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GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 801
4/25/11 2:08 P

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OK, this is kind of disgusting, but I was worrying about my worms in the bin after reading that printer paper is not good for the little buggers. I had been using my shredded copy paper in my worm bin in the basement and went to see if I could see the worms at work. Didn't see many so I decided I needed to purge out the paper and try to save those who had not succumbed.

There I was last night, "sifting" through the bin contents. I actually had quite a few surviving and lots of castings already. Sooo.....you can imagine how yummy that looked and smelled!

Since then I have done a little online research and discovered that I made another mistake. I was putting in too much for the number of worms I had in there. Lots of stuff got moldy and this is when you can get fruit flies. I also was mixing up my layers which they say NOT to do like you would in a regular outdoors compost bin.

Live and learn: My lessons - don't overfeed, don't use printer paper, and don't mix your layers!

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AQUAJANE's Photo AQUAJANE Posts: 1,360
4/17/11 11:29 P

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Great thread. The one caution I have is about those thinking of moving their worm system between inside and outside. I moved mine out from the basement in the summer a few years ago. Outside even in the shade, keeping the system cool and moist can be a problem. But even worse was moving the system back. When outside, some weird black flies had laid their eggs into what I wanted as work compost. Yes, they were some kind of decomposing insect. But when I had flies hatch inside, I opened up the bins and saw larvae were wiggling, which were a lot grosser than the worms, which they displaced to a large extent. So I threw out those trays and started over.

Much nicer a last week to see real worms when I moved my outdoor compost bin.

GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 801
4/15/11 9:19 A

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Thanks Mom - good info for us beginners..... emoticon

Gardengirl54

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4/14/11 11:24 P

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I don't have trays. The best system I've seen uses three stacking bins.The worms decide to go up to the next level when they have consumed all the food on there level and smell it on the next level. You can tell if they are doing well if they are reproducing. You will see tiny worms and little eggs.


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ANOTHERMOMOF2's Photo ANOTHERMOMOF2 Posts: 4,399
4/14/11 11:17 A

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Interesting discussion. I've thought about using worms for the compost container in the house but haven't been brave enough.

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CHERRIBABE's Photo CHERRIBABE Posts: 621
4/13/11 8:00 P

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I'm new to this group and new to gardening and worms.

I just read through this thread and like others, while I wanted to get worms I was also completely grossed out by the idea. However, I am embracing them and was excited when my worms arrived on Monday.

I bought a container on Amazon for about $100 and bought about 1000 red wigglers. So far, they seem good and they seem to be getting bigger over the last 2 days. I think they lose a lot of their body weight when they're in transit (it took 5-6 days for them to arrive).

I'd love some tips and advice on caring for them.

Anyone else have a container that has multiple working levels? I don't know when to add in the second working tray that I have. I read somewhere to start with one working tray. How do I know if my worms are doing ok?

Thanks so much!!

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4/7/11 11:54 P

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My worms started in my basement and developed a bad case of fruit flies, which is not real unusual (they hatched from melon shells). That was where I really wanted to keep them. So now they alternate from the garage which can get below freezing but is insulated to outside in the shade where it can get into the 90s. They seem to tolerate more range than advertised and they do continue to eat my food scraps. They have not had fruit flies in over a year so I toy with bringing them in again. I think I was giving them more than they could handle early on.
Let me know if you have more questions.

Edited by: 1234MOM at: 4/8/2011 (00:00)
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BLACKANDI's Photo BLACKANDI Posts: 12,601
4/7/11 3:34 P

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My husband suggested we go get some worms the other day! Ha! So funny this topic came up. I was telling him no we shouldn't and that my garden will do just fine. I think my mind is changing...lol

GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 801
4/7/11 12:55 P

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Thanks all. Another question for 1234MOM - I was going to try the worm bin in my garage but was afraid I would freeze my little buddies. I see that you live where you get snow also and just wondered how warm does in have to stay in the garage for the wigglers to live? How do you think they'd do in the basement during the winter? Would they be more active than a garage? I have a space in the unfinished part of my basement where I've started them.
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PRIMALSPARK's Photo PRIMALSPARK Posts: 250
4/7/11 12:45 P

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I just set up a storebought worm bin, although I've been keeping and composting with worms for severeal years. Red wigglers probably won't survive living IN the garden and in clay, though possibly in a compost pile. Earthworms in the garden are probably best. They burrow deeper and make bigger tunnels. I don't know what information there is online for earthworms, but there is a ton about red wigglers and vermiculture.

