Worm bins work well outdoors as they get lots of air movement will be watered naturally by the rain and will avoid any mess in indoor areas. For cold areas worm bins will benefit from insulation like straw or hay or may need to be moved under shelter. For temperate climates worm bins are fantastic outside.
When keeping your worm bin outside there are some easy tips that can help your worm bin to thrive. Check out this easy guide to placing your worm bin outside.
Best place for your outside worm bin – 6 Easy Tips
Here are my easy tips for placing your worm bin outdoors so they will survive and thrive. Many first time worm biners make the mistake of placing a new worm bin wherever it will fit. Think about these 6 things when deciding where to put your worm bin outdoors.
Shade would have to be one of the most important things for an outdoor worm bin particularly if you are in a warmer area. Most worm bins are made out of black plastic which will heat up incredibly in direct sunlight.
A whole colony of worms can be lost in one day if they get too hot so placing an outdoor worm bin in full shade is essential. Composting worms used in worm bins which originally came from tropical areas and would break down plant matter rapidly in rainforest areas.
Trying to create a similar environment at home in your worm bin will help them thrive. Deep shade, moisture and darkness are what worms love.
Place your worm farm under a tree, near an outdoor wall, under a shed or garage or even in a well-ventilated basement. Keep the worm bin out of the sun and your worms will be happy.
Protect your worm bin from strong winds, snow, storms and from being washed away. This can mean placing them in a sheltered corner of your yard or if you get frequent storms inside a garage.
Looking at your weather patterns and decide whether your bin should protected in a garage or will be fine outside. For me, in a sub-tropical climate I keep my worm farm in a corner near a wall and under the shade of a banana tree.
This keeps it in shade all day and will stop heavy rain from falling directly on the worm bin. This just helps prevent extra soil from washing out of the bin and prevents it from getting too wet during tropical rain storms.
3. Air movement
Good air movement is essential for a healthy worm farm. Lots of air will help your worms to breathe easy, it will prevent the worm bin from getting too wet. Placing your worm bin outdoors will help it to get plenty of air and to dry naturally.
4. Protect it in the winter
An outdoor worm bin will need protection in extreme weather conditions. For snowy areas, worm farms will need a thick layer of straw on top and a solid lid to keep it as warm as possible.
For milder winters your worm farm will still benefit from a layer of sugar cane mulch, newspaper and a worm blanket. Using all 3 layers will help to keep the worms warm and they will also eat and breakdown the worm blanket material and newspaper.
5. Place it close enough to make it easy
When placing your outdoor worm bin think about having it close enough to your kitchen to make it as easy as possible to feed them.
Worms can suffer if they don’t get enough food and if a bin is too far away from your kitchen it is easy to forget about. Taking the food scraps out to the worms in small amounts each day will allow them the time to break down the food scraps gradually.
6. Worm bin lids
Outdoor worm bins will work better with a solid lid. Pre-made worm towers will come with a perfectly fitting lid that will keep mice out and stop heavy rain from washing the worms away.
Remember for outdoor worm bins to keep the bottom tap open. This will allow any excess water to wash out of the bottom and prevent the worms from drowning.
Benefits of keeping a worm bin outdoors
I have always kept my worm bins outdoors and there are some genuine benefits to making this choice. For moderate weather conditions outdoor worm bins will work fantastically well. Here are my top benefits of keeping a worm bin outdoors.
Cleaner – Keep the worm juice contained
Worm bins can be a messy business when it comes to worm juice. While it generally will drip straight down, keeping an eye on the drip tray and tap is important. It is really easy to forget to empty the drip bucket which can fill up and overflow.
Keeping worm bin outdoors means that any worm juice overflow will go straight onto the ground.
Easy to reach
Finding a perfect shady spot in the corner of your garden can keep your worm farm accessible but out of the way. Keeping the worm bin out of the way but near your garden means you can quickly take the worm juice, water it down and put it your compost.
Moving worm castings is easier too. I will even sometimes just take a small spade-full and add it to my garden bed a bit at a time. This means that it will be less of a disturbance to the worms and I will still be able to improve my soil.
Can I keep my worm bin outside? | Summary
A worm bin can be kept outside if it is sheltered, has lots of air movement and can be kept in a position out of the way. Placing an outdoor worm bin near your vegetable garden will make it easy to transfer worm juice and castings.
Worm castings and juice are like gold for your garden as they will improve soil structure, improve water holding capacity and give you bigger and healthier fruit and vegetables.
Happy worm farming.