Top 5 Tips to Hatching Red Wiggler Cocoons
If you're like most people, you want a thriving vegetable garden. Not only does it taste great, but it's also great for the environment. One way to improve your vegetable garden is by using red wigglers to help with composting. Red wigglers are amazing creatures that can quickly turn your food scraps into rich, black compost. But getting them to hatch can be tricky. In this blog post, we will give you 5 tips to improve hatch rates for your red wigglers!
Tip # 1 Cocoons need moisture and lots of it to hatch.
If you live in a dry climate, consider adding a humidifier to the room where your cocoons are stored.
Another way to improve moisture levels is to cover your cocoons with a damp cloth or paper towel or add a piece of bubble wrap bubble side down to hold in moisture and create airflow.
Check on them daily to make sure the cloth or paper towel hasn't dried out.
Moisture should be around 85-90%
Water should never be standing.
Tip #2 Cocoons also need darkness to hatch.
In order for these tiny organisms to hatch into adult creatures, they must be kept in a dark environment free from exposure to light or other external stimuli.
This dark, secluded environment is absolutely essential, as it provides the red wiggler with the time and space it needs to fully complete its transition from larva to adult.
Thus, it is clear that the delicate process of cocoon hatching requires darkness in order for these creatures to thrive and continue their vital role in our ecosystem.
Make sure your cocoons are stored in a dark place.
A closet or cabinet is ideal.
Keep out of direct sunlight.
Keep a piece of cardboard or some dark plastic over the top.
A piece of carpet works great too!
Tip #3 Make sure your compost is at the right temperature
The ideal temperature for hatching cocoons is between 70 and 80 degrees F.
If your room is cooler than that, you can use a heating pad to warm up the area where your cocoons are stored.
One way to increase the temperature is to keep your cocoons near a heat source, like a radiator.
Using a heat mat is a great way to provide heat in the winter to your bin of cocoons.
You can purchase heat mats at garden centers. We use the Vivosun brand with temp controls.
Tip #4: Incubating Cocoons
Another way to improve hatch rates is to incubate your cocoons.
This is a process where you maintain a consistent temperature and moisture level for the cocoons.
To incubate red wiggler cocoons, you will need a large styrofoam cooler and some substrate material, such as shredded paper or soil.
The first step is to place your red wiggler cocoons in the cooler, making sure to spread them out so that they will not overlap or cover one another.
Next, fill the cooler with your substrate material, ensuring that there are plenty of air vents throughout so that the red wigglers can breathe.
Once you have filled the cooler with substrate, close it up and make sure to keep it in a relatively warm and humid environment.
You may also want to add a few moisture sources into the mix, such as wet cotton balls or damp sponges.
After a few weeks, your red wiggler cocoons should hatch and begin growing into mature red wigglers.
With proper care and attention, this process should be relatively easy and can help to boost your regular composting activities by increasing the population of these beneficial worms.
Tip #5 Food source for your emerging red wiggler babies
There are different food sources you can use and one of our favorites is to use manures because it can be used as bedding and a food source.
When trying to hatch cocoons we like to use apple slices in our cocoon bins. Apples are a great choice for a cocoon worm bin due to their nutrient-rich content and ability to attract red wigglers.
Because apples are packed with sugars, amino acids, and other vital nutrients, red wigglers are drawn to them in search of food.
Thus, by using apples in your cocoon worm bin, you can create an optimal environment that encourages red wigglers to emerge and thrive while also providing them with ample food supplies.
What are you waiting for?
Now that you know how to hatch red wigglers, it’s time to get started. All you need are some worms and a little bit of patience. Once your cocoons have hatched, the real work begins! Be sure to purchase worms from a reputable supplier so you can start building your own healthy vermicomposting system. And remember – don’t give up if things don’t go perfectly at first. With a little practice and some helpful advice from this guide, you will be on your way to becoming a worm-hatching pro in no time!