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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.

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dmsandlin
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Post  jazzymaddy 4/8/2011, 2:06 pm

I mixed up my first batch of MM, and noticed some worms in the rabbit/goat/llama compost I bought off a guy. Is that bad? Do I cease and desist? Or is this a good thing? Please let me know quick before I mix up the rest of the stuff. I would hate to scrap the whole pile!

And incidentally, holy crap, that's harder than I thought it'd be... Of course, I had to go and do it by myself...
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Post  ModernDayBetty 4/8/2011, 2:09 pm

Red worms/earth worms would be good. If you don't know what kind of worms I would suggest, if you can, take a picture and put it up and maybe someone with more knowledge than me would be able to tell you what it is. I would be worried if it was the larva stage of some nasty bug.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 4/8/2011, 2:11 pm

Any chance you can describe the worms? Size, shape, color? I think it may help the pest experts get an accurate answer to you quickly.

I don't know much about compost or mini-critters. But, I can't imagine worms being a bad thing. They are eating the decomposing matter and likely helping things along. I wouldn't be worried unless they were termites and I had wooden beds. However, I've never heard of termites living in compost, so my guess is you are ok.

Hope someone else can jump in and help soon.
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Post  dizzygardener 4/8/2011, 2:13 pm

Pictures or at the very least descriptions are needed before we can really help.

I had lots of bugs in my compost, but they were all decomposers and thus not really an issue for my garden.
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Post  myhouseofBOYS 4/8/2011, 2:17 pm

I wonder if OP is asking if the compost is "bad" because worms are living in it (like it isn't yet composted enough to be usable)
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Post  dizzygardener 4/8/2011, 2:22 pm

Even finished compost will still have some bugs in it.

It's fairly easy to tell whether it's finished. Does it smell? Does it heat up if left in a pile? Has it turned a deep rich brown? Does it still have large chunks of uncomposted "stuff" in it? If your answered are no, no, yes, no then you are more than likely safe. As a final test, I'd try planting something in it. If it is unfinished it will kill that plant very quickly.
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Post  Ha-v-v 4/8/2011, 2:22 pm

Last year my husband moved my compost pile from where I had it to row garden to my SFG area, there were lots of worms we were so happy to see. They were putting their "castings" (poo) in my compost, we left them to do their job.
Ha-v-v
P.S. they were earth worms, garden variety dont know their "technical" name. Smile
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Post  jazzymaddy 4/8/2011, 2:51 pm

You guys are awesome! I'm trying to beat the rain that's forecast for later today.

Anyway, they're about an inch long, light tan/brown in color, with "ridges"? The compost is extremely dry, but kind of a greyish color, and dusty. There are little poo balls from the rabbits (I'm guessing) that I can still make out. But there's no smell.

Any more thoughts will be very helpful and much appreciated.

Thanks!!!!!
Tracy
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Post  dizzygardener 4/8/2011, 2:57 pm

quick! Help!!! About-composting-worms If he looks like this he's an earthworm and an excellent addition to your garden.

It's ok if the rabbit pellets are uncomposted. They won't burn your plants.

Sounds like your compost is just fine. Smile
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Post  jazzymaddy 4/8/2011, 3:01 pm

I did an image search, and verified a thought I had: they look like meal worms. Thoughts?
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Post  ModernDayBetty 4/8/2011, 3:09 pm

google search: http://insected.arizona.edu/mealinfo.htm Not good if that's what they are. Larva and actual earthworms/redworms do not look the same so that should be easy to distinguish. So, if you still aren't sure, dig one out, give it a good rinse, take a good look.

[edit] reread it... semi not good, they are decomposers, I would just worry about seedlings... so again, someone with more knowledge would have to give you an answer but I wanted to share that link.
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Post  martha 4/8/2011, 3:16 pm

what are decomposers? Embarassed
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Post  jazzymaddy 4/8/2011, 3:19 pm

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So here's what the compost in question looks like. Bunny/goat/llama/maybe hen poops. Of course when I went out to look, I can't see a single worm, but I know what earthworms look like, and these were not those. I only saw 2 or 3, but now I think I want to scan that whole batch of compost before I add any more of it.

If it is a bad kind of worm, how bad are we talking? I only ask because I don't want to throw out all the other stuff with it if I don't have to. I'm not totally adverse to using a pesticide if needed (I know, shame on me, but I'm not to that point yet...)

