Best Worms for Composting During Cold Weather

Even if you live in a cold climate, you can use worms for composting all winter long. You don't even have to bring the little guys inside! Most green gardeners agree that the best worms for composting are red wigglers (Eisenia fetida). You won't need different worms for winter composting (you don't want to introduce another species to your bin anyway), but you do need to create conditions under which the worms stay relatively warm and thus remain active. Your average red wiggler is one tough little hombre, so it's not necessary to try to create a tropical paradise amidst the snowdrifts. Just make sure that your worms don't freeze.

You can do this by insulating the compost bin with any of the methods (or combination of methods) below:

  • Wrap the lower half of the bin in plastic and bury that much under ground.
  • Place the bin in the middle of a big pile of leaves and cover with more leaves.
  • Add layers of damp newspaper above the bedding and cover the top layer of soil with dry newspaper.

Worms may be a bit sluggish, so add soft scraps rather than hard-to-eat foods like banana peels. Open the bin as little as possible to preserve heat inside.