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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 21 Toplef101,000 worms on their way.... - Page 21 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 21 I22gcj101,000 worms on their way.... - Page 21 14dhcg10

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1,000 worms on their way....

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Post  llama momma 3/31/2014, 7:08 pm

That's great!  I agree there were probably cocoons in the potting mix. Conditions became favorable they hatched and have been enjoying their lovely high rise lodging.
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Post  sanderson 3/31/2014, 7:29 pm

I could use some advice on my worm tubes. The food is moldy. Should I remove some of it, all of it, leave it alone?? I thought I would be able to sneak up on them at night, take the lid off, and catch them in the act! Not happening. Could it be that there is enough "food" in the home made compost I added before planting?
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Post  Kelejan 3/31/2014, 7:57 pm

I would leave the food alone. Worms feed on the food when it has turned to mould and bacteria, they don't actually eat the food we give them.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 3/31/2014, 8:11 pm

Worms love the moldy icky stuff, not to worry.

Worm "overcrowding" problem solved.  It was time for me to clean out my worm tubes for the castings anyway and each worm tube easily had 300-500 worms in them.  Scooped out.  Sprinkled into new gardens around each plant I wanted to fertilize and I expect next time I go out into the garden today they will have disappeared into the wood chip mulch and made themselves at home.
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Post  sanderson 3/31/2014, 8:34 pm

I have yet to see a worm cocoon. For our little red worms, how big are they?
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Post  llama momma 4/1/2014, 12:05 am

Sanderson
Red worm cocoons are about the size of the lower case "o" and lemony yellow in color.  It changes color before hatching.  See next post for a picture.


Last edited by llama momma on 4/1/2014, 12:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 21 Empty red worm cocoons

Post  llama momma 4/1/2014, 12:17 am

1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 21 Worm-e11
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Post  sanderson 4/1/2014, 1:22 am

LM, Thank you for the photo. I have a much better idea, now.
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Post  llama momma 4/1/2014, 1:25 am

Your welcome  Smile
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Post  Kelejan 4/1/2014, 6:34 am

llama momma wrote:Sanderson
Red worm cocoons are about the size of the lower case "o" and lemony yellow in color.  It changes color before hatching.  See next post for a picture.

I was going to say a pinhead or a little larger. You're in first as ever, LLM   Very Happy 


Last edited by Kelejan on 4/1/2014, 7:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  has55 4/1/2014, 6:40 am

now that a great picture. I actually never look for the cocoons, so this is very helpful.
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Post  llama momma 4/1/2014, 9:51 am

Here's something else about that picture from redwormcomposting.com--
Notice some cocoons or capsules are more brown than lemony yellow.  The brownish ones indicate they are closer to hatching out.   When you have either of these in your garden you could transfer the cocoons to another bed to help populate that bed too.  Just some fun stuff to know!
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Post  Kelejan 4/1/2014, 3:34 pm

llama momma wrote:Here's something else about that picture from redwormcomposting.com--
Notice some cocoons or capsules are more brown than lemony yellow.  The brownish ones indicate they are closer to hatching out.   When you have either of these in your garden you could transfer the cocoons to another bed to help populate that bed too.  Just some fun stuff to know!

Then when the cocoons hatch, they will have a good start because that is the environment they adjust to immediately. Transferring worms, the worms have to acclimatize and that takes a little time.
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Post  has55 4/1/2014, 5:01 pm

that's excellent info to know to get better results. my bed continues to drop. I'm going to let it get really low before adding food, unless that a no, no. Any advice is welcome.

1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 21 Img_0215
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Post  GWN 4/5/2014, 3:27 pm

LM   I have a question about how you do your bins.  I am finding that using these towers is hard on my back..... LIFTING the top bins out..
I am wondering if after I have all these systems in place, whether I might be better off in the long run with something more like yours.

So you put in the bedding  and the worms and then just add your STUFF in as it comes up.   Are you using the number of bins to leave some to complete the process and are more active in some than others?  What process are you using to harvest the castings?

I do not have much of a source for the  bedding, do you use mostly newspaper?
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Post  llama momma 4/5/2014, 11:07 pm

GWN wrote:LM   I have a question about how you do your bins.  I am finding that using these towers is hard on my back..... LIFTING the top bins out..
I am wondering if after I have all these systems in place, whether I might be better off in the long run with something more like yours.

So you put in the bedding  and the worms and then just add your STUFF in as it comes up.   Are you using the number of bins to leave some to complete the process and are more active in some than others?  What process are you using to harvest the castings?

I do not have much of a source for the  bedding, do you use mostly newspaper?

GWN
I'll tell you exactly what I do.  A week and 1/2 ago there were 2 thousand more worms delivered.  I had three bins prepared with one week old wet bedding and food. This encourages  microbial growth which you know is what they primarily consume.  In the past my bedding was strictly shredded newspaper, but this time I put a layer of dry cardboard pieces on the bottom, on top of that is wet shredded newspaper mixed with wet leaves and leaf mold and some soupy wet smashed up llama beans since they love manure.  In a closed bin manure is often discouraged but it can be used successfully if one goes easy with it. I've added manure before and all was fine.   This wet bedding layer was nearly 10 inches tall.  At the surface of this layer I dug down an inch or so and added a ball of food wrapped up in wet newspaper. (oatmeal, fruit, veggies, azomite, finely crushed eggshells).  Finally, I sprinkled more finely crushed eggshells and azomite throughout the entire bin and filled the rest of the bin to the very top with dry shredded newspaper.  Nobody in their right mind does all of this preparation, obvious I've lost all common sense.

