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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.

Worm Tube for the SFG - Page 11 I22gcj10Worm Tube for the SFG - Page 11 14dhcg10

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Post  petunia52 10/24/2012, 6:51 pm

[quote="Josh"]I read in a gardening newsletter about Worm Tubes...

@Josh, I am so glad I caught this topic today. I have been planning on making a worm box for spring and looking at different ways of doing so. When I saw this (not knowing what a worm tube was) I googled it, and what comes up but Josh. This is a wonderful idea, especially for a brand new gardener like myself, the simpler the better. I can see you are ALL going to be a major help to me!!! Wish I had known about you when I started this last spring.
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Post  Josh 10/24/2012, 7:39 pm

[quote="petunia52"]
Josh wrote:I read in a gardening newsletter about Worm Tubes...

@Josh, I am so glad I caught this topic today. I have been planning on making a worm box for spring and looking at different ways of doing so. When I saw this (not knowing what a worm tube was) I googled it, and what comes up but Josh. This is a wonderful idea, especially for a brand new gardener like myself, the simpler the better. I can see you are ALL going to be a major help to me!!! Wish I had known about you when I started this last spring.
WOW petunia that's awesome that you found me when you googled worm tube!

I keep red wiggler worms in just one simple tote, and have for several years, I have the worm tube in my 4 x 4 SFG and it works great for me.

by Triciasgarden on Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:44 pmIt's
great to hear the experiences of all of you with your worms! I am
hoping to get worm tubes into the beds in the Spring. Have to wait for
finances. I will be putting one in each bed. I read through this
thread again last week and put two and two together. Someone else may
have already done that for me so in advance "duh". I had read about
Josh saying he plants his potatoes in the same box every year and we all
know he has great harvests! Well I read one of the sites he posted way
back and it said how worms help get rid of fungus or disease or
something like that in the soil. Well that would explain why Josh is
able to plant his potatoes in the same bed every year!

So Josh,
do you have that kind of success with your other beds? Do you rotate
your other beds? Do you plant something like broccoli or cabbage or
tomatoes in the same beds every year and have the same success?

I do plant the same plants like cabbage and tomatoes in the same square and they do fine. The potatoes for sure. My SFG is the only one with a worm tube, in the spring before I plant I "fluff" up the MM that is already in the SFG, I add new compost, rabbit manure and worm castings to each of the SFGs and I don't add any more worm castings to my SFG. I do add worm tea to the plants in the other SFGs and rabbit manure.
Josh
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Post  petunia52 10/24/2012, 8:17 pm

[I keep red wiggler worms in just one simple tote, and have for several years, I have the worm tube in my 4 x 4 SFG and it works great for me.]

So will I need to keep more in another place as well, as your tote, or just put the tubes here and there in the garden? You'll have to forgive my ignorance, I am reaaaaallllly green. If you could have seen the sad yield from my first garden you would understand just how green. Wink
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Post  Triciasgarden 10/25/2012, 1:25 am

Thanks for the info Josh! I will follow your advice in the spring!

Petunia we all have lots to learn! This is a great forum to get help and you will find that you will have advice to give also!
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Post  Josh 10/25/2012, 7:32 pm

Petunia think of the worm tubes as an easy way to give your SFG a boost, if your just putting the tubes in, it may take a while for the worms to adjust and multiply and spread out in the SFG and leave castings.
If you had problems with your SFGs this year, the worm tube may not be the answer to all your problems, but will help in time. If I were you, I would add more compost to your SFG. Did you buy your compost? Did you stick to the 1/3 of each vermiculite, peat moss and compost? Did you use at least 5 different kinds of compost? Did you keep everything watered good? If you start a worm bin, it will help you get a good supply of castings that you can add into your mels mix to get you off to a good start for next years garden.
Add worm tubes to your SFGs for a continuous supply of worm castings that has been spread by the worms. Very Happy

A plastic tote can be as cheap as $4.00, put some small holes in the lid for air, you can take a hammer and hammer a nail into the lid to make holes or drill some holes...some peat moss, or I just use shredded newspaper for bedding, and some worms, and you can start out with just a few, they multiply fast, add some food scraps and don't over feed them or let them get to wet and you will have the best worm compost ever!

Worm Tube for the SFG - Page 11 Wormbin2

Worm Tube for the SFG - Page 11 Wormbin

Worm Tube for the SFG - Page 11 Worms-1
That's worm casting, no soil has been added.

Make sure they don't get overheated, or freeze.

I'm going to be watching to see how your garden does this time, keep me posted how your doing!
Josh
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Post  jplee3 10/25/2012, 10:42 pm

Hey all! This worm tube idea is awesome. I'm planning to implement it but first things first I need to get my gardens started Smile One question though - I'm guessing worms in any garden naturally promotes aeration and drainage. That said, do you guys think it still is necessary to have vermiculite or perlite? Or will things be alright with just peat moss and compost?

