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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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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 4 I22gcj10Worm Tube for the SFG - Page 4 14dhcg10

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Post  staf74 3/9/2011, 10:00 pm

Great bump Megan !!! I read it from beginning to end. You can feel the excitement from the posters....AWESOME. Class act Josh ! Great job Very Happy

I saw these strange white towers sticking up from boxes in a recent pic posted from ODD DUCK if my memory serves me correct. I mistakenly thought they were a watering device....now it all makes sense....I had an AHA moment.
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Post  model a man 3/9/2011, 10:31 pm

How smart is this kid Josh Very Happy It gives me faith in our youth. I like the idea. I think I am going to make one for each one of my 11 boxes. I am guessing that the red wigglers are the type of worms I want to buy? Does it ever get to a point of there being to many worms in the raised boxes? and I am also guessing that here in SoCal they would probably be ok during the winter. and I did read from the first post. thanks. Now if we could just clone Josh Laughing
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/10/2011, 8:39 am

Thanks for bumping this up. I have looked for this topic here, but since I have heard and seen them called worm towers, I could not find it. There are several videos on youtube about these (called worm towers) and I have been wanting to do this for 3 years now. I just got some pipe, but have not cut them, I plan to put mine in the center of my boxes, so I only use up 2 1/2" of each square. I had considered using the pre-cut pipe (for water/septic drainage) but the holes are only on one side, and even though the expense was worth it to me, I needed to pick up a connector. But since I still had to cut, we went with the regular pipe. You can use a regular acrylic paint for these, just sand the sides a bit, to rough them up. Thanks for the tip on only needing to go the 6" down, and add support Josh, I had planned on going the full 18" down, now I know I do not need to. bounce
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Post  Miss M 3/10/2011, 11:10 pm

I was going to start a worm bin, but I think I'm going to try this instead!!!

FarmerValerie, you have 18" deep boxes? I remember you saying you had standing water in your yard too.
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/11/2011, 8:08 am

No mine are currently 2 landscape timbers deep, that's all we could afford, and we will be going to cinder blocks eventually. We are on a slight slope that gradually ends at the neighbors pond, but the soil here is clay, so it stays wet long after the rains have gone, but then when it dries, it's hard as floor tile. We also have standing water in some areas that are there year round, we think there may be a spring below, and then this year my husband disked up a portion for his rows (cannot convince him to stop-he just likes driving the tractor) water came up the next day, and it had not rained. We need a new well anyway (water is full of iron and stuff, turns everything red) so we may be looking out there for a new one.

The long term goal is to start adding cinder blocks to the boxes and then when they are all blocks, start going up, so eventually we have them 3 or 4 high for when we are older....
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Post  Josh 3/18/2011, 4:26 pm

I was checking my worm tube, it has been out all winter, I stopped putting anything in it once it started getting cold last year, I pulled it up and it had about 6 inches of nice fluffy compost inside, but that's not all that was in there, red wigglers were in there! About a handful of them! Since last year was the first year I tried the worm tube I didn't know if the worms would be there in the spring or not, I live in zone 6 and it does get really cold here. I will start to feed them again now.
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Post  outsideasy 3/19/2011, 2:24 pm

Hi Josh and everyone, I put a worm tube in after learning about it from Josh and winters here are mild but I don't see the food going down now. I find worms in the soil as I dig here and there, I guess I need to dig out the tube and see what is really there like Josh did. I'll get back with results after digging today.
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Post  Patch 3/19/2011, 6:47 pm

I really have enjoyed this thread, and went out today and got the materials, stopped at wally world and picked up some worms(I hope the are the right type). Thanks Josh for your info and reports.
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Post  Megan 3/19/2011, 7:03 pm

Patch wrote:I really have enjoyed this thread, and went out today and got the materials, stopped at wally world and picked up some worms(I hope the are the right type). Thanks Josh for your info and reports.

Welcome to the forum, Patch! glad you\'re here

You found red wigglers at Walmart? I must go look.....
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Post  Patch 3/19/2011, 10:20 pm

Megan, I'm not sure what they were. I got some of each kind they had. If you figure it out let me know. Patch
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Post  outsideasy 3/25/2011, 12:45 pm

I finally dug my worm tube out to look inside and see why my food offerings aren't being consumed as in the begining. All the worms found are little tiny babies and no adults, I split a pound of worms between two boxes last year and over one winter (mild in California Central Valley) there is no sign of adult worms in the tube, only baby ones. As I turn the soil I find an adult red wiggler here and there so I just don't know what to think of not finding any in the tube where all the food is.
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Post  Megan 3/25/2011, 8:38 pm

outsideasy wrote:I finally dug my worm tube out to look inside and see why my food offerings aren't being consumed as in the begining. All the worms found are little tiny babies and no adults, I split a pound of worms between two boxes last year and over one winter (mild in California Central Valley) there is no sign of adult worms in the tube, only baby ones. As I turn the soil I find an adult red wiggler here and there so I just don't know what to think of not finding any in the tube where all the food is.

