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Any worm experts here?

Posted by bluegiller_killer none (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 24, 12 at 12:54

Why are my worms eating each other? They are braiding together by entering each other then exiting after the band. Hard to explain so here's a pic I found 2 sets in just one scoop? Any ideas??? They are fed daily mix of corn meal, egg shells, coffee grinds please help me this can't be good..


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Any worm experts here?

Can't get 2 pics in one post??


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RE: Any worm experts here?

That's how they reproduce. Perfectly normal.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

You should see lots of cocoons soon.
""found 2 sets in just one scoop"" You must be doing things right. What did you feed them?


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RE: Any worm experts here?

They actually enter through each others skin?? I've seen nightcrawlers bind together these are actually inside and coming out of each other??

Guess I shouldn't of pulled them apart oops lol..

My bedding is 1/3 fine shredded cardboard 1/3 aged horse manure 1/3 packaged worm bedding (brown bear or something)

I'm also kinda concerned about a little onion'ee smell kinda musty?


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Well, no wonder your worms are wrapped around each other in an amorous embrace. The bedding you provide is the vermi equivalent of satin sheets, Victoria's Secret and candle light all in one.

I wouldn't pay for packaged worm bedding. As long as you have aged horse manure available to you, you can use that, and nothing else, for both bedding and food. The cardboard will push the C:N ratio a little toward the C side and let you feed kitchen scraps as well.

Don't worry about the smell. I think you are doing fine.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Thanks for the info I actually wasn't gonna use the store bedding but I got my mix a little too wet and had a bag of the bedding on hand which is like dust so I used it too dry out my mix.. The smell is not alarming just didn't know if it could turn into something quickly.. This bin is only about a week old.. Actually it's 2 bins with a pound in each.. And I filled the bedding all the way up too about 3" from the top I read somewhere most people do not use enough and you can't really have too much so I have about 12-14" deep of bedding for them.. Any tips anyone wants too share.. I don't plan too use table scraps I don't Wanna chance souring my bedding I compost all my waste anyways..

I'm trying too grow enough worms to let a couple pounds go every summer in my garden and compost to establish a thriving population on their own..


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Your bedding may be too deep. Since you are using aged horse manure, deep may be OK. Generally, we don't like to go much beyond 6 inches. The worms like to stay near the top. But with horse manure, they may go all the way down to the bottom. Check on them in a few weeks to see.

Usually when we talk about needing more bedding, we mean replacing bedding when it gets eaten. If you don't replace the bedding, the C:N ratio gets pushed too far toward the N, and there can be problems. Aged horse manure has an ideal C:N ratio by itself. If you are going to use aged horse manure, you really don't need to think bedding/food. Just use the manure by itself, and call it good.

The worms may not do well in the garden. Worms that grow in garden soil are different than worms that we use to compost. Your best bet, if you want to put them in the garden, is to apply a thick layer of mulch over the garden for the worms to live in. Your worms should be very happy in your compost pile, if you put them in AFTER the pile is no longer heating up.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Why would they not do well in the garden? It consist of 20 raised beds good mix of horse manure, compost, and clay, it is never machine tilled only flipped over by hand twice a year..


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Because Eisenia fetida is an epigeic worm species, preferring to live near the surface of the soil, rather than burrowing into it. The ideal habitat for these worms is a deep litter of decaying organic material, which makes them wonderfully suited to vermicomposting. But not so well suited for living in the soil that is used to grow plants.

Course, I suppose you could try it to see how they do in your specific case. I wouldn't get my expectations too high, however.

Besides, adding VC/castings to your soil is going to do a HELL of a lot better for your plants vs. adding the worms.

This post was edited by JerilynnC on Tue, Dec 25, 12 at 23:54


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RE: Any worm experts here?

These are Eisenia Hortensis


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RE: Any worm experts here?

European Nightcrawlers.. Anyone?


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Sorry to rain on your parade, but it's the same answer:

Because Eisenia Hortensis is an epigeic worm species, preferring to live near the surface of the soil, rather than burrowing into it. The ideal habitat for these worms is a deep litter of decaying organic material, which makes them wonderfully suited to vermicomposting. But not so well suited for living in the soil that is used to grow plants.

Course, I suppose you could try it to see how they do in your specific case. I wouldn't get my expectations too high, however.

Besides, adding VC/castings to your soil is going to do a HELL of a lot better for your plants vs. adding the worms.

This post was edited by JerilynnC on Wed, Dec 26, 12 at 22:51


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RE: Any worm experts here?

How do these worms live in the wild??


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RE: Any worm experts here?

I have worm beds that thrive because I feed regularly and try to keep conditions that are optimal. I harvest castings, along with lots of cocoons and worms, and put them by the wheelbarrow load on my garden beds in the fall. They do not thrive in my garden, but live and continue to work because I add compost and mulch over the top. They seem to disappear/die in the summer, but leave cocoons for next year. Make any sense?


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RE: Any worm experts here?

An article I found and I've read many similar reports

European Nightcrawlers
Eisenia Hortensis

The ONLY worm raised for composting in a bin situation that does well when transferred to your lawn, garden or agricultural fields!

Large hardy individuals. A larger type of red worm, they're great for fishing, extremely active on a hook, can be used in fresh or salt water. They have been tested under 18 inches of ice...after 30 minutes in the cold they still wiggled and caught fish. We see a real future in these worms, which do well in lawn or garden. Being a shallow burrowing worm, the European Nightcrawler will, in a properly maintained organic garden, burrow through the soil helping to loosen and aerate it while producing castings along the way for unsurpassed plant growth. This is the only commercially cultivated worm available that can be used successfully in most climates as a garden worm. The European Nightcrawler is also an excellent vermicomposting worm. They are able to break down cellulose material without as much help from soil bacteria as their redworm cousins require. They are the perfect worms for home vermicomposting bins and for vermicomposting more fibrous materials such as leaves. In our tests, the European Nightcrawler broke down vegetable waste faster than an equal biomass of redworms in a vermicomposting bin.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Like I said, you can TRY it (don't be shocked if it doesn't work as well as you would hope). Like I also said, the VC is better to put into the soil than the EH.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

"" Posted by bluegiller_killer none (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 26, 12 at 23:13

How do these worms live in the wild??""