TIA!
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Post  petunia52 10/26/2012, 1:18 am

@Josh,
I have so many questions so please bear with me. First of all my garden was, unfortunately, started long before I bought Mel's newest book this fall. (never had the first one) I should be too embarrassed to admit this but I bought my compost from the landfill. It was suggested to me and I did not know enough to question it. My soil was horrific; huge rocks, dry as sand, and hard as a rock!!! The compost did, in fact, make a major difference in the quality of the soil but I doubt it had any nutritional value at all. My cold frame will be finished this weekend, which I will fill with MM but I'll save the questions about that for a later time, I have too many already. My first compost was started the day I joined this site and I have some questions about that as well but also for a later date. I really am interested in the worm thing and I got the impression you meant I could start it now, is that right? I hope so cuz I'm too excited to wait. I have a tub already and some newspaper, just need some worms, I'll have to see where I can get some. You said not to overfeed them, how will I know when that happens? They die? Sorry this is so long. I really appreciate the help.
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Post  camprn 10/26/2012, 7:06 am

If you don't want to wait to mail order a pound of red wigglers, try the local bait shop, which usually sell red wigglers for fishing bait and they reproduce quite quickly.

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Post  petunia52 10/26/2012, 1:00 pm

camprn wrote:If you don't want to wait to mail order a pound of red wigglers, try the local bait shop, which usually sell red wigglers for fishing bait and they reproduce quite quickly.

Thanks camprn, I will try the bait shop. How to keep them from freezing? If I put them in my empty downstairs room, I won't find one somewhere else in the house will I. I'm just now getting used to having a relationship with "creepy crawlys" and need to take it slow. Smile
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Post  walshevak 10/26/2012, 2:28 pm

petunia52 wrote:
camprn wrote:If you don't want to wait to mail order a pound of red wigglers, try the local bait shop, which usually sell red wigglers for fishing bait and they reproduce quite quickly.

Thanks camprn, I will try the bait shop. How to keep them from freezing? If I put them in my empty downstairs room, I won't find one somewhere else in the house will I. I'm just now getting used to having a relationship with "creepy crawlys" and need to take it slow. Smile

They won't escape if there is food and damp bedding in the bin. Start the food a while before buying the worms so it will be ready to start feeding the worms. Even if one escapes, it won't get very far. It will dehydrate quickly. (I know) I was impatient too when I started my bin in Jan. I had it all built and ready to go and then ordered worms. Was very disappointed to learn the worms would not be shipped until April because of the chance of freezing. So I went to the local bait ship and got a container of 12 just so I could say I had a worm bin going. You may be able to to get a shipment of worms now if you don't wait too long into cold weather.

Kay

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Post  RoOsTeR 10/26/2012, 2:45 pm

jplee3 wrote:Hey all! This worm tube idea is awesome. I'm planning to implement it but first things first I need to get my gardens started Smile One question though - I'm guessing worms in any garden naturally promotes aeration and drainage. That said, do you guys think it still is necessary to have vermiculite or perlite? Or will things be alright with just peat moss and compost?

TIA!

Worms are not a substitute for vermiculite.

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Post  Josh 10/26/2012, 3:24 pm

RoOsTeR wrote:
jplee3 wrote:Hey all! This worm tube idea is awesome. I'm planning to implement it but first things first I need to get my gardens started Smile One question though - I'm guessing worms in any garden naturally promotes aeration and drainage. That said, do you guys think it still is necessary to have vermiculite or perlite? Or will things be alright with just peat moss and compost?

TIA!

Worms are not a substitute for vermiculite.

Yes RoOsTeR is right you will
still need the vermiculite, and I really must say even though
vermiculite is pricey it will pay off in the long run to have it in the
Mels mix. Most of the failures in SFGing is when someone tries to cut
back on something or they have poor compost.

The tube for the worms will just be a added benefit, sometimes people find worms in their SFGs
and sometimes they add worms they find, the tube is just a way to assure the worms will have food while they are there.

On
the first page of the worm tube post you will find a quote from the
professor of the university of Ohio even though a plant that has all the
nutrients needed for optimum growth, the plants still did better when
adding worm compost.
Josh
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Post  jplee3 10/26/2012, 5:00 pm

Sweet! Thanks Josh and RoOsTeR! Guess I'll be getting some vermiculite real soon!

BTW: I posed a question about vermiculite in the gardenweb forums and it was strongly suggested that I don't use it because ends up causing more trouble than its worth - i.e. once it becomes saturated and cannot absorb any more water, it becomes heavy, doesn't help with pore space, and doesn't have the same drainage benefits. One person mentioned that his soil was extremely compacted after 1-2 years w/ vermiculite. I wonder why there's so much contention over this subject. It seems people have varied experiences using vermiculite and what not. Why would this be the case? I have a hunch that climate may be play a part in all this. Anyone know?
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Post  RoOsTeR 10/26/2012, 5:26 pm

We don't use soil in Mel's Mix. If you use the 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 blended compost as layed out in the method, compaction shouldn't be an issue.

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Post  petunia52 10/26/2012, 5:27 pm

@walshevak, Thanks for the reply. I do have a food bin saving all kitchen scraps for the compost so I guess I am good to go. Just a little unsure how much to feed and water. If anything like my gardening, I will definitely over do. Also I keep hearing how fast they multiply, should I worry about having too many?
Can't wait to start, thanks again.
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Post  jplee3 10/26/2012, 6:02 pm

RoOsTeR wrote:We don't use soil in Mel's Mix. If you use the 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 blended compost as layed out in the method, compaction shouldn't be an issue.

