The Worms in My Garden Compost have Disappeared!

( Shannon and Lowry)

We compost in a large plastic composter that used to be loaded with worms throughout the compost material. Recently we have noticed that the worms are not there!! Where have they gone? Why have they left? It is May and the weather has been normal ....rainy sometimes, sunny sometimes...

Any ideas?

Shannon and Lowry

The Worm Mystery

The short answer is I don't know and to figure this out I'd need more information.

My first question is "Is your bin bottomless or not?" By bottomless I mean is it sitting on bare soil?

Secondly, are the worms in your bin composting worms such as red wrigglers or are they worms who moved into your compost bin from the garden?

Thirdly, is the compost heating up, what is the temperature in the bin?

Lastly, how wet is the compost, wet as squeezed out sponge or drier or wetter?

Bottomless Bin, Garden Worms If you have a bottomless bin and the worms moved in from your garden they may have just taken themselves back to the garden now that the soil is warming up. They may have overwintered in the compost for some reason.

Compost Worms Winter Kill If your worms were compost worms then they may have died over the winter when the weather was cold. They need warmish conditions to survive and thrive and would die if outside in the winter here where I live.

High Heat Check Out Worms can not tolerate high temperatures. If your compost is having a spring heat flush they may have escaped for cooler soil. Use a compost thermometer and check. Could be your compost is too hot at the moment.

Moisture Issue Worms will drown if things get too wet. This would be more likely if your bin has a plastic bottom and they could not escape. If things are too wet or too dry they will leave. Good chance they'd come back once conditions become ideal for them.

Hope this helps.


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