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1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 Toplef101,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 I22gcj101,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 14dhcg10

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1,000 worms on their way....

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Post  GWN 7/12/2012, 10:25 am

mine is/was indoors until the bugs took over.
The farm seems to be working well though, but i am going away for a few days
GWN
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Post  Josh 7/12/2012, 11:08 am

GWN I don't use the hilton style worm bin, I just use a single tote for
mine, so mine never gets very wet, not enough to drain anything, that
might make a difference between mine and yours.

How long have you had them outside where they are now?
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Post  GWN 7/12/2012, 11:14 am

mine never gets wet either, and in fact the bottom layer is just where I harvest the worm castings. I got this whole thing before I really learned much about it all.
Mine have been in the greenhouse under a bench for a few months now, however it only got hot here last week and so I have moved them to behind a concrete wall, under a deck and yesterday I have also put a piece of old carpet over it for more shade.

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Post  Josh 7/12/2012, 11:34 am

GWN it sounds like to me that they are doing ok where you have them, and if your not expecting an extreme change in the temp, and your only going to be gone a few days they I would think they will be ok. I would add some extra damp layers of paper or whatever you use for bedding.
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Post  Coelli 7/12/2012, 3:52 pm

GWN, keep an eye on your worms! I just started my farm recently so it's one bin on top of some PVC risers over a drainage bin. I was keeping it outside in the shade, and lifting the top bin up every couple of days to make sure everything was good and no one had traveled to the bottom bin, and never saw anyone (anyworm?) down there.

A few days ago we got pretty hot (in the 90's) and when I opened the bin, I saw a couple of worms on top of the bedding, which I thought was unusual. Pulled the top bin up to check and found at LEAST a hundred worms down in the bottom bin, where they must have fled trying to escape the heat! I grabbed a latex glove and scooped them back into the top bin and moved the whole thing into the house since we're just going to get hotter here. So far so good; everyone's staying back where they belong and any other bugs are staying in the farm. For a little extra insurance I placed the entire farm into a larger plastic tote with a lid. I'll move them back outside when the worst of the summer heat is over. I don't mind the worms inside, but I could live without some of the other inhabitants. Razz
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Post  FamilyGardening 7/18/2012, 11:08 am

update on our worms Very Happy

some of them are so BIG we might enter them in the BIG STUFF contest Razz ....our son was playing with them like they were a snake Shocked LOL

happy to report we found teeny tiny baby worms and worm eggs!!

hugs
rose

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Post  GWN 7/18/2012, 11:27 am

WELL....
My worms, ... Whom I WAS considering realeasing to their own devises Embarassed I am now finding are becoming quite the little producers now.
I am getting at least a cup a week of very fine castings
And right now an entire tray has become castings, so I am URGING them to go to a nice new tray below by leaving the lights on.
Only thing is.... I am wondering which one of my little lovelies..... deserves those great castings. Very Happy
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Post  llama momma 7/18/2012, 2:26 pm

Rose and GWN - your worms must be very happy. It is so nice to hear about your successes.
I noticed my bin is getting really heavy. My worms are eating like little piggies. Easily go through over a pound of waste between feedings, and I add newspaper once a week. They would probably eat more veggies and fruit but I want them to eat newspaper too to keep things dry. It's definitely time to moisten newspaper and cardboard for bin #2.
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Post  llama momma 8/5/2012, 5:49 pm

Started a brand new bin #2. It has been aging the past few days with moistened bedding, food, a little crushed eggshells and a little bit of aged compost.
For the first time this Thursday, I plan to take out worm castings from bin #1 and split the number of worms between both bins to give them room to multiply. It has gotten quite heavy. Looking forward to digging in (with gloves of course!), take a head count, weighing out the results, etc., and basically seeing everything in detail from a humble beginning back on March 1st.
Hope everyone else's worm bins are doing well! LM
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Post  GWN 8/5/2012, 10:53 pm

Are you going to actually count them? Smile
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Post  Kelejan 8/6/2012, 12:47 am

Checking my compost in tumble composter I see that I have dozens of little red worms.
Can I start a wormery just using those?
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Post  FamilyGardening 8/6/2012, 1:44 am

