Can Eisenia Foetida be added to the garden?

the_writMarch 17, 2009

My worms should be here any day now. I was going to add half to the new garden after I have added all the Compost/OM before planting the veggies and the other half to my new worm bin. I just want to make sure that they we be able to survive in the soil and do what they do best.

Thanks

Michael

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maryld_gardener(5)

Eisenia Foetida can survive in outdoor compost bins that are open to the soil surface for over wintering and manure piles. They live in organic matter and should not be added to the garden. They will not survive long( not the right environment and easy prey for bird being right on the surface). There are also some concerns about introducing worms into areas they are not yet in.
The best way to get more earth worms in the garden is to increase the organic matter and use mulch.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 8:41PM
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beebiz1960(6)

Michael, everything that I've read about the EF says it does not do well in soil. EF is a composting worm and needs foods such as food scraps, paper, animal (cow, horse, rabbit, etc.) manure, dead leaves, and so on to survive on. So, the best thing you can do for them is to keep them in your new worm bin. Then, use the castings (worm poo) as a sort of fertilizer for your garden.

Good luck,
Robert

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 8:50PM
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the_writ

Thanks for the replys. I guess I will just add them all to the bin and hope all the OM I added to the garden will attract some the old fasion way.

Michael

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 10:03AM
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jasdip

Actually you can dig a trench outside, fill it cardboard, egg cartons and other brown materials, a bunch food and worms. Cover with straw, and they will thrive. A fellow just outside of town from me did this last summer. He was getting more food than he could handle from a restaurant, did this, and had a zillion worms. He's going to expand his trench theory this summer.
His tomatoes and pumpkins were huge last year.

www.redwormcomposting.com Check out his experiments.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:32AM
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takadi(7)

Yea I saw that site, it seems like he doesn't have pictures anymore. Did he just plant everything on the trenches or did he cover up the trenches and then plant directly on top?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 3:23PM
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african

You could do it either way - but I bet you get a lot of pests in summer with this open system.

Here is a link that might be useful: working worms

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 2:54AM
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folly_grows(10 SF by the Bay)

A possible compromise between the trench system and just adding the worms to the garden to fend for themselves is a Worm Tower. Check out the Youtube video from Leonnie Shanahan showing how to construct a Worm Tower.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to build a Worm Tower

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:33AM
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boyle014(Z4)

Keep mary_ld's comment in mind. It might not be a good idea to introduce huge amounts of worms into your yard, even if you can keep them alive, if they're not native to the area.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:26AM
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african

Thanks folly_grows for that U-tube reference for the Worm Tower - brilliant concept. Gets the worm castings right down, where they are needed, to the roots of the plants - and with so little effort too!

The system virtually tricks the compost redworms into emulating the natural function of the common earthworms in getting the worm castings down deep into the soil. Great concept! A real con job!

Clever Aussies!

Here is a link that might be useful: Earthworm Versus the Redworm

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 1:32PM
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jasdip

Takadi,
I searched the redwormcomposting site and I came across this page showing his trench layered with cardboard, straw and food.

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/large-scale-vermicomposting/the-vermicomposting-trench/

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 3:13PM
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african

I saw that site some time ago, really good pictures and clear explanation. I still wonder about bugs in an outside trench system, but guess most would help break down the compost anyway.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 9:51AM
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arkiegold(7)

I agree that introducing non native species can have negative affects on native species. I would make a pile and see what shows up naturally and work with that. Don't be surprised if EF does show up. They are pretty much everywhere and yes in the soil. When a cow defecates in an open pasture it doesn't include EF eggs but they somehow show up in the pile and it didn't rain them from the sky so yes they are in the soil. I've had them in my garden for years by adding manures. They will be fine.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 12:45PM
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11otis

IF I find EF in my CP or garden, I would collect them and add them to my indoors worm bin. But ... no such luck. I have to go the expensive way and would therefore NEVER put worms I bought so dearly out into the garden.
It's just me; I admit I'm cheap.
Otis.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 2:10PM
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african

Hi Arkiegold 7 -

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle called worms 'the intestines of the earth.', but he also said that all species reproduce its own type, except worms and flies that are generated spontaniously from rotting fruit or manure.

Maybe eisenia fetidae, lean more towards Aristotle than Darwin! Lol

Here is a link that might be useful: What about the Workers

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 2:52PM
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arkiegold(7)

I guess I think everyone has a layer of rotting manure, hay and leaves in their garden. "Can Eisenia Foetida be added to the garden?" Yes they can. Will they excel in the garden? Yes, given the proper ground cover in which they thrive which will retain moisture and keep weeds to a minimum and keep birds from eating them! Is there a better worm for burrowing into the deeper levels of soil in the garden? Yes, Eisenia Hortensis.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 6:42PM
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arugula(4/5 Wisconsin)

Interesting discussion. One thing I feel could help all of us here is knowing the geographical origin of EF and Eisenia Hortensis, and what the name of the species is living in our local gardens. Does it vary by region of the US? Are there different varities of EF that act differently depending on which growing zone?

When people fear EF destroying native woodlands (which supposedly traditionally didn't have that kind of worm), what is the real threat (or not?).

Thanks in advance for anyone who has more specifics on this.

-Arugula
hardyecogarden.com

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 8:52AM
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nexev - Zone 8b

Do not know the level of research behind this post but this is much along the majority of what I read regarding EH.

__________________________________________________
Posted by arkiegold

I guess I think everyone has a layer of rotting manure, hay and leaves in their garden. "Can Eisenia Foetida be added to the garden?" Yes they can. Will they excel in the garden? Yes, given the proper ground cover in which they thrive which will retain moisture and keep weeds to a minimum and keep birds from eating them! Is there a better worm for burrowing into the deeper levels of soil in the garden? Yes, Eisenia Hortensis.
__________________________________________________

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 1:16PM
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barbararose21101

That's not where EF s do their best work.
If you have a bin you can monitor with adequate requirements including a steady temperature . . . that's where EF "should" be.

Some will probably, probably inevitably, be abandoned to Nature when we top dress with vc -- which will have hatchlings and cocoons.

See the post in the Appelhoff thread for Mary's opinion.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 3:36PM
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