May 29th, 2017
The Worm Man BLOG
How To Cool The Worm Farm When The Weathers Really Hot
The larger a farm is, the better it will cope with temperature extremes.
The larger size and depth of a CFT, for instance, allows the worms room to dive down to escape heat or cold.
Having a larger farm enables the farmer to still feed the worms when the weather is hot, as the worms have escape zones.
And when the weather is cold, the farmer can over feed to create a heat zone, but still have space for the worms to get away from the food.
Also, farms that are in contact with the ground will have a better escape route for the worms. They can go down into the ground a little ways to get cooler. Just being in contact with the ground – in the shade – makes things cooler. Examples of farms like this are windrows, wedge systems or big open bottomed bins.
You have to minimise your feeding when its very hot, so you don’t add extra heat from too many decomposing foods.
Can’t I Just Keep Adding Water To Cool Them Down?
DON’T put extra water in the farm, it makes it hotter as water conducts heat and reduces aeration of bedding.
Excess water in the worm farm will starve it of oxygen, making the farm anaerobic, retaining ammonia, alcohols and creating acidity.
Soon the worms will be hotter than before, and eventually if repeated enough may die.
If the heat is really bad you can freeze plastic bottles full of water and place in the bin.
The idea is that you have 2 sets of bottles – then each day you can rotate the thawed bottles with new ones from the freezer.
DON’T just add ice to the bin
– it will melt, making the farm too moist etc
If you freeze food to add to the bin
Be aware it will release its moisture VERY quickly, so place extra dry bedding under it to absorb this moisture.
It is quite easy to have this system of cooling become its own worst enemy – over feeding the bin and filling it with water.
Also be VERY AWARE
of leaving some big zones unfed continually so that its a very cold area with no food for them to escape to.
It’s HOTTER where there is food . . .
I usually measure a 5 degree difference in bedding to air temps, and another 10 to 20 deg on top of that in a feeding zone.
The farm should be kept in deep shade at all times.
Maybe beside the house under the eaves, or you could rig up a shade structure pretty easily.
Ensure there’s air between the shade cloth and the farm ie dont just drape cloth over the farm.
If you have a lid on the bin take it off if you can, even during the day, and replace it at night.
At night if you need to leave the top and cover off, to keep wandering worms in the bedding you may want to leave a light on over it if possible.
Blankets & Coverings
If you have a “blanket” on top of the bedding like newspaper, cardboard, hessian/burlap bag or carpet – take that off too – to let more air into the bedding and heat escape.
The theory is that any covering on the bedding or farm keeps it warmer – like wearing a jumper on a summer day.
Just like when its cold we add insulation to our farms (extra bedding, hay bales, etc.)
Making A Swamp Cooler To Cool The Farm
If the humidity is lower, you can try making a “swamp cooler”:
Take the lid off the farm if you can. This allows for more air flow.
Drape a damp hessian/burlap bag or an old towel over the bin so there’s an air gap between it and the bedding.
Do not place it directly on the bedding or it will leach water into the farm.
Drape the ends of the hessian bag over the edges of the farm and into a bucket of water on each side.
If possible leave a fan pointed at it, if there’s no breeze. (This is basically making a “swamp cooler”.
Using Electric Fans And “Spritzing”:
I have found “spritzing” inside bins with water – only just enough to moisten them – and having a fan blow over them reduce heat by 5 to 10 degrees.
So this ends my post today – thanks very much for reading my blog – and HAPPY WORMING.
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