LLM i have been waiting for an update from everyone! Very Happy

i hope you are able to get some pic's to share cyclops

kekejan.....this is my first year farming worms....so im not sure...but i dont see why not......infact

....we have a plastic tub for our worm farm.....but just a few days ago hubby called me over to our tumbler composter and there are worms in there Shocked i know we thru a couple of red worms we found in our garden last year in to this tumbler before we started farming them in our plastic tub.....we have used the compost from there this year and restarted the composting this spring.....so...either they can climb really high or the worms that we thru in there had babies and thats what we are seeing in there Shocked how they are surviving in there with out extra care is beyond us...... :drunken:

hugs
rose

so i dont see why you couldnt start farming with red wigglers from your garden..... Very Happy
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Post  llama momma 8/6/2012, 4:43 am

GWN, I plan to get a head count. Can’t be any worse than counting bacteria like from an old microbiology class, where you learn to eyeball count repeatedly in so called “large” groups
.… we’ll see, if it becomes too tedious then go for a total worm ball of weight. Originally paid for a thousand they arrived small and skinny like the instructions said they would till they had a chance to rehydrate. Didn’t want to touch them cause I was a newbie sissy and justified it might stress them more. But now it’s 5 months since their arrival and it would be nice to have documentation, the geek I am….
Kelejan, sure you can start with any number! And Rose proved sometimes you don't have to try at all and poof, worms appear. The plus side is you have a nice experience learning to care for free worms and maybe see if you want to take it to another level. If you want lots of castings then a small number of worms only limits your results in castings. Basically all they want is a little food, moisture, darkness, and can adapt to fairly wide temperatures. For instance, as an experiment I have bucket in the garage with a little bit of leftover compost. In the bottom are a dozen worms. It’s kind of an experiment to see what kind of extremes they can handle. You see - I hardly think of them at all. So now and then they get some food and a sprinkling of water . And when I think to aerate things a little, turns out if I open up a solid portion this is exactly the spot where they’ve all congregated. So I learned to be more gentle in those hardened spots. Overall they seem to require so little of us.
Rose, I laugh at myself because yes, I want to take pictures as you suggested. I’m glad you mentioned it too. Bet you guys had a bunch of eggs in there that hatched out. How nice for you. They survive whether we help them or not..

Tune in this Thursday night for a little worm report… and pictures.
Here's to worms and worm owners
bottoms up


Last edited by llama momma on 8/6/2012, 4:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  FamilyGardening 8/6/2012, 4:48 am

1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 3170584802 look forward to it LLM Very Happy

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Post  llama momma 8/6/2012, 5:03 am

Me too! Very Happy
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Post  plantoid 8/6/2012, 8:45 am

My compost worms have gone crazy . Back in late February the initial 11 I started my composting with seemed to die off , so I added another twenty and a week later another 15 .. all my worms have been taken out the composting pile or composting bins . Iad a look in the wormery this morning and there are literally hundreds of them.

An even bigger surprise was each of the four finished compost bins has a two inch thick band of thousands of compost worms having a ball just a few fractions of an inch below the surfaces .

This first one is a small fork full of the top layer and the second picture shows me pointing to numerous worm eggs.


1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 GardenMonday006


1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 GardenMonday008

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Post  llama momma 8/6/2012, 9:05 am

Hey Plantoid that looks wonderful, you don't have a worm farm, you have a giant worm festival going on there! Is your wormery outdoors? Do you insulate? I've been searching all over the net to find the best way to insulate an in ground wormery for freezing cold winters and over the top hot summer extremes around here.
(minus last winter as we never used a snow shovel or the snow blower)
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Post  GWN 8/6/2012, 10:00 am

Kelijan
I have always worried about having worms in my tumbler because when it gets hot, they have no where to go....THen again perhaps they like it??
With my other compost when it gets hot they go down.
Also my first worm farm was one of those black plastic com posters.
My husband put a whole bunch of sawdust in the com poster on top of all the veggies and lo and behold 6 months later it was totally thick with worms, in fact it was almost all worms.
They go up and down the pile depending on the weather.
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Post  llama momma 8/9/2012, 7:06 pm