The ideal habitat for these worms is a deep litter of decaying organic material


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Thanks for the advice.. The VC is not enough to consider in an operation of my size.. A 1" layer on one of my beds would take years to make.. Just my vegetable garden has 1500sqft of beds.. I was also planning on establishing the worms for easy digging of fishing bait since I'm 50 yards from a 4 acre pond.. I have deep layer of decaying litter in each bed which is made from leaf compost, horse manure and clay.. Overwintering would seem to be the only problem.. My compost bin is 10x50 and 6-10' tall I get prolly 3-6 tons of horse manure dropped twice a year.. If nothing else the worms will make good fish food :(


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RE: Any worm experts here?

"" Posted by bluegiller_killer none (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 27, 12 at 1:15

Thanks for the advice.. The VC is not enough to consider in an operation of my size.. A 1" layer on one of my beds would take years to make""

Use a 1/16" layer, it will only take you a couple months and it will help.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

I think I'll let them do their thing in the bin until spring of 2014 then take one of the bins and dump it in one bed of the garden for observation.. Then split the other bin in half.. And see how the worms do in the garden over the course of the year.. And also see how there breeding over a course of the year..


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RE: Any worm experts here?

So I took a peak in the bin tonight and did some digging around.. Seems I've got quite a few casualties,,? I'm not sure why I've got quite a few dying.. They are almost moosh and hanging close to the sides of the bin, none are climbing the bin just hanging by the sides.. Also all the worms seem constricted (short) and rather stiff or plump and very sluggish..? Can someone help me out on what's going on??


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RE: Any worm experts here?

""Posted by bluegiller_killer none (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 28, 12 at 0:26

So I took a peak in the bin tonight and did some digging around.. Seems I've got quite a few casualties,,? I'm not sure why I've got quite a few dying.. They are almost moosh and hanging close to the sides of the bin, none are climbing the bin just hanging by the sides.. Also all the worms seem constricted (short) and rather stiff or plump and very sluggish..? Can someone help me out on what's going on??""

Overfeeding and/or too wet. What's the temperature in the bin?


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RE: Any worm experts here?

I haven't fed in a couple days since reading manure should pretty well cover the feeding needs.. The bin is sitting on the basement floor so I'm guessing mid 60's to 70. I was thinking too dry but I have moisture forming on the lid but if I squeeze a handful I can barely get a drop out..

This post was edited by bluegiller_killer on Fri, Dec 28, 12 at 1:58


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RE: Any worm experts here?

The only way to find out is to see what is going on inside the bin. Maybe transfer the material bit by bit into a second bin looking carefully. This process will also get oxygen into the bin. My guess is anaerobic fermentation is happening. This produces gases by products the worms do not like. It is hard to be sure sitting far away. Also the worms do not need a cover. They need air exchange.

In a while you will have vermicompost. This is handy stuff to have around. The problem is those just starting vermicomposting do not have it. Whenever there is a problem adding in some harvested but chunky vermicompost usually helps balance the system.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

"The ONLY worm raised for composting in a bin situation that does well when transferred to your lawn, garden or agricultural fields!" Sounds like overly optimistic advertising copy as opposed to scientific fact.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

What am I looking for when I go through the bins bit by bit?


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RE: Any worm experts here?

  • Posted by shaul Israel (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 28, 12 at 17:02

Why don't you start off by posting an actual picture of (the inside of) your bin. This way we can see what the bedding looks like. Here's what you wrote:
"My bedding is 1/3 fine shredded cardboard, 1/3 aged horse manure, 1/3 packaged worm bedding".
"I got my mix a little too wet and had a bag of the bedding on hand which is like dust so I used it too dry out my mix".
Sounds like the bedding is much too dense, there's no air space and there's nowhere for the worms to run to when things go wrong. You'd be better off with coarse shredded cardboard and airflow.

Shaul


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RE: Any worm experts here?

It's fluffy I'll post pics tonight.. I'm gonna dump and aerate it all tomorrow..


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RE: Any worm experts here?

When a bin goes bad dumping and aerating may be a time sensitive activity. Then again earning a living is maybe more so.

When you look through the bin to see what is happening you are going to use all of your 5 - 6? senses. Touch, Smell, Sight, curiosity of wondering what those worms are up to. I'm thinking I wonder if the horses also peed and that ammonia is also in the bedding?

Being many miles away I have even less senses to use.

The type of worms you have are also almost a specialty sub group of this board. Most of us have, or think we have, are Red Worms specifically Eisenia fetida. You have European Nightcrawlers specifically Eisenia hortensis, which may or may not be a little or a lot different in the requirements for best care. My Eisenia fetida care advice may be the wrong thing to do for your Eisenia hortensis.

Also, although I ventured to answer your worm questions, I do not claim to be a worm expert. More likely I can tell you 100 ways not to raise worms. That will save you 99 ways to fail, some of which you may not have been creative enough to come up with on your own.

Most beginners have tossed a tiny amount of $$$ worms into a bin of torn up wet newspaper and kitchen scraps of onion, orange, banana, coffee, pineapple, and an apple core. Then they snap on the lid tight to let the magic happen. It works great at first. Who is to say if they have 2,000 worms or 1,800 or 1,500 or 700 or 100 worms over time? Then after two months of adding kitchen scraps and no bedding bad things start to happen. That is when those with worms start to search online and ask questions of others.

Other posters on here probably are worm experts. To catch their interest with a post, a poster needs to put in some effort of learning what is going on in their bin and searching out some stuff on their own. Otherwise the experts would be all wore out saying... "Add bedding." "Add bedding." "Add bedding." This covers maybe nine out of ten worm question answers. Worms is so much fun who wants to take time out to answer questions?