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SNUGGLEBUG2 Posts: 2,903
4/7/11 8:56 A

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Here in Michigan red worms work their way up from the soil into my compost pile naturally.

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4/6/11 4:13 P

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I am so going to try this! Thanks emoticon

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LYDIASPURPLE's Photo LYDIASPURPLE Posts: 2,516
4/6/11 2:49 P

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Ok red wigglers or Night Crawlers.. which one will it be? I live in New Orleans so would region or temps make the difference? Our soil I understand is part swamp but there is clay in there too.

Oh I would have freaked out with a container full of cooked worms. 1234MOM

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4/6/11 2:11 P

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From the information I gleened from the internet the red wigglers or Euro reds are the best for worm composting. I bought mine online, yes they are a bit pricey. I'm told the red wigglers they sell at Walmart for fishing are the same thing. Problem is to buy enough to really get a start you have to buy many containers. Best way to get them is through a friend. I gave bought about 500 to a niece and within 9 mo I had doubled or tripled that count and could give them away. My niece managed to kill them all within a month. She thought she'd put them on her porch for a day. She cooked them in the rubbermaid bin they were in. They can't be placed in the sun. I keep mine in the garage Nov through March and then they go out to a completely shady spot in the garden for the rest of the year.

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GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 801
4/6/11 1:03 P

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I have heard that the red wigglers are the best worms for worm composting. Anyone have experience with this? I could not find them so added regular ol' earth worms sold for bait. From what I'm reading on this thread they might not do the job or survive?

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LYDIASPURPLE's Photo LYDIASPURPLE Posts: 2,516
4/5/11 6:56 P

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Ok y'all have convince me I need Night Crawlers to make my clay garden soil healthier.

But I stand by I will not do it myself , so there! emoticon emoticon emoticon

"It takes awhile to build a dream"~Terry McMillian,author.

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"Never argue with what is"~Unknown

"Who you are at 20 shiuld not be who you are at 40. If it is, somethings wrong"~ Tyler Perry

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STORMIELEE7's Photo STORMIELEE7 Posts: 167
4/5/11 6:40 P

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You know, I've always wanted to get a few moe worms in the garden, I think I will try that nightcrawler addition. I heard from my father in law that worms like coffe grounds mixed in the soil. Anyone got any info on that? I can save coffee grounds for the garden. I'm starting to save egg shells, so I can just add that. I don't have a spot for a true composter, so I will just have straight to the garden kitchen stuff.

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4/5/11 6:05 P

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What a neat idea! I never thought to add more worms to our already wormy clay soil! We do have worms, actually a lot of worms in our garden but I figure more would definitely help!
Neat!

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SILLYHP1953's Photo SILLYHP1953 SparkPoints: (37,464)
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4/5/11 2:32 P

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I'm sure you're going to be able to tell the difference in your garden this year...unless the birds enjoy your worms too much!!

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JERIBERI1's Photo JERIBERI1 Posts: 10,001
4/5/11 12:09 P

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I wouldn't mind starting a worm farm. Except I think they're totally gross and wouldn't be able to touch one. I'd have to get someone else to actually touch them.

