Nice surprise

hoodatAugust 3, 2010

I seeded red worms into my compost about two months ago and decided they didn't make it since I never could find any when I dug into it. A few days ago I tore out my delicata squash vines to harvest them and there were some immature ones. I stomped on them and added them into my compost heap. this morning I was checking my compost and unearthed the delicatas. There were my worms; nice and fat and gobbling squash.

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I have thought of doing that but then they would freeze when winter came. I wonder if I would be able to dig them out and put them back indoors before that happened? I'm thinking they would be spread to thin and I would only be able to rescue a few. I don't think the EFs would burrow down and stay warm would they?

Dave Nelson

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 9:41PM
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protea_king(Western Cape)

I have also recently introduced 2 or 3 handfuls of worms to one of my compost heaps (the other two piles consist predominantly of woody material/carbon). I know I shouldn't, but now and then I dig a little away to try and see if I can find the worms. Generally I can't find them, but I saw one on the last occasion I looked! I tend to worry that the compost is too dry compared to my worm farm so I add a bucket of water onto the top every second or third day. The outside always looks dry, but I suppose the inside is moist enough for them. I've been adding more kitchen scraps to the pile, because its mostly made up of old potting soil, grass and soft weeds and leaves.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 11:39AM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

If you put the right food in the pile, you should get a few more worms to come to the buffet....maybe a whole watermelon cut into pieces around the entire top of the pile would attract a very large group, so that you could get a sizeable population to bring indoors. It might not be a majority of them, but it would be something.

I thought the EMs were supposed to be more active (than RWs) in colder piles, and might be fine in the center of the pile, without needing to dig that low.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 9:47PM
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Most of my compost is produced by cold composting. it's just a lot less trouble. When I say cold compost however that's a relative term. Here in San Diego a compost heap almost never gets cold enough to send the worms dormant.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 10:53PM
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I was thinking about adding some worms next spring to my pile. I'm starting a new pile just for my weeds and then my old pile gets all the food scraps and the occasional chicken poop. I'll stop adding the chicken poop next spring before I add the worms. Oh, some newspaper, paper towels and napkins have been added to the mix too so hopefully it will make a nice home for some worms next spring.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 4:10PM
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Worms in compost is like apple pie and vanilla ice cream. They go great together and enhance each others qualities. If you want much vermicomposting to take place, you need to introduce more worms when the compost cools, or be patient! I think 3-4 pounds of worms will reduce a yard of compost in a summer.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 10:47PM
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All my worms are outside. I started with 60-80 yards of oakleafs and pine needles, wet them thouroughly for a week or so and then added 5 lbs of Red Wigglers to the pile. This was 2 years ago. I now garden in straight compost and castings. The weather here hits low teens in the winter and 110 in the summer. Hasnt seemed to phase them if the compost is deep enough.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 1:21PM
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plumiebear(z9? CA)

Red worms in my compost bins are usually larger than those in the smaller dedicated worm bins. I basically use the compost bins to pre-compost material to be fed to the worm bins. It's easier to harvest compost from the worm bins. It's an extra step, but I think it saves time overall.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 6:06PM
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I would think it would balance out the material acid, fiber, moisture wise and eliminate the chance of string of pearls in your indoor bins.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:15PM
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If you are "I add a bucket of water onto the top every second or third day" then I would make a dip in the top of the compost pile so the water would run into the center of the pile instead of off of the edges.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 11:22PM
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