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Finding information online is not easy.. I spent weeks researching before I set anything up.. I put exactly the same amount of worms in each bin.. 1.1lbs. I also put vented PVC tubes through the bottom and vented the whole bin.. I put a mix together of the best things I could find with the least amount of chance of spoiling.. This bin is just a little over a week old.. So I wouldn't say I threw a handful of worms in a Tupperware and hoped for the best.. I made a mixed food (which I discontinued) of good things and even added 50% of the mix as eggshells to help with ph. Like I said I've looked for answers but tell me where I can find the answer to this question?? Please I'd love to read it.. I really don't think I need bedding I have 12" of good fluffy moist bedding.. If I grab a handful I can squeeze out a couple drops.. I'm starting to wonder if there was animal/heartworm wormer in the horse manure I put in the bin??

So far I've found more skepticism and almost unfriendly attitudes on this forum..

Here's some pictures for you guys..
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

This post was edited by bluegiller_killer on Sat, Dec 29, 12 at 2:11


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Equinox;

On behalf of all the AA's (Advanced Amateurs) on this forum,
I will say 'Amen'.

Shaul


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RE: Any worm experts here?

As an AA-actual amateur looking for help about vermicomposting. On a VERMICOMPOSTING FORUM.. There's the pics you requested did they help you out at all? I'd like to hear some advanced amateur help.. Lol

PS- I originally asked for expert help but you'll do if you actually have any help to offer ;)

This post was edited by bluegiller_killer on Sat, Dec 29, 12 at 2:38


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Perhaps you would be better off at Vermicomposters.
http://vermicomposters.ning.com/

They have 70 separate groups on every aspect of Worm raising and perhaps you will have better luck in finding someone to solve your problems.

Shaul


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RE: Any worm experts here?

i have had a few ENC die on me the last few days and i thought everything was right because most of the worms are real lively the ones that died were short and chubby but looked healthy. Should i go thru the bed and remove these short ones or is this something that will not effect rest of my euroes. I have 2# divided into 2 10 gallon totes sure could use some advice thank you


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Bluegiller, I am sorry that your worms are dying and you don't feel like the forum is being as friendly and helpful as you would have liked. While I don't have any experience whatsoever with raising nightcrawlers, I keep my red wigglers in tupperware bins indoors, and have had success with about 6 inches of shredded paper as bedding, just wet enough to squeeze out a few drops and I always add some moistened peat moss as it seems to keep the moisture evened out. I feed kitchen scraps that have been frozen first, and always bury the food right in the middle of the bin, covered by a few inches of bedding and a thick layer of whole, dampened newspaper sheets on top of everything. I feed once a week, and when I do, I mix up everything in the bin (except any food that might be left over - I leave it right in the middle). My bins have 1/4 inch holes drilled along the top sides of the bin for air. I usually don't have to add any water, but each week if it seems a little dry I will add a little, or if too wet I will add more shredded paper bedding and a little more peat moss.

I realize that you asked for help with your bin, and didn't at all ask what I do that works for me and my type of worms, but this is the best I can do, and I thought I would at least offer some kind of friendly response! I have only had my worms for 9 months or so and killed off my whole first population, but have been pretty successful since then. I think if your bedding isn't too dense (you said it was very fluffy) and you've mainly fed manure, I would probably suspect wormer in the manure, too. If it were me personally, I would probaby try to pull out all of the healthy worms that I could and start over with fresh bedding and food. You say you hadn't planned to use kitchen scraps as you worry that it would sour your bedding, but if you think the manure may be poisoning your worms, I would probably try the scraps (frozen first) to see if they do better. Again, I do not claim to be any kind of expert or anything, this is just what I would personally try if it were my worms that were dying. I sincerely hope you are able to resolve whatever is killing your worms before you lose any more, as I know first-hand, as I'm sure many do, what it is like to lose a whole population, and for me at least it was pretty devastating. I wish you the best in keeping yours alive and well!


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RE: Any worm experts here?

It is hard to diagnose a bin problem over the internet. You appear to be doing everything right. The bedding appears a little greener than I would have expected for aged manure. I have used fresh manure in small amounts, and I have used manure that was aged until it was black. I don't recall aged manure appearing green in the bin. Is it heating up? You had mentioned a slight smell Is it still there? Is it any stronger? Does it smell at all like ammonia? Does it smell at all like sewerage?


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Well thanks for the help.. Much appreciated.. The manure was not as old as I normally have and not as black as normal was very dry too.. The smell is kinda onionish not sewer or ammonia.. I think all the worms will be dead by the end of the day it pretty much has to be wormer in the manure, because the bedding is perfect consistency and moisture..


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Also it may appear more green from all the store bought bedding and cardboard added.. It only added 1-5 gallon bucket of manure split between the 2 bins.. The rest is machine shredded cardboard and 2 packs of store bedding.. The smell is pretty much gone after turning everything yesterday it smells like good soil I even had my wife smell it too see if she could get any kind of smell of ammonia or rot and she said it smells like potting soil??


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Take some newspaper shreds then wet them down. Take any healthy Euro's and put them in there. I have saved many pounds of worms(ef's & eh's) doing this.
I'm thinking your bedding might be heating up.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

No experience here, but I read on another forum about ENC NOT liking cardboard bedding. Maybe the protein in the glue causing "string-of-pearls" effect! Switching to peat or other bedding solved their problem.

Good luck!


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Sting or pearls? I don't think I'm dedicated enough to pick them all out especially when my goal was too put them in the garden to establish a growing population, that looks highly unlikely my love for worm bins has diminished drastically the last couple days I'm too the point if they die they die if I can add some food or water or bedding ill do it.. If its heating up what can I do?


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RE: Any worm experts here?

I feel your pain! Do not give up!! I LOVE the bin design. Once you get past the start-up it gets easier.

