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Worm Beds Made with Straw Bales

This is something I have been wanting to do for a while now, build worm beds out of straw bales, the past 2 winters we had no frost in the ground in the winter months because of the feet and feet of snow we have had up here in Northern Ontario. So having the worms on the ground with 1 straw bale high will work fine if we have the same winter as the last few years.
These worm beds are now full of bedding and worms, I made the bedding with grass clippings,shredded paper,shredded cardboard, wood shavings and aged manure. I added these in layers till the worm bed was full to the top of the bale, Then I got the Old Allis Chalmers B-10 with a 32″ tiller on the back and tilled all the layers a few times, and let it sit for a couple weeks. By this point the bin was on its way to being stocked with worms I have soooo many euros in my soil around the yard they stock the bed on their own.. So far it is working great.

Written by Jeff on August 3rd, 2009 with 6 comments.
Read more articles on About Earthworms and Composting with composting worms and larger scale vermicomposting and worm bins and Worm Stories.

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Get your own gravatar by visiting Tammy
#1. January 11th, 2010, at 6:55 PM.

Hi Jeff!! I am very interested in doing something similar to this but have a question about temps. I live in an area that is know to get to -20. Will this type of bed be able to sustain that kind of cold? If I read right…you put all of the material in and then you till it? I’m sorry…I just have a million questions?

Get your own gravatar by visiting Jeff
#2. January 12th, 2010, at 4:57 AM.

Hey Tammy

Yes my straw bale bed is working fine in cold temps.. do you get alot of snow where you are??
If you don’t get alot of snow this system may not work for you unless you put alot of shredded paper, or shredded straw or something like that, On the top of the bed..You always have to remember that if the worms freeze they die!!! This is why I am a big fan of the Euros they seem to be soil dwellers so if they are going to freeze they go down to get away from the frost. The reds don’t do this, they will stay near the surface and die!!

Thanks Jeff

Get your own gravatar by visiting Jan
#3. January 12th, 2010, at 8:46 AM.

Hi, I’m wondering if this method would work if I tried it with tiger worms.

Get your own gravatar by visiting Jeff
#4. January 12th, 2010, at 3:29 PM.

Hi Jan

(Tiger Worms) AKA Eisenia fetida, known under various common names, including redworms, brandling worms, tiger worms and red wiggler worms,

Yes this breed of worm does very well in this system, as long as they don’t freeze. Tiger worms are not as good for cold weather, as I said in the reply to Tammy, Eisenia Fetida (red wigglers,tiger worms,brandling worms) are NOT soil dwellers as it appears the European Nightcrawlers are.


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#5. October 20th, 2011, at 4:01 PM.

Worms outdoor soil – Page 2 – Forums: with hay bales to grow your worms, The hay acts as insulation and keeps the temps manageable. This outfit …

Get your own gravatar by visiting susan b
#6. September 4th, 2013, at 11:07 AM.

Need a bit more detail please. So do you dismantle rhe bail and layer within the bail or layer someother way?

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