:boohoo: I won't be spitting the worm bin this evening, Sad I was going to do it on a table with my garage door open to let the sun inside to drive the worms down into the mounds of compost. I didn't count on the furious rain and near 50 mph wind storm that came through here the same time I planned this little activity. 1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 671790 I have other obligations this evening so tomorrow will be pictures and report of sorts. Oh well! idk
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Post  plantoid 8/9/2012, 7:16 pm

@llama momma wrote:Hey Plantoid that looks wonderful, you don't have a worm farm, you have a giant worm festival going on there! Is your wormery outdoors? Do you insulate? I've been searching all over the net to find the best way to insulate an in ground wormery for freezing cold winters and over the top hot summer extremes around here.
(minus last winter as we never used a snow shovel or the snow blower)

LM
I do have a separate wormery on the go as well as the compost bins and it is coming along fine. It is a three foot by 18 inch by 18 inch lidded plastic chest & it is on the office verandah .
It was started with a few worms taken out of the compost bins , had a few more added from the same source and is going great.


As I'm in the UK I'm non too bothered about the worms snuffing it when it gets cold .... the eggs will survive and new worms will come once things warm up again so the compost bins & wormery will stay outside all year round .
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Post  songstriss 8/9/2012, 7:42 pm

I bought some red worms and was wondering if I could put them in a compost tumbler. Any thoughts?
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Post  FamilyGardening 8/10/2012, 4:36 am

took a closer look inside our compost tumbler to see really whats going on in there......what started out last year with a couple of worms taken from our back yard garden and put into our compost tumbler and forgoten about.... What a Face

each time we dug in there and moved some of the muck (black gold with worm castings) cyclops we found more....

Shocked big fat WORMS Shocked

1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 Dscf0052

and more WORMS moving fast trying to get out of the sun Shocked

1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 Dscf0053

and WORM EGGS cheers

1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 Dscf0054

so as far as keeping worms in a compost tumbler....i would say it all depends on the conditions the composter is kept in.....we are in the PNW so are weather is pretty mild compared to other places....we dont have a lot of long hot days of summer and......

our winters....even though we can get snowed in and be with out power for 9 days or so do to ice storms....i would say that are winters are not that harsh either.......so for our neck of the woods it seems that compost worms like being in a tumbler :drunken:

hugs
rose
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Post  songstriss 8/10/2012, 12:10 pm

How often are you rotating your tumbler? I usually rotate mine every day.
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Post  No_Such_Reality 8/10/2012, 12:26 pm

@songstriss wrote:I bought some red worms and was wondering if I could put them in a compost tumbler. Any thoughts?

Depends on how you're using your compost tumbler.

If you're using it basically as a cold composter that you turn occasionally to mix ingredients, you'll be fine.

If you're using it as a fast composter, you'll cook your worms. I batch my compost tumbler now, I basically empty it, fill it and turn every few days to mix aerate and cook. It sits were it gets sun and upon opening on a sunny day I can literally feel the heat well up out.

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Post  llama momma 8/10/2012, 11:28 pm

I finished splitting the bin into two and separating the castings.
What a long and tedious job.
The castings weighed over 11 pounds, the worms produced it in 5 months and a week. I didn't do a head count on the worms or weigh them either, after looking at squirmy worms for several hours of hand sifting (w/gloves of course) I just wanted to get it over with! There were so many babies it was impossible to save them all, and the adults were everywhere. I tried to pick out pure worms to weigh them but more often than not castings were moist and lumped around the worms so I couldn't get an accurate worm weight that way. The job took over 4 hours, rather tedious. So if someone says you can make your own free worm castings, I'd have to disagree! Time-wise it is not free but I expect it will be worth it. Very Happy Here are a couple pictures:
The left sorting bin was from the top of the worm bin so it is lighter in color and has some bedding still in it.
1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 8-10-110
This is the 3 final piles of worms that I flipped over to show them congregating:
1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 7 8-10-111
And the final picture shows the bucket of castings, it was 11 pounds plus more castings that were stuck with the worms and went back into the 2 bins. I am betting at least another pound of castings from that.
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