String-of-pearls (SOP) is caused by protein poisoning. The worm looks like a pearl necklace from what I read. Cornmeal may contribute along with glue.

I just re-read your thread Daily feedings of any new bin is bad. Slow to start.

What kind of animal manure are you using? How old is it? Is it Pure or mixed with something like maybe bedding?? Has it been composted?

It looks like a LOT of bedding and manure mixed together for a new bin, which could easily overheat. Use frozen water bottles placed directly in bi for rapid cooling.

Even if they all die, do not give up. Worms will leave cocoons to start the next generation when things get better

Hang in there and good luck!.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

"So far I've found more skepticism and almost unfriendly attitudes on this forum.." That was probably me. I am sorry. I apologize. Many do not do research. You did do research.


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Thanks for the info.. Ill check the temp tomorrow with a digital thermometer..

I'm sure there was bedding in the manure it's almost impossible to get it without.. It had composted all summer but with the extreme dry heat the inside of the manure pile was dry and almost like dust in some places..

Here was my exact mix
1-15 gallon trash bag of shredded cardboard
1-5 gallon bucket of horse manure
2-packages of store bought worm bedding (brown bear or something has a bear holding a trout on the front of a white and yellow bag)


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RE: Any worm experts here?

No I wasn't pointing a finger directly at anyone and you was helpful.. I know what you mean by people slopping things together then wondering why it didn't work.. I didn't do that but I came here looking for help/advice because its not easily attained.. I read books and looked through all kinds of info before setting this up and never heard of String of pearls now that I've heard of it I can find unlimited reading on it through the web.. Also I never read anything about over feeding them in a fresh bin, I did let the bedding sit for a week before I put anything in it.. Sometimes the info is not easily attained until you have specifics to look for, it's like telling someone to learn about cancer then after studying it for years you find out you only need too know about lung cancer and you actually know nothing about lung cancer (sorry for the horrible analogy lol).


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RE: Any worm experts here?

bluegiller_killer: are you still buying the worm bedding? If you are, for the life of me, I don't understand why you use the store bought bedding.
Looking at your pictures, IMHO, it somehow looks too wet/compacted. Maybe because everything is so fine it doesn't allow air pockets.
Have you seen the cores of plastic bags in grocery stores? I collect them when I go shopping and use them in my bins. I rolled strips of corrugated cardboard (cut to that length or less) around it and burried them (usually four in my RM bins) like a chimney. That will allow air to the lower part of the bin and absorb excess moisture. Worms love to hang out around them.

Reading from your first post up till now, I am sometimes confused of your actions/plans.

""I'm trying too grow enough worms to let a couple pounds go every summer in my garden and compost to establish a thriving population on their own..""
People usually collect worms from their compost pile to raise in their bins, not the other way round. When some of the worms get to the garden with the VC, so be it, but not let the worms go to fend with their own defences against birds, rats and other predators including nature/weather.
I understand you have Euros and if I understand it correctly, Euros prefer wetter condition, more organic/scraps (less paper products/bedding) and cooler condition compared to EF. Depends where you are in the US, I am questioning their survival chances in the garden.
Why go through all that trouble and let them die in the garden??? Sorry if I sound sceptical but I really try to understand your goal.
To my understanding, a garden is not the same as the wild (like in the woods/forest) where the earth is in constant shade and lots of leave litter.
Again my apologies, I'm not trying to rain on your parade. Before I can express suggestions, I need to understand what you are doing (or why).


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Ahhh, Finally a 'Worm Expert'. Here's something I found on the Vermicomposters Forum by Kelly Slocum. Enjoy.

Shaul


Kelly Slocum Comments on European Nightcrawlers (2004)
Eisenia hortensis, also known as Dendrobaena veneta (European nightcrawler)

E. hortensis is a large worm species well suited for use as a bait worm. Its ideal temperature range is a bit cooler than is that of E. fetida and it requires higher moisture levels than do the other species tested for use in bin culture and vermicomposting, but the species tolerates handling and disruption to its environment, and environmental fluctuations very well. Because this worm has a very low reproductive and growth rate, relatively speaking, it is considered the least desirable species of those tested for either bin culture or vermicomposting systems. It is used in a few vermiprocessing systems in Europe for the remediation of very wet organic materials.

Temperature range: Minimum: 45 F, maximum: 85 F, ideal range: 55 F - 65 F.
Reproductive rate: Just under 2 young per worm per week under ideal conditions.
Average number of young per cocoon: Approximately 1.
Time to emergence from the cocoon: Approximately 40-125 days under ideal conditions.
Time to sexual maturity: Approximately 55-85 days under ideal conditions.
---
Search the vermicomposting forums on the Internet for the hot topic of the day and you'll likely find the worm species Dendrobaena veneta generating a lot of discussion. Reclassified by taxonomists to the genus and species Eisenia hortensis, and commonly referred to as the European or Belgian nightcrawler, this species has suddenly emerged as the hot worm to try in today's vermicomposting and vermiculture systems. Dendrobaena veneta is one of the handful of earthworm species studied in detail for use in vermicomposting. Doctors Adrian Reinecke and Sophie Viljoen conducted detailed studies on the reproduction and maturation rates and environmental requirements of this species in the early 1990s, which confirmed studies conducted on this species by Dr. Clive Edwards in the late 1980s. The researchers found D. veneta to be a large worm with a low reproductive rate and slow maturity rate compared to Eisenia fetida, Perionyx excavatus and Eudrilus eugeniae; findings which suggest this species is the least suitable for vermicomposting of those studied. Even so, D. veneta has demonstrated some value in vermicomposting. Studies demonstrate that this species performs better in excessively wet environments than the other species used for vermicomposting, leading to its use in some large-scale European vermiprocessing systems remediating paper sludges. Observations of small-scale vermicomposting and vermiculture systems using mixed cultures of Eisenia fetida and Dendrobaena veneta show that E. fetida tends to remain in the upper, dryer regions of the bin and D. veneta to populate the lower bedding areas where moisture concentrations are highest.

