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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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turned pile today Toplef10turned pile today 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.

turned pile today I22gcj10turned pile today 14dhcg10

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Post  jimmy cee 2/7/2016, 3:32 pm

55 deg, so I thought I would get some turning and drinkin...
Just a few days ago my pile had a crust of about 4 frozen inches.
Today that was gone and here are pics I took while during and after turning.
Temps are 45 deg F in the compost

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Post  Scorpio Rising 2/7/2016, 3:37 pm

Bet your worms were surprised! Lol
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Post  jimmy cee 2/7/2016, 3:39 pm

I was totally amazed in that they were so close to the surface..at least none asked for a beer.
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Post  CapeCoddess 2/7/2016, 3:53 pm

Oh Jimmy, your wormies are just beautiful!!! They look so happy!  And healthy! Thank you for sharing them with us. I miss mine so much. Soon enough though...

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Post  jimmy cee 2/7/2016, 4:26 pm

If I remember correctly, that microbe book indicates a lively worm population means a good compost / growing area.
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Post  sanderson 2/7/2016, 4:42 pm

turned pile today 3170584802

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Post  Scorpio Rising 2/7/2016, 5:33 pm

jimmy cee wrote:I was totally amazed in that they were so close to the surface..at least none asked for a beer.

Honestly, I was too!  I thought they "burrowed down" in the cold....however, we haven't had our usual winter, here, it has been warm, cold, warmish, cool, warm, cold etc.   Maybe they haven't needed to dive deep?  Maybe they don't really do that?
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Post  Kelejan 2/7/2016, 6:42 pm

Scorpio Rising wrote:
jimmy cee wrote:I was totally amazed in that they were so close to the surface..at least none asked for a beer.

Honestly, I was too!  I thought they "burrowed down" in the cold....however, we haven't had our usual winter, here, it has been warm, cold, warmish, cool, warm, cold etc.   Maybe they haven't needed to dive deep?  Maybe they don't really do that?

They really do dig deep when it gets cold. They can only take so much.  You will never see them when it is freezing solid anyway.

Here in the British Columbia Interior this winter I cannot recall any deep cold except for about a week near the beginning of winter. I fear that the insect baddies will be in abundance this spring and summer.
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Post  jimmy cee 2/7/2016, 8:49 pm

Remember, I mentioned 45 deg F that was the temps in areas throughout that pile.
Should warm up a bit, wasn't completely finished yet..
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Post  AtlantaMarie 2/7/2016, 10:54 pm

wow................
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Post  jimmy cee 2/8/2016, 7:25 am

Kelejan wrote:
Scorpio Rising wrote:?

They really do dig deep when it gets cold. They can only take so much.  You will never see them when it is freezing solid anyway.

Interesting thought...now that my beds have been elevated the worms have no where to go, not down anymore. I need to find out if they freeze, as my entire bed does, will they hibernate or does that freeze kill them.
Maybe when frozen they enter a state of dormancy.
If they do die when frozen, then I will need to make sure their replenished in spring. Even at that their deaths will be utilized by bacteria and fungi.
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Post  deriter 2/8/2016, 11:53 am

If the compost pile is thawed and the worms are in the compost, then the ground underneath the compost would be frost free as well.  Why would they not just burrow down again if they need to escape freezing temperatures.
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Post  sanderson 2/8/2016, 12:42 pm

Deriter, Jimmy's beds, as well as mine and some others', are really elevated off the ground, with an air space between the beds and earth. This was done because tree roots were coming up through the weed fabric on the bottom and into the Mel's Mix. For the compost piles with unrestricted bottoms, yes, the worms have access to deep terrain if they need it.

Jimmy, here in Zone 8b-9a, the worms are alive and well, as we get hard frosts at the worse. I don't know how your worms will do with frozen MM. Please let us know when you are able to get into the beds.

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Post  deriter 2/8/2016, 12:49 pm

Oh I see.  I thought they were on the ground.  Ok I too would be interested to see if they survive the freezing.
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Post  jimmy cee 2/8/2016, 5:10 pm

One thing I do know !!! sowbugs do not freeze, or they freeze and then come back to life,...Lots of them when warmer temps are here pop up in my beds
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Post  deriter 2/11/2016, 10:01 am

I know those woolly worms, the ones with the black stripe around the middle, can freeze and will be just fine in the spring.  I saw one in the corner of my garage one year, all curled up.  It just laid there all winter, but as the days started to warm up, I noticed that it had moved from its original place.  Then one day I saw it crawling along like nothing had happened.  Amazing.
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