THANKS!
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Post  ModernDayBetty 4/8/2011, 3:22 pm

martha wrote:what are decomposers? Embarassed

I think it's a made up word! lol But that's a university website and they used it, so.... I don't know what to think. Here's the quote

"The beetles and larvae eat decaying leaves, sticks, grasses and occasionally new plant growth. As general decomposers, they also eat dead insects, feces and stored grains."

My spell check say's it's not a word... but it is a quick way of saying they eat natures "garbage" so I used it. It sounds disgusting doesn't it? lol
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Post  nancy 4/8/2011, 3:24 pm

There is a chance they could feet on your live plants as opposed to the decaying material in the dirt. If you can, try to hand-pick them out. We found a bunch of grubs last year and threw them in a jar of soapy water when we picked them out. My daughter loves to look for them! I wouldn't stop what you are doing, just keep an eye out for them.


Last edited by nancy on 4/8/2011, 3:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : darn my typing fingers!)
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Post  jazzymaddy 4/8/2011, 3:31 pm

Found one! He has many feet. His name is Alfonso.

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Post  ModernDayBetty 4/8/2011, 3:42 pm

jazzymaddy wrote:Found one! He has many feet. His name is Alfonso

Excellent name! I would do what Nancy suggests, tedious but at least you know you won't have a bunch of them. Although, now that you've named him, perhaps a jar with some dead leaves and a breathing hole, it maybe harder to drown or smash little Alfonso's brains out now. {gasp}
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Post  jazzymaddy 4/8/2011, 3:47 pm

If he's going to eat my baby plants, he is no friend of mine. I think I shall un-name him.

So, is that the general consensus? No-Name is more foe than friend?
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 4/8/2011, 3:50 pm

If he has a lot of feet, he's not a worm. He's a member of either the centipedes or millipedes.

I don't know much about them other than that. But, I have centipedes in my garden. They don't do anything to my knowledge, but I don't mess with them either. I remember someone once saying they either bite or sting. With gloves on, no problem....but, I don't mess with them with my bare hands.

Here is what I've found for you...

"Millipedes live in cool, moist places with lots of organic matter and are generally considered beneficial insects because they do eat some other small insects. The presence of large numbers, in the garden, is no reason for alarm. In the house, like many other insects, they are a symptom of a bigger problem that needs to be corrected, but not in the garden. "

And,

"Centipedes usually are found in damp, dark places, such as under stones, leaf mulch, or logs. Indoors, centipedes may occur in damp areas of basements, closets, or bathrooms, or anywhere in the home where insects occur. During the day they hide in dark cracks and crevices, coming out at night to search for insects to eat.
House centipedes are actually beneficial--they capture flies, cockroaches, and other small household pests. They never damage plants or household items."

Sounds like you are fine to me.
"
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Post  dmsandlin 4/8/2011, 4:43 pm

wire worm?

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Post  camprn 4/8/2011, 6:23 pm

It is a what I call a wire worm, neither centipede nor millipede. Click beetle larvae.They are quickly dispatched when found in my garden.
http://mint.ippc.orst.edu/wirewid.htm
http://bugguide.net/node/view/14440
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Post  jazzymaddy 4/8/2011, 7:08 pm

The wire worm does look just like it from the top. But the pictures I've seen show that there are 3 pairs of legs on the front end, where my guy has legs running the full length of his body. Deal breaker or just different variety of the same?

You guys are awesome by the way!!!!!
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Post  camprn 4/8/2011, 7:20 pm

jazzymaddy wrote:The wire worm does look just like it from the top. But the pictures I've seen show that there are 3 pairs of legs on the front end, where my guy has legs running the full length of his body. Deal breaker or just different variety of the same?

You guys are awesome by the way!!!!!
LOL, I guess I took liberties in interpreting 'many feet', did you do a hunt on the bug guide ?
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Post  jazzymaddy 4/8/2011, 7:25 pm

camprn wrote:
jazzymaddy wrote:The wire worm does look just like it from the top. But the pictures I've seen show that there are 3 pairs of legs on the front end, where my guy has legs running the full length of his body. Deal breaker or just different variety of the same?

You guys are awesome by the way!!!!!
did you do a hunt on the bug guide. ?

Where would one find that? And to answer your question, no.
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Post  camprn 4/8/2011, 7:27 pm

If you look at my previous post there are 2 links , the lines in a dark color, click on them. Check it out, let us know what you find. Wink
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