Some U.S. worm growers have become fans of Dendrobaena veneta and dispute the research data, believing the worm to reproduce and grow as rapidly as Eisenia fetida in their vermiculture and vermicomposting systems. Their observations are compelling and, coupled with the great size of this worm, are likely responsible in part for the sudden popularity of the species. Many home vermicomposters are interested in a larger worm species for use as fish bait which can be raised on household food scraps.

While there are questions surrounding the use of Dendrobaena veneta in general vermicomposting systems, there is no denying that this species is a top notch bait worm. This species is much larger than Eisenia fetida, making it easier to fit on a hook, but not so large as Lumbricus terrestris (common nightcrawler), which is sometimes considered to be too large. Claims of D. veneta secreting enzymes highly attractive to fish are unsubstantiated, but many anglers swear by this large, robust worm.

The current challenge to those interested in this species is finding a supplier with enough worm stock that they are willing to sell. The interest D. veneta is generating has gotten the worm into the U.S., but worm growers need time to build their breeding stock. The slow reproductive and growth rates of this species make this an even more time-consuming process than for some of the other cultured earthworms. As such, many growers who have the worm are not yet ready to sell it. Some of those who are selling the worm are selling mixed cultures of D. veneta and E. fetida in an effort to get the worm into the market without depleting their breeding stock. It is believed these mixed cultures may be partly responsible for the disparity as regards breeding and growth rates between the research data and the observations of some growers.

Each worm species has its niche in nature. Likewise, those studied seem to have found their place in the vermiculture industry. While not the best choice for most vermicomposting systems, if one seeks a large bait worm which can be easily bin-cultured, Dendrobaena veneta fits the bill nicely.

From Life-cycle of the European compost Worm Dendrobaena veneta (Oligochaeta), published in the South African Journal of Zoology, 1991, 26(1) by Sophie A. Viljoen, A.J. Reinecke and L. Hartman:

"The life-cycle of Dendrobaena veneta was studied to assess the potential of this species in vermiculture. The development, growth and reproduction were investigated by rearing worms at 25 C on urine-free cattle manure with a moisture content of 80% over a period of 200 days. It was found that cocoons are produced at a mean rate of 0.28 cocoons per worm per day and production can be sustained for at least 200 days. The mean incubation period of the cocoons is 42.1 days with a very low hatching success. The mean number of hatchlings per cocoon that hatched was 1.1. Sexual maturity may be attained within 20 - 35 days but some worms take up to 130 days. Dendrobaena veneta grew well on cattle manure. This species seems to be less suitable than some other epigeic species for vermiculture, at least in terms of its reproductive capacity in the experimental climatic conditions."

From Moisture Requirements of Dendrobaena veneta (Oligochaeta), a Candidate for Vermicomposting, published in Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 26, No. 8, pp. 973-976, 1994 by N.Y.O Muyima, A.J. Reinecke and S. A. Viljoen-Reinecke:

"...Juvenile worms were exposed to different moisture contents in glass flasks filled with cattle manure medium and kept at 15 C (59 F). The highest frequency for clitellate worms was between 77.9 and 78.7% while their moisture preferences ranged between 67.4 and 84.3%. For cocoon production the highest frequency was between 73.1 and 79.9%. The optimum moisture content for growth and maturation of juvenile worms was 75%. From the results it appears that this earthworm species could be utilized in organic waste with a relatively high moisture content. However, comparing the reproductive capacity and maturation time with that of other vermicomposting species, D. veneta seems to be a less successful earthworms species for vermicomposting."

From The Influence of Temperature on the Life-Cycle of Dendrobaena veneta (Oligochaeta), published in Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 24, No. 12, pp. 1341-1344, 1992 by S. A. Viljoen, A. J. Reinecke and L. Hartman:

"The life-cycle of Dendrobaena veneta was studied at 15 C (characteristic of the animal's natural habitat) and at 25 C (77 F - at which the life-cycles of other vermicomposting species have been studied in Southern Africa).

At 15 C the life-cycle was completed in 100 days and it took 150 to complete the cycle at 25 C. At 25 C maturation was quicker, worms started to produce cocoons at a younger age and more cocoons were produced (per worm, per day) than at 15 C. The incubation period and the number of hatchlings per cocoon were more at the lower temperature."

Photo caption:
Dendrobaena veneta appears violet, purple or olive brown, sometimes with pale striping in segment furrows. Its clitellum is on segments 26-32, its first dorsal pores between segments 4/5, tuberculata pubertatis on segments 30 and 31, its prostomium is epilobic and its setae are widely paired.

Sidebar:
Classification:
Phylum: Annelida (segmented worms)
Class: Megadrilidae (large worms)
Order: Oligochaeta (few setae)
Family: Lumbricideae
Genus: Eisenia
Species: hortensis

The European nightcrawler (Eisenia hortensis) can be cultured in stacking units like the Can O Worms. While this worm species tends to grow a bit larger than does Eisenia fetida, it can still fit through window screen. The holes in the stacking unit trays will be no barrier to them.

Keep in mind that the term "nightcrawler" is essentially meaningless. It is a common name applied indescriminately to many different worm species, and does not represent similarities in environmental preference or behaviors. In fact, the bait worm most commonly sold in the US under the names 'Canadian nightcrawler' and 'common nightcrawler' is a deep-burrowing anecic species, Lumbricus terrestris (most of which are shipped to bait sellers from Canada, though this worm is common to US soils) while the European nightcrawler (Eisenia hortensis) is a surface-dwelling epigeic species with a poor burrowing capacity.

