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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 19 Toplef101,000 worms on their way.... - Page 19 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 19 I22gcj101,000 worms on their way.... - Page 19 14dhcg10

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1,000 worms on their way....

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Post  llama momma 7/16/2013, 4:00 pm

As a point of reference, my 1,000 worms took about 6 months to settle down and generated roughly 5 inches of vermicompost in an 18 gal. Rubbermaid container.  I weighed it and logged it into this thread I believe back in Oct? or Nov.  can't remember exactly.  Think I did it again in January.  I wanted to split the bin and now have 3 bins.  Think I'll stop there.  The "glamour" of harvesting wore of pretty fast in my case.  If you don't use it up right away you can save it, mix to aerate it from time to time, moisten it  and you'll find new hatchlings, I got a few hundred more from stored harvested castings. Put a banana peel on top and the youngins will go for it. Wink
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1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 19 Empty Fall planting

Post  CaptainKidney 7/16/2013, 4:27 pm

Since the fall and winter seasons are our growing periods (it is unbearably hot right now - January is 70 and comfy), I can't wait to harvest the first castings. Thanks for the input Llama Momma.

Mike
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Post  grownsunshine 7/16/2013, 4:53 pm

CaptainKidney - you are a very good person to share your bathroom with so many females. lol. I can only imagine what a rich life you have. Once I told my wife my plans about a worm compost bin I told her I was putting it in the house because it's too hot outside. She wasn't having any of that - lol. I haven't had much smell from the rinds. I don't keep my bin too wet. I use a water bottle every day to every other day to water the bedding, so I keep a close eye on the moisture level. Next I'm going to do as llama mama said and watch them chow on a banana.

Llama Mama - thanks for the time perspective and storage advice. I split my pound of worms into two bins. I hope I didn't do that too soon and minimize reproduction. I wanted to be cautious just in case 1 bin failed. But from what I read, only so many can grow in 1 bin, so in the long run all is well. When do you know your castings are ready to harvest?

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Post  llama momma 7/16/2013, 6:17 pm

Cap.K and GS
Your welcome to both of you.  Yes you are correct, worms will self regulate  reproduction rates, GS.   You say when are castings ready?  I first noticed the bin was getting heavy, that was a good indication things are going very well.  There is a point in time where things can become kinda toxic to them, yet redworms are also rather terrific at adapting to some pretty gross conditions.  Yes, I am talking out of both sides of my mouth!  I think sifting through 4-8 inches deep from one container is time consuming.  That's about as far as I'll let it go.  But I'm just sharing my opinion.   I wouldn't want to sift through 10-14 inches deep its time consuming and I'm slow so it takes forever when you try to retrieve every worm in there!
 
Your timing Capt. K should be just about perfect come January.  I had to store all my castings while waiting for my growing season to come along.  Doesn't matter too much, they keep producing castings and reproducing youngsters, keep things moist and it's all good.
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Post  Triciasgarden 8/28/2013, 8:01 pm

I haven't given my worms any attention for months.  I started with a small container of bait worms so I didn't have a lot invested.  When I would think about the worms I would be on my way out to water the garden or would be doing something else.  When I was done with whatever it was I was doing, I had forgotten. I had given them plenty of food and covered them with 3-5 layers of moist newspapers. The worm compost was mixed in with shredded newspaper and food so I could not separate the worm compost from the rest very easily and it was frustrating.  Finally today I remembered but I honestly thought they would all be dead.  I took the container outside and opened the lid.  I found everything eaten except for a bit of plant material and an avocado peel (both are in the upper left of the picture).  The rest is beautiful pure worm compost!  Now I can use it!  There are young worms in there also!



1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 19 Dscf5511
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Post  FamilyGardening 8/28/2013, 8:46 pm

golly gee whiz Tricia!
Congrats on all of that black gold!

happy gardening
rose
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Post  sanderson 8/28/2013, 10:17 pm

Only a gardener would dance at that sight!! hyper 
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Post  Marc Iverson 8/29/2013, 12:10 am

Grats on not killing them! Very Happy I hear that's pretty easy to do, so you must have been doing something right.
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Post  llama momma 8/29/2013, 8:11 am

TriciaG

Wow, this proves once again how adaptable these critters can be. Will you use all the castings now?  Supposedly the quality is good for about 6 months or so if its kept moist. 
 