Right, I meant compost. I'm assuming the guy who reported the compaction issues was indeed using compost as suggested. He mentioned that he had a lot of it and that's what 'saved' his gardens from compaction but it seems like had to constantly mix it in through the year and long-run. Is the intention to "upkeep" the beds with compost ultimately?
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Post  RoOsTeR 10/26/2012, 6:28 pm

jplee3, this is the Worm Tube thread. You've started a couple other threads concerning Mel's Mix and Vermiculite. These questions would be better served in those threads.

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Post  jplee3 10/26/2012, 6:29 pm

RoOsTeR wrote: jplee3, this is the Worm Tube thread. You've started a couple other threads concerning Mel's Mix and Vermiculite. These questions would be better served in those threads.

Sorry about that! I'll move on over to the other threads.
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Post  Triciasgarden 10/26/2012, 7:35 pm

camprn wrote:If you don't want to wait to mail order a pound of red wigglers, try the local bait shop, which usually sell red wigglers for fishing bait and they reproduce quite quickly.

You can get the bait worms from the sporting goods area of K-Mart or WalMart.
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Post  petunia52 10/26/2012, 11:40 pm

Triciasgarden wrote:
camprn wrote:If you don't want to wait to mail order a pound of red wigglers, try the local bait shop, which usually sell red wigglers for fishing bait and they reproduce quite quickly.

You can get the bait worms from the sporting goods area of K-Mart or WalMart.

You're a doll Tricia. My husband & I were just discussing this and we had both only seen nightcrawlers when buying bait. I guess we just didn't know to be more specific. Will get them tomorrow.
Have a great weekend.
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Post  Triciasgarden 10/29/2012, 1:35 pm

petunia52 wrote:My husband & I were just discussing this and we had both only seen nightcrawlers when buying bait. I guess we just didn't know to be more specific. Will get them tomorrow.
Have a great weekend.

I didn't know if you got your worms yet but I just saw these ads on ksl classifieds about "worms" within an hour's drive from you. Also saw people selling MM in Pleasant Grove. Go to this site: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=231&sid=74268&cat=&search=worms&zip=&distance=&min_price=&max_price=&type=&category=51&subcat=&sold=&city=&addisplay=&sort=5&userid=&markettype=sale&adsstate=&nocache=1&viewSelect=list&viewNumResults=12&sort=5

I am considering getting some myself and thought you may be interested.
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Post  petunia52 10/29/2012, 11:49 pm


Thanks for the links Tricia. I went this weekend and bought my worms (1/4 lb), came home and put together a home for them that is raised so the tea can drain to the bottom and I added a spout to drain it easily. I went to the woman out west and she is a dear. I called nine places to find red wigglers and all anyone had was nightcrawlers, I suppose it is too late in the year for the reds. Anyway, I checked on them this afternoon fearing I surely had killed them but they are doing very well.
I haven't yet figured the price of putting together my MM, do you think this might be better? I'm afraid to find out how much this is going to cost as I have less money than time, and boy am I short on time. You ladies (and men) put me to shame with the work you put in. OMG, I worked in the yard ALL day and my but is dragging but I didn't do what you all do. Again, I am in awe! Seriously.
Still working on my cold frame and hope to have it finished tomorrow. I'll send pics when it's done. I was going to attach the pics of the worm house but can't figure it out. My kids must think I am soooooo dumb. Wink
Have a good week all!!!
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Post  Kelejan 10/30/2012, 2:04 am

Im curious, Petunia. May I ask how much you paid for your worms?
Apart from time involved and the gas you must have used.
If you had been in Canada I would have sent you some. Very Happy

Incidently, if anyone is in Canada and would like to start up with some composting worms, I would be happy to send you 1/4 pound for no charge. That is, next year, when I feel I have enough to share when I sift my compost in the spring when it thaws. I fully expect my worms will survive.
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Post  petunia52 10/30/2012, 10:25 am

Kelejan wrote:Im curious, Petunia. May I ask how much you paid for your worms?
Apart from time involved and the gas you must have used.
If you had been in Canada I would have sent you some. Very Happy

Incidently, if anyone is in Canada and would like to start up with some composting worms, I would be happy to send you 1/4 pound for no charge. That is, next year, when I feel I have enough to share when I sift my compost in the spring when it thaws. I fully expect my worms will survive.

Kelejan, She charges $15. for 1/2 a pound or $25. a pound. I'm poor so I asked her if I could do $3. worth and she agreed. When I got there she had put 1/4 lb in the tub so I gave her all I had, $6. which should have been $7.50 based on her charges. Gas and time not an issue as she was not far and I made a new friend with a great lady. OMG, was that TMI? Shocked
Good luck with your worms. I was nervous about starting them and probably killing them, but they are doing well.
Happy vermicomposting (I thing that is what it is called).
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Post  Turan 10/30/2012, 12:27 pm

Has any one tried raising a few night crawlers? My compost is full of them and I was thinking of dropping a few into my potted plants for the winter.

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