E. hortensis is a species that prefers cooler temperatures than does E. fetida, with the ideal being roughly 60 F, and requires as much moisture in the system as possible without inhibiting airflow in order to maximize activity. As such, these worms will often be found low in the system where moisture collects and where density of material helps insulate the area at cooler, more consistent temperatures. If you manage the entire system with E. hortensis preferences in mind, however, they can be effectively cultured in any commercial worm unit.

Know, too, that E. hortensis has an optimal breeding and growth rate considerably slower than that of E. fetida, so don't be surprised if it takes several months for your worm population to fill the available space. It will generally take at least 18 months under optimal conditions for this species to establish a stable, maximized population, with some growers reporting longer times.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

"" Posted by mendopete (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 29, 12 at 18:07

No experience here, but I read on another forum about ENC NOT liking cardboard bedding. Maybe the protein in the glue causing "string-of-pearls" effect! Switching to peat or other bedding solved their problem. ""

I've read similar things. But never did see a good reference. I would be very surprised if cardboard and EH don't work well together. Color me skeptical.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

" Reading from your first post up till now, I am sometimes confused of your actions/plans.

""I'm trying too grow enough worms to let a couple pounds go every summer in my garden and compost to establish a thriving population on their own..""
People usually collect worms from their compost pile to raise in their bins, not the other way round. When some of the worms get to the garden with the VC, so be it, but not let the worms go to fend with their own defences against birds, rats and other predators including nature/weather.
I understand you have Euros and if I understand it correctly, Euros prefer wetter condition, more organic/scraps (less paper products/bedding) and cooler condition compared to EF. Depends where you are in the US, I am questioning their survival chances in the garden.
Why go through all that trouble and let them die in the garden??? Sorry if I sound sceptical but I really try to understand your goal.
To my understanding, a garden is not the same as the wild (like in the woods/forest) where the earth is in constant shade and lots of leave litter.
Again my apologies, I'm not trying to rain on your parade. Before I can express suggestions, I need to understand what you are doing (or why). "


I'm trying to establish a good worm population in my garden.. I'm not really interested in vermicomposting or bin growing.. I'd just like a thick population in my garden so if I wanna go fishing I can go dig a couple fork fills and have a can of good fishing worms (european Nightcrawler is perfect).. And I had the store bought bedding prior to making this bin and added it when my bedding was too wet in the initial mix.. I use to buy my night crawlers for fishing in bulk and keep them in that bedding..

As far as the bedding goes it might be too dry but its definately not compacted I was thinking of putting T's in on my PVC pipes and running them up to the top for more air..

I've found a lot of contradicting info on these worms and I'm starting too not believe any of it lol

This post was edited by bluegiller_killer on Sun, Dec 30, 12 at 19:18


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RE: Any worm experts here?

  • Posted by wrcaz 9 - Chandler AZ (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 30, 12 at 21:05

I think you may be on a good track with the change to ventilation. Looking at your pictures you drilled about the same amount of holes that I had in my bin. During the early days of checking daily, the lid would be dripping and the bedding seemed nicely moistened but worms were always trying to escape. I left the lid open a crack for better ventilation and the escapes stopped. Now the top of the bedding is a little dry when I check or feed but I just mist it down. Worms seem to be doing well and under the dry bedding the moisture content seems right.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Vermicomposting is more of art than a science. When we see people want to start with huge amounts of worms we all sort of roll our eyes. Having a batch of worms die is almost a right of passage for vermicomposters. It is better to have a pound die then 50 pounds.

Despite the material not being compacted it looks like I could plaster a hut with it. Maybe friability is the word we are looking for here. Crumbliness. Little cracks the air can get into the very center of the bin.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

""Despite the material not being compacted it looks like I could plaster a hut with it. Maybe friability is the word we are looking for here. Crumbliness. Little cracks the air can get into the very center of the bin.""
It doesn't look "f l u f f y""


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Bluegiller;
You wrote: "I'm trying to establish a good worm population in my garden.. I'm not really interested in vermicomposting or bin growing.. I'd just like a thick population in my garden so if I wanna go fishing I can go dig a couple fork fills and have a can of good fishing worms (european Nightcrawler is perfect)".
So here's what you can do. Take the contents of your two bins and dump them into your garden beds. If they grow and thrive like you think they will, then wonderful, you've solved your problem; and then from there you'll have bait for fishing and for expanding worms into your other garden areas. On the other hand if they all die or don't thrive, then you'll know that your assumptions were not correct and you'll need to rethink your whole game plan; because at this point, this Thread is going absolutely nowhere.
This Thread has gone through over 50 Posts and you're no further along than you were at the start, and added to your frustration is the fact that you're losing money everyday.
You already said that you have no interest in "vermicomposting or bin growing" , so do what you originally planned to do and save yourself further aggravation .

Shaul


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RE: Any worm experts here?

bluegiller_killer: I only see one place online that has the information you posted about EH's on December 26 "We see a real future in these worms, which do well in lawn or garden." is at http://mypeoplepc.com/members/arbra/trinity/id8.html
I have seen other places advertise purchasing worms for a garden. Seems to me the best type of worms would already be in a garden, at the maximum amount the garden can hold with little to no seeding. To increase the amount of worms in a garden increase the organic matter. No purchasing necessary. The advertisers do not say it that way.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

I wouldn't say I'm losing money everyday.. More like wasted money the first day lol.. I'm just gonna let it play out


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Also be aware that even if the conditions in your garden support worm growth, some (most?) will be eaten.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Equinox & Jerilynn;

Please do not stand in the way of Scientific Research. The more you try to dissuade Bluegiller from doing exactly what he wanted to do from the beginning, the further we'll be from ever knowing whether the damned things will survive in the garden or not. And then the next time someone else comes along with the very same questions and the very same problems, we'll have to go through this same BS all over again, not being one iota closer to the truth than we are now. As Bluegiller said " Let it play out".

Shaul

PS. Bluegiller: You didn't lose money from the first day. You only lost money from when your worms started dying.