I have absolutely no idea, except baby wigglers are better than none! I would like to hear more about this from someone experienced in worm farming.
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Post  Patch 3/25/2011, 8:53 pm

Megan wrote:
Patch wrote:I really have enjoyed this thread, and went out today and got the materials, stopped at wally world and picked up some worms(I hope the are the right type). Thanks Josh for your info and reports.

Welcome to the forum, Patch! Worm Tube for the SFG - Page 4 396615

You found red wigglers at Walmart? I must go look.....

I did some research and the trout worms that wally world sells are supposed to be red worms. I think they all are but, after googling I stuck with the trout worms.
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Post  Megan 3/25/2011, 9:37 pm

Thank you, Patch! Our local Wally is doing a major reconstruct of their garden area, so I will have to seek elsewhere or wait (perhaps wait, considering all the construction I'll be doing in my backyard), but that is great info, thank you.
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Post  Patch 3/26/2011, 7:12 pm

You will find the worms in the fishing section, not in the garden section. At least that is where I found mine.
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Post  Megan 3/26/2011, 7:42 pm

Oooh, thank you. I just got some PVC today for tubes, so now I have an even better reason to go visit the Wally across town!
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 3/26/2011, 8:27 pm

From this website, it would appear red wiggler worms, not being native to North America, pose a threat to native plants when allowed to escape into the wild from home vermiculture uses.
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialanimals/earthworms/index.html at least in Minnesota, but perhaps in other parts of the US. Certainly, there must be earthworms native to North America one could use in a compost pile, isn't there? Anyone know?
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Post  Patch 3/27/2011, 7:17 pm

I don't want to get testy about this, but as soon as we get rid of the english sparrow, and starlings, that were released in Central Park New York in the late 1800's(50 pairs each) and are now diminishing the Purple Martin and other cavity dwelling song birds, I will worry about earth worms. Every time environmentalists and conservationist get involved in some cause, they end up causing more damage to habitat. I would say that if there are earth worms in Minnesota now that they may have been there much longer than the late 1800's or early 1900's. After reading the article linked by the OP, I wonder if they would not have more vegetation if earth worms had been there all along. At least they have helped break down the hard red clay soil here. I may live to regret my thoughts on this issue, but I have only observed the good that earth worms are doing. I guess the best thing I could say is that we will have to agree to disagree on this issue.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 3/27/2011, 7:43 pm

Good point, Patch. After all, what did the robins eat in wet springs for ages past if not some type of earthworm? We live about 5 miles out of town on land that was almost all douglas fir forest before a patch was logged and settled over 100 years ago, but the old homestead was almost all trees, except for immediately around the house. Our garden is on a part of the old homestead that was still forest 40 years ago before this plot was logged and the house built. And the garden is full of at least two kinds of earthworms. We've never had a worm bin or acquired red wigglers, but the compost piles are riddled with the above-mentioned worms. My belief is: at least in Western Oregon, these are native worms.
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/27/2011, 8:37 pm

Worms being released from home growers a problem? I'd say Aligators in the sewers in NY City is more of a problem from home owners than worms.
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Post  JBS636 6/12/2011, 4:49 pm

I have some scrap 1x4 and was planning on making towers for my sfgs... This would give me an opening around 2x2 or so. Does anyone know if that would be to small for the wormies? I would rather go find larger wood now than waist my time and have to rebuild later.

Thanks!!
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Post  shannon1 6/13/2011, 12:17 am

JBS636 wrote:I have some scrap 1x4 and was planning on making towers for my sfgs... This would give me an opening around 2x2 or so. Does anyone know if that would be to small for the wormies? I would rather go find larger wood now than waist my time and have to rebuild later.

Thanks!!
If you mean 2"x2" for the worms to go in and out it should be more than enough space.
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Post  H_TX 6/13/2011, 1:43 pm

I am guessing that B.T. does not harm earth worms and only has a negative affect on larva type caterpillars. Does anyone know if this is correct? Is BT safe for earth worms?
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Post  shannon1 6/13/2011, 11:50 pm

Each BT strain infects a relatively narrow range of species. Studies have shown that predatory insects, such as lady beetles, are not at risk if they eat an insect that has been infected with BT. BT does not infect earthworms, nor does it kill honeybees or many other species of insects. BT is an excellent choice for control of many pest caterpillars.
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Post  JBS636 6/16/2011, 10:39 pm

I went with the 1x4 boards and built 3 Worm Hotels (I soooo want to name one the 'Crawl Inn'cyclops) and installed them today. A handful of wet peat moss, a handful of night-crawlers and a handful of veggie and fruit scraps and the lids are on. As I was digging the soil for the holes, I observed many worms already in residence and hope the new neighbors can get along. Now if I can jut get my five year old daughter to help me feed the wormies every few days, all will be good. She was super hyped to help out until she realized I really did mean that we were putting worms in the worm hotels.

We'll see.
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