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Too Many Red Wiggler Worms in Raised Beds?? Toplef10Too Many Red Wiggler Worms in Raised Beds?? 1zd3ho10

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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.

Too Many Red Wiggler Worms in Raised Beds?? I22gcj10Too Many Red Wiggler Worms in Raised Beds?? 14dhcg10

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Too Many Red Wiggler Worms in Raised Beds??

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Too Many Red Wiggler Worms in Raised Beds?? Empty Too Many Red Wiggler Worms in Raised Beds??

Post  sanderson 1/22/2018, 3:07 am

I started SFG in 2013, and one of the first things I did was install worm tubes (a la Josh) in each bed. I fed them and watched them multiply. bounce However, I think I created a problem of too many red wigglers (not ground worms) in my table top beds.

They are very effective at turning food scraps and rough compost into worm castings. So effective that my Mel's Mix now looks like fine wet coffee grounds with pieces of vermiculite. Shocked The only time it has visible air pockets is when I amend with my chunky compost. While worm castings are excellent, they are supposed to be limited to 10% of total compost blend. My MM is probably close to 50-70% worm castings.

At this point, I think I will remove the feeding tubes (3" holey PVC pipes with caps). I would be happy to give away as many as I can capture to a local RW farmer. I'll see if the man I bought the 1/2 pound of RW from would like to have them back. Sad

Have any of you had a problem of too many RW?

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Post  plantoid 1/22/2018, 5:21 am

No not really,  there will be a dying off of them if you stop feeding the bed with their food for a year. Then next year only feed half of what you have been doing ... your pants could in theory grow in worm casts alone & be very very healthy .


 Note after seven years of whole bed ANSFG I've found that :-
Vermiculite eventually breaks down into a fine powder especially if you  agitate the wet soil it's in .
 It will still do it's job of retaining nutrients in the moisture on these microscopic particles , the soil will not be so super draining .
I've found that I need to turn over the whole bed at the same time to get the air back into the growth medium instead of just doing one troweled square  at a time was seeing me leave stuff that needed a good airing to make it lighter . This year s whole bed turnings will happen in the next month before I get going with my sowing as the whole beds are totally empty in many cases .
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Post  sanderson 1/22/2018, 2:09 pm

@plantoid wrote:No not really,  there will be a dying off of them if you stop feeding the bed with their food for a year. Then next year only feed half of what you have been doing ... your pants could in theory grow in worm casts alone & be very very healthy .
Part of their food source comes from the compost!!

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Post  brianj555 1/22/2018, 7:35 pm

@sanderson wrote:I started SFG in 2013, and one of the first things I did was install worm tubes (a la Josh) in each bed.  I fed them and watched them multiply.   bounce  However, I think I created a problem of too many red wigglers (not ground worms) in my table top beds.

They are very effective at turning food scraps and rough compost into worm castings.  So effective that my Mel's Mix now looks like fine wet coffee grounds with pieces of vermiculite.   Shocked  The only time it has visible air pockets is when I amend with my chunky compost.  While worm castings are excellent, they are supposed to be limited to 10% of total compost blend.  My MM is probably close to 50-70% worm castings.

At this point, I think I will remove the feeding tubes (3" holey PVC pipes with caps).  I would be happy to give away as many as I can capture to a local RW farmer.  I'll see if the man I bought the 1/2 pound of RW from would like to have them back. Sad

Have any of you had a problem of too many RW?  
Maybe I should be careful what I wish for, but I’m wishing I had your red wiggler problem Laughing .
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Post  sanderson 1/22/2018, 11:13 pm

Don't be. Since your beds are on the ground, the earthworms will probably slowly invade your MM. Too Many Red Wiggler Worms in Raised Beds?? 3170584802 I know they did my beds during the year+ they were on the ground. BB\'s happy face

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Post  has55 1/23/2018, 9:47 am

My vermicomposting buckets have been very successful. I can see the intense overgrowth of the worm population coming. I'm not where you are Sanderson, but getting close.I decided to stop bending over to feed the buckets and move to a central location, something similar to my composting bin made out of Pellets. It's about 8 ft wide and 4 ft high. I've talked to a health food store for more food scraps and have collected about 300 bags of leaves for this new project. The only downside I see at this stage is not having the convince of pulling up the vermicomposting bucket and taking it to where I need it when planting in the bed. It just so convenient. Now I will need to transport the compost to the beds. I'm going to pour out about 50% of the vermicompost, worms, and their eggs into the new setup to jump start it.
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Post  sanderson 1/23/2018, 1:59 pm

Too Many Red Wiggler Worms in Raised Beds?? 3170584802

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