S.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

To have maximum worm populations in soil, if gardening, mulch, mulch, mulch, and use the worms that naturally will gather under it and reproduce. They love to find a great situation like a mulched garden. (I'm in the Midwest, so it's not an extreme wet situation.)

As you said, you don't want to raise worms, you want worms IN your garden. Grow and feed them there. :)


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RE: Any worm experts here?

If the worms make it too spring ill continue this scientific experiment in my garden.. Ill have too disagree on most of them getting eaten, I have a good nightcrawler/worm/grub population..

And the money was lost when I spent it on worms..

Also Shaul you shouldn't consider this "BS" it's a forum and providing help and advice is what they are designed for.. You don't like this "BS" maybe you should keep too yourself..

Anyways we can kill this thread ill provide updates prolly bi-weekly or
monthly..

PS- I'll prolly have a couple sweet bins for sale in the spring unless I find a good strain to breed for the garden..


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RE: Any worm experts here?

"" Posted by shaul Israel (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 31, 12 at 8:58

Equinox & Jerilynn;

Please do not stand in the way of Scientific Research. The more you try to dissuade Bluegiller from doing exactly what he wanted to do from the beginning, the further we'll be from ever knowing whether the damned things will survive in the garden or not.""

We are probably standing in the way of anecdotal evidence, but your point is still valid. Go for it, Bluegiller! :)


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Anecdotal evidence is about all I've been able to find on worms so the info should fit the bill perfectly..


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RE: Any worm experts here?

  • Posted by gerris2 Zone 7a Delaware (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 11, 13 at 19:49

I bet the hortensis worms are killer bluegill bait. Just the right size. I wish there were good fishing lakes close by Wilmington, Delaware, where I live.

Don't give up. I learn by doing and usually the first expeditions are not too successful. You learn from your mistakes and then become better for them. That's how I learned about growing plants too.

I am a member of Vermicomposters. It's a good group of people there.

Do you have survivors in the bins? They'll find each other and begin reproducing with time.

Joseph


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Long ago I put myself on Vermicomposters map. There was maybe nothing going on at the time on their forums so thus I am here. Also the site was not immediately clear to me how to use. Maybe due to a lot going on over there. I was a bit lost on it.

Having people on a forum that also post and read at other forums is a good thing.

Until the third term we are still almost a free country.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Worms are still alive and kicking.. I took the lid off and completely pour out and aerate the bedding weekly.. Still having a few dead maybe they'll all die slowly idk it's hard too tell..


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Must be doing something right only found one liguified worm this weekend so I must be stabilizing.. Also found a hatched cocoon and multiple worms "caught in the act"

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


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RE: Any worm experts here?

  • Posted by gerris2 Zone 7a Delaware (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 14, 13 at 20:21

Congratulations! That's great news about life on your worm planet.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Everything has stabilized.. It seems to dry out alot faster than I thought it would.. I'm only gonna flip or add water at the beginning of each month.. I took a handful of worms out to fish with about a week ago ad left prolly 10-12 in the box when I was done I went back to the box a couple weeks later and there was 2 cocoons in the box.. So I guess everything is going good.. If anyone is interested in any info or pics let me know, open to suggestions and comments on why you think I went through such a rough patch a week after it was started that seems to have quit.. Also all the worms are very active and wiggly now unlike how they were there for awhile


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RE: Any worm experts here?

What do you think happened that turned the bin back to doing well?


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RE: Any worm experts here?

I don't think it sat long enough before I put worms in it.. I think you should let them sit a month minimum of 2-3 weeks..


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RE: Any worm experts here?

bluegiller_killer, your worms look just like mine. How do you know that they are Eisenia hortensis?
Sorry for your dead worms. I wish I found this forum earlier. I'm not an expert but the worms look the same (unless you have big hands). My worms don't mind wet condition, I think they even like wet, that's where they like to hang out. I would rightly suspect the bedding, cardboard or manure. I would just get them out of that bedding and feed them some tomatoes and carrot peelings. I use ripped paper grocery bags and egg cartons for bedding (parts without ink). Does anybody know how de-wormers affect compost worms?


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Did you read this whole thread? Everything is explained they are doing great now.. I know there euros because they look exactly like them.. Some are small some are big and fat and I do kinda have huge hands lol..


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RE: Any worm experts here?

"ripped paper grocery bags" I would think this would be a good bedding material mixed with other items. Nobody ever mentions it. A good use for them might be to put kitchen scraps into and then set on top of the bin. This keeps the fruit flys locked out.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

I'm interested now post up bro.

My thoughts on it is that the bedding was heating up and now it is not. The temps in the bedding of the bin are different than what the air temps are.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

What are you interested in specifically.. I dug around in it a little tonight and it is loaded with cocoons and babies.. I'd say my bedding level has dropped almost 3" from them eating away.. Ill do another stir and moisten at the beginning of next month that schedule seems to be working good..


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RE: Any worm experts here?

If you have some info you would like to share or a picture you like then post it up. I'll leave it up to you.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

The pictures at the beginning showed massive breeding and quickly followed by dieing worms. This is transplant shock. The worm's new home was different than the one they came from and they could not live there so they were merely following worm protocol, which is to breed like mad until they inevitably die.

To me, the bedding looked too young. I could see flecks of stuff in otherwise unrotted cardboard noodles. There was a lot of water on the cardboard, but it was not broken down enough to absorb it propperly... This is just going on the pictures though. I did not technically see it with my own eyes so to speak. If you are really in a rush to start a bin without properly cooking the initial ingredients, you will likely have to start with finished compost. Compost is what you are doing when you prepare a bin ahead of time, and dried horse manure is not always compost. For example, I have dried bedding from chickens I had two years ago. If I put it in my bin to balance out a heap of cardboard and paper, it will rapidly start to off-gas ammonia because it was dried before having a chance to fully break down.

I suspect that the onion smell was hydrogen sulphide, which I associate with anaerobic activity under water. This happened in my bin before I drilled drainage holes in the bottom center to let standing water out. Even then, a lot of worms were living just above the water line where it smelled the worst.