Three bins were recently split to make 6 bins to simply grow a bigger herd and many castings.  The next 3 bins I described above were populated from a new shipment of 2,000 worms, or roughly 700 per bin, again to give everybody lots of room to reproduce and make castings.  That's 9 bins.

Harvesting castings--  I have used the dump and sort method with a light and decided no more of that tedious and silly work!  This time I am going to buy another bin, put loads of little holes in the bottom.  Stop feeding one particular bin for a few weeks. Then transfer the entire contents of worms and vermicastings into that bin with holes.  Place it over the top of a BRAND NEW bin with new bedding and food and let them climb down themselves to the new bin with yummy rotting scraps below.  Here is the great part-- a bright light will encourage the little squirts to dive down to the new bed below. This allows me to just scrap off the top of castings.  I've heard this method works very well so I'm excited to try it out for myself.   Hope I answered your questions!  Let me know  Very Happy


Last edited by llama momma on 4/5/2014, 11:17 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : cause I always do...)
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Post  Kelejan 4/5/2014, 11:38 pm

They way I harvest my worms from the Wiggler Hiltons:
I have a 4-foot wide x 3-foot long piece of 1/4" holed wire that I bend into a cyclinder and tie off to finish the tube.  I take all the loose bedding from the top of my crate, transfer that to the new crate then tip everything left, a bit at a time, into the tube over my wheelbarrow. Then I rotate it slowly by hand so that the castings fall through and most of the worms remain in the tube.  Then I gently tip the worms and stuff that has not gone through the sguares back on top of the bedding that I took out in the first place and put into the new worm bin. After doing about three or four siftings, takes about twenty minutes, I then place some food and new dry toppings. All ready to go again.
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Post  llama momma 4/5/2014, 11:52 pm

That sounds really good too Kelejan!  There are many ways to do all this worm stuff!
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Post  Kelejan 4/6/2014, 12:43 am

llama momma wrote:That sounds really good too Kelejan!  There are many ways to do all this worm stuff!

I got that idea from someone who put a video on YouTube so I tried to copy it but it turned out so terrible that I took the tube I made and used it by itself and it worked very well. The original idea was a tube that was wrapped around a five gallon pail and put on rollers over the wheelbarrow.  Looked good, but I just did not have the skill or the tools to cut the pail in half properly and attach the tube and I never got around to making the roll-bars.  KISS is my motto.
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Post  llama momma 4/6/2014, 3:42 am

It's a great motto, glad it worked!
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Post  FamilyGardening 4/6/2014, 3:56 am

llama momma wrote:Here's something else about that picture from redwormcomposting.com--
Notice some cocoons or capsules are more brown than lemony yellow.  The brownish ones indicate they are closer to hatching out.   When you have either of these in your garden you could transfer the cocoons to another bed to help populate that bed too.  Just some fun stuff to know!

Thank you so much for always adding great info on raising worms!! your a true gem to this forum!!

hugs
rose
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Post  GWN 4/6/2014, 7:10 am

HI LM
Yes you have answered my questions.  Thank you very much.
SO I am curious ,why you are buying more worms, sounds like you have tons...
I guess you can never have too much eh?

Since I already have the bins with the holes in the bottom, I have been using that method of putting the finished castings in one such bin and put a light on to get them to go into the lower bin and this works GREAT.
I have just found a large supply of egg cartons, I think I might try your method

Thanks
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Post  llama momma 4/6/2014, 11:29 am

Thanks Rose, btw, I agree we're all 'gems' on this forum, and characters, and comedians,bonded by the sfg experience.
GWN, your welcome, I bought more worms because I have the equivalent of 10 sfg boxes that can benefit from castings and a large flower bed.  Also venturing into the farmers market this year to sell off any extra produce and pre-packaged castings and llama beans. The idea of making a few dollars to help support my gardens is enticing.  Backyard produce is great in itself so even a little cash would be icing on the cake.
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Post  GWN 4/6/2014, 1:40 pm

Interesting LM
I TOO am going to "venture out" to the farmers markets. I have started 500 seedlings of tomatoes and peppers.  I figured....I have to look after all the ones for my garden, and I have the room in my greenhouse for many many  seedlings (at least in the 3 inch pots)   SO why not make more for everyone.  I also feel that you rarely see exotic heirloom seedlings anywhere.  The only people who have tried brandy wines are the ones, like us, who grow them from seeds, OR to pay a huge amount for them at the market.
I am retiring from work this year and would like to be able to supplement our pension a little bit with something i LOVE doing
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Post  llama momma 4/6/2014, 1:47 pm

GWN that sounds fantastic. Tremendous effort, wow. Congrats on retiring and your quest for quality of life, that's what its all about. What I'm aiming for too.
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