She woke up one morning and threw away all her excuses...
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4/5/11 12:04 P

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I actually did a little worm search to make sure I got the best worms for my garden. The article I am posting the web site to talked about NightCrawlers. This is what I got from the bait shop. They sell 3 different kinds so I wanted to get the best deal for my garden. It turns out that the article says Night Crawlers make great holes for drainage and can burrow through clay which was my problem to begin with. I can't wait to take a pic of my garden this year when it all comes up. I will do a little comparing to see if it is better this year than last year when I didn't use worms. I aslo read an article about a man that quit his job in the oil business becuase of his conscience and started worm farming where he actually makes a living selling worm castings (pooh). Go GREEN!!!
http://www.motherearthnews.com/ask-our-e
xperts/attract-night-crawlers-zb0z10zb
lon.aspx
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hear me, I am small and weak,
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Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
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Make me wise so that I may understand the things
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4/5/11 11:42 A

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I have a worm bin and have found out how picky worms are about their environment. I guess if you had to keep your slimmy thin skin wet you'd be looking for the best environment too. We have lots of worms in our yard and gardens. I attribute that to the lack of poisons in my soil. We don't use a lot of chemicals. Worms will be attracted to your garden if you provide plenty of compost and leaves. This keeps the moisture in, and breaks it up. I find I can just fold in my extra Fall leaves into the soil in the spring and the worms take care of breaking it down over the season. The worms like moisture too or the ground kind we have will dive deeper to stay moist.


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LYDIASPURPLE's Photo LYDIASPURPLE Posts: 2,516
4/5/11 10:41 A

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The soil in my area I've come to learn has clay in it too. I want to add worms but I be honest worms creep me out. I know I know, they serve a wonderful purpose I want to engage them to fulfill that purpose emoticon but I cannot imagine getting a bucket and filling the soil. I would literally run screaming into the woods (if we had some).

I know I could get someone else to do it for me but the thought of putting my hand in the ground and seeing one well perish the thought! emoticon

To be fair I am an equal opportunity "creeper" I feel the same about caterpillers, snalils most things tha twiggle on its belly.

Nah I do not have a full blown phobia, we were putting in trees the other day and saw a worm, I did not run screaming , I just ask the man who was digging to put him back inhis abode. to do his job.

We can co-exist, I just don't want to see 'em! emoticon

"It takes awhile to build a dream"~Terry McMillian,author.

"All that you are seeking is seeking you"~ Franz Kafla


"Never argue with what is"~Unknown

"Who you are at 20 shiuld not be who you are at 40. If it is, somethings wrong"~ Tyler Perry

"Just because you can means you should"~Terry McMillian

"Do not look for the fault;search for the remedy"~Unknown

 




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LAURAAT's Photo LAURAAT Posts: 1,504
4/5/11 9:40 A

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emoticon I think this is awesome. Absolutely fantastic!!

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SILLYHP1953's Photo SILLYHP1953 SparkPoints: (37,464)
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4/5/11 9:19 A

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Make sure the worms you are buying are earth worms that will live in your area. I studied up a little on worms when I was going to get a worm composter and they said not to use bait worms. I don't remember why now. I hope that does work.

Don't Quit Before The Miracle Happens!

Love is for giving
Love is forgiving

"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."

- H. Jackson Brown


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JERIBERI1's Photo JERIBERI1 Posts: 10,001
4/5/11 9:17 A

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Worms are always good! We have a ton of worms in our garden, but if we didn't, we would certainly go buy some to put in it.

She woke up one morning and threw away all her excuses...
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4/5/11 8:58 A

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haha love it!



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PSALM42's Photo PSALM42 Posts: 866
4/5/11 8:49 A

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That's not cheating! That's thinking smart!

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ANOTHERMOMOF2's Photo ANOTHERMOMOF2 Posts: 4,399
4/5/11 8:42 A

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We usually have lots of worms in our garden. I think it's all the leaves I dump on it every fall and spring in cleaning up the yard.

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4/5/11 8:16 A

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Ok so I admit I don't always play fair. I want the best garden in my area and I will cheat to get it. I just went to the fishing tackle store where they sell live worms and bought a bucket. We have hard rocky clay soil here so when I get the ground tilled, extra soil added, compost mixed I cheat and put in a bucket of worms. The plus is I am vegetarian and I just saved these worms from being fish bait.
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Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the


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