Summer Worm Update

I know you are all worrying about whether, what with all this sewing, I have neglected my worms. I have not. At least, not unintentionally. Too many negatives there. Let me rephrase: I have neglected the worms. I meant to do so. It was for their own good.

Round these parts, it has been very hot. Some days, temperatures have been well above 40 degrees Celsius (crazy, unbearably, unpleasantly hot Fahrenheit). My poor worms.

But here is what I did to protect them from the worst of the heat:

(are you ready?)
(is the suspense killing you?)
(all right, I’ll stop being horrid.)

I added newspaper.

Yes, that time-worn and hideously expensive (especially if I use newspaper snaffled from work because, “Only you read the Fin Review, Oanh. Sure, take it home. Don’t ask next time, just take it. No one else wants it.”) solution: newspaper.

I did, admittedly, add LOTS of newspaper. Plus, I wet the newspaper. Also, I covered the whole worm bin with a tarp. And I crossed my fingers and hoped that they would survive the heatwave. At its worst to date (and it may well get worse over the next month or two, please be safe people in bushfire-prone places, i.e. most of Australia), I was much too afraid to open the bin and check if all was well in Oanh’s-(and Partner’s)-Worm-World-Wonderland.

(Aside from the interruption of having to add my partner to Oanh’s-Worm-World-Wonderland, it’s alliterative, because, hello! welcome new readers! (please don’t leave because I’m talking about worms. I need to talk about worms. Need to.) I also need to tell you that my name is pronounced “wun”, like the number one if you have an Australian accent, or like the beginning of the word “wonder”, as in, “I wonder what on earth Oanh is on about?” Then you have assonance in that sentence too. Alliteration and assonance all in one paragraph. You’re welcome, I’m very happy to provide you with flashbacks to high school poetry classes. Any time. You don’t even have to ask.)

The smell of dead worms in a worm bin is not one that Oanh’s nose is likely to forget in a hurry. It took a lot of coffee sniffing after my first discovery of mass wormicide to rid my olfactory receptors of the stench. I continued to experience infrequent olfactory hallucination of dead worms when I’m worrying about them. It’s a real thing, Wikipedia says so. It’s also a real thing to worry about your worms. There is a tiny part of me that worries about them every day, especially in Melbourne summer. By golly, it gets hot here.

I’ve only been checking on my dear worm-y buddies (all thousands of them) and adding scraps when the weather has been cool. Otherwise, I leave them well enough alone. They’re doing all right, thank goodness. I don’t think they’re liking the heat (I’m not liking the heat) but they’re alive. And that’s all I ask of them during the hot days.

So the secret to keeping the worms in your home-made (and maybe store bought, too) worm bin alive? A lot of newspapers, plus an equal serve of hope and keeping fingers crossed.

Our courtyard garden. The two planter boxes (tomatoes & cucumbers) are entirely worm dirt. Worm juice also keeps the soil in all the other pots nice and healthy.



  1. My few (thousand) little worms are coping OK up this way! They too like the treat of newspaper (courtesy of the local weekly freebie). Current treat is fruit skins and salad off-cuts. Anything to avoid ‘the-smell-of-doom’…J


    1. I am pleased to hear it, Judith! I feel bad for my thousands of little friends because they have no escape if it gets too hot…


  2. You can also lightly water your worm farm from time to time to help keep them cool. (I’ve had a worm farm for eight or so years now…)


    1. One of my favourite birthday gifts was a compost bin, so I don’t think you’re weird at all. 🙂

      I reckon if you have a tree or shade under which to put worm farm, you’ll be fine. Brisbane gets hot but it doesn’t get above 40 often (though that might change…) My problem is the concrete ‘courtyard’ which bounces heat around. Poor lil’ wormies!


    1. The two boxes are entirely worm created, we didn’t even plant seeds, tomatoes & cucumbers just grow out of worm dirt (they don’t eat seeds). It’s kind of amazing that we have dirt from our food waste! Lovin’ my wormy buddies. 🙂


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