If you want you could save the worms that are left.  If there is a decent amount you could feed and bed them between now and Spring and enjoy another nice harvest of castings to help boost the health of the young plants.  This is a great time to freeze fruit and veggie trimmings.  Which reminds me to throw excess frozen trimmings from last year into the compost heap to make room for fresh material.
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1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 19 Empty what if the red wigglers get loose in the yard

Post  Thalia Budai 10/13/2013, 10:34 pm

Hi there!
I was going to put some of these wigglers in my outdoor composter. Does anyone know if them getting loose causes any problems for the environment? I vaguely remember something about certain ground worms being harmful to the environment.

Thalia
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Post  Marc Iverson 10/14/2013, 1:17 am

Yes. They can denude the understory that young trees need to grow. They won't kill a forest, but they can dramatically change its nature. Whether that's to the good or bad, or right or wrong? Opinions differ.

They do qualify as an invasive species, but move very, very slowly. Like 100 years to travel 100 feet or something like that. Don't quote me on that, though.

You may actually have them in your area without knowing it, especially if you're close to any fishing grounds, because fishermen tend to dump their unused worms on the ground. My area supposedly doesn't naturally have them, but though we're a few miles from a river, a few of my neighbors have redworms in their garden. They didn't buy them or put them there themselves.
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Post  sanderson 10/14/2013, 2:38 am

Hum, Free Range wigglers...

I would say not to worry, but to be sure, you could contact your local government Ag department.  Worms are not native but are basically introduced almost everywhere as far as I have read.  Hmmm, I wonder if my free range wigglers could destroy my neighbor's shady tree. . .  I could look completely clueless if I had to!!Shocked
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Post  Marc Iverson 10/14/2013, 3:45 am

I haven't read about them doing that; just eliminating understory enough to interfere with the growth and seeding of native plants, including trees. Supposedly also by reducing native plants in general, they make it harder for trees specifically to grow, as deer have nothing else to distract them from focusing right on you trees when all the competition is gone.

Nevertheless, parts of the US where redworms have been naturalized for hundreds of years still readily grow forests. Just maybe not the same types of trees, or in the same density.

Mostly I'm very opposed to introducing new species, but when I look at the native soil we have here, and how little the endless millennia of pine forests have done to enrich it(it looks as lousy as the day it was born, as it were), it makes me wonder if it's ever worth making an exception.

Hardly anything I've grown this year is native to the region, but that certainly didn't stop me or slow me down for an instant.
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Post  llama momma 10/14/2013, 6:54 am

It's not a simple general answer  --
 
 http://www.redwormcomposting.com/?s=worms+and+forest+impact
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Post  Kelejan 10/14/2013, 10:45 am

llama momma wrote:It's not a simple general answer  --
 
 http://www.redwormcomposting.com/?s=worms+and+forest+impact
Interesting article LLM. That site is an excellent place for newcomers to worm-farming.
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Post  llama momma 10/14/2013, 6:11 pm

Kelejan
1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 19 3170584802  Also, as a side note, there's a book called Vermiculture Technology, about 550 pages & around 100 dollars but I won't be owning a copy anytime soon. I hope to get it through the inter-library system one fine day.
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Post  Marc Iverson 10/14/2013, 10:57 pm

I've found a lot of books are on kindle these day, which lets you down load a sample of 10%. May be worth doing for whatever info you can get in that first 10%.
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Post  llama momma 10/15/2013, 6:36 pm

1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 19 3170584802
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Post  llama momma 3/27/2014, 2:44 am

Update expansion.  In two years one bin has grown to nine...I'm blaming Josh!
1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 19 Sam_2210
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Post  bnoles 3/27/2014, 6:03 am

WOW! LM.... you have an addiction  Laughing 
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Post  yolos 3/27/2014, 11:09 am

WOW is right.  Way to go. rock on
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Post  Kelejan 3/27/2014, 11:32 am

LLM, you are wonderful. I started a little after you and am just about to expand to my third next time I harvest. You are an inspiration to me (along with Bentley). Very Happy 
I love reading about all your endeavours.
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Post  FamilyGardening 3/27/2014, 12:12 pm

affraid  affraid  affraid  affraid  BB\'s happy face
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Post  sanderson 3/27/2014, 3:39 pm

LM, What a nice set-up you have. Looks so clean.
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Post  GWN 3/27/2014, 4:48 pm

LM    that is great. I have just discovered this year how quickly they fill when given another space. We started the same year, but WOW. Thanks for sharing
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