I was looking for your reports of young worms after a couple months because of all of that panic breeding.
...Viola! You now know everything you need to know about growing worms and can begin your seminar touring and book writing career. You will have to make up some stuff to fill out the rest of the chapters and podium time though. Usually this is just done with anecdotal stories, jokes, and poorly drawn cartoon anthropomorphisms of worms with embarrassingly inaccurate gender references. A coffee stain would be a better graphic if it's not already trademarked intellectual property.

From the beginning though, Bluegill... I could tell that things were going to get bad before they got better if you even let the experiment run because you have the trait of over-perfecting and a need to observe the experiment too often. The more you ignore worms, the better they will survive and multiply. Worms do not like disturbance whatsoever, and vibrations even cause them stress.

Your vent pipes in the bottom of the bin are a really nice idea. I like those. I suggest that you put wood chips in the bottom of the bin to cover them. The wood chips will allow the air to proliferate more fully while giving a high carbon area for water to pool. You could put a thick layer of newspaper on top of the wood chips to keep the worm compost separated if you wish, but that may have some impact on air transfer. The bottom of the bin could use some drainage to let the excess water out. I don't know if those bins there are very sturdy, but my bin is propped up with some holes drilled in the bottom center and a catch pan underneath. It's a large enough bin that I piped that pan to a bucket, where I use that liquid in conjunction with synthetic fertilizer (miracle grow) for my garden (as described in a university run worm experiment in Mexico... complete with actual scientific paperwork).

I know you've been told this a couple times already, but perhaps not with these words. If you want worms in your garden, all you have to do/the very best way to do it, is to put that manure, compost, and mulch on your garden. This will cause the existing local worms to go to your garden and multiply like wildfire. That's just a side benefit though. The real benefit is that you are putting manure, compost, and much on your garden and that all of the processes that will enrich your garden and hold moisture will be undisturbed and more vigorous in effect than simply putting a few pounds of worms on your dirt. You have just witnessed the natural behavior of worms dieing rapidly in response to environmental stressors. If you don't put good compost on the garden for the new worms to eat, they will likely die faster than they can effectively reproduce anyway, but if you simply put all of that material on the garden to begin with, the worms of your area will congregate there naturally. If you want to supplement your natural worms with some foreign species, that's different, but you also have to remember that if the worms do well enough to warrant their deliberate release into the wild, then that release of an exotic species is very likely to upset your local environment. Exotic worms have been blamed for wholesale forest destruction as well as wrecking land that used to be functional under the guard of indigenous worms. Of course EH worms are not blamed in either of these cases, but when you release something new in an established environment, the worst that could happen is that it successfully lives.

The following quote I transcribed word for word from one of my favorite TV shows on gardening, airing in 1987. It is from the BBC's The Victorian Kitchen Garden episode 3 of 13, titled "February".

"Farmyard manure like this (the host is standing on a massive pile of rotting straw bedding, heavy with manure) was dug into vegetable plots in huge quantities every year. Up to 100 tons an acre, which is the equivalent of a layer a foot thick."

I suppose you could repackage that concept as raised bed gardening and write a book on it, and I bet there will be worms in it.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Whoa Nelly! Be still my beating heart. I felt like Princess Leia reading her first post by Darth Vader.

You gotta admit the picture clarity was excellent of the worm mating and worm kibbles and bits. Best I have seen.

I do like your quote "when you release something new in an established environment, the worst that could happen is that it successfully lives."

I probably agree with every sentence of the above post.

Do you care to comment, maybe in a new post, on any possible use of cowboy charcoal in a vermicompost system, especially any possible use as surface area for microbes?

Is there a great food or bedding source for worms that is often overlooked?

What do you think of those newfangled cloth worm bins with the draw string at the bottom and zipper at the top for in the living area of a house vermicompost systems for kitchen scraps in the winter in the north for homes with teeny tiny vermicompost systems?

What is your favorite bedding and food? Well actually for the worms. Although both you and the worms may prefer feathers and apple pie.

Everything posted online is free for the multitudes to use for personal, professional, business gain. Any thoughts on that? Google, which I search many times a day, is free. People put their work there. Many people put up very informative youtubes, way better than maybe even some college courses. Do you think the combined effort of many people putting their work on line for the next group to use and improve upon will make the world a way better place?

I way like your basing worm stuff answers on actual facts.

I have never been clear on do or do not worms, because they have a gizzard, need sand or grit? I feel no but that is not scientific. My research, googlie as it is has been wishy washy for results on this topic. Please tell me the common species of vermicompost worms do not need grit. On the other hand those posters that seem to know a lot about what they are doing seem to say that adding grit really improved worm and vermicompost output. What grit should I add? Surely not beach sand.

This board, or another one, used to have a lady who since moved on who provided research based worm information. Her posts are my vermicompost holy grail.

Perhaps you could be this boards new her? You might need a bit of a makeover though. She was very, very sweet.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

"Do you care to comment, maybe in a new post, on any possible use of cowboy charcoal in a vermicompost system, especially any possible use as surface area for microbes? "

Cowboy charcoal is the same as lump charcoal, right? I had never heard of it before by that name, probably because cowboys likely used found wood instead of hauling messy charcoal around. I don't think that charcoal is a bad thing, but it seems like extra effort to burn off substances that could have fueled your worms instead. Turning wood into charcoal would theoretically keep most of the ash content, but lock it away longer than a lifetime if the char was buried without further reduction. Granted, if you were doing a very long term, multigenerational project of land reclamation and had an unlimited budget, charcoal does stick around for a while and has the habit of adsorbing things that would have otherwise been washed below the root zone. Instead of washing away though, they would be locked away. From what I remember, clay has similar nutrient performance to charcoal, but you can amend the soil to forcibly unlock its treasure.

"the picture clarity was excellent of the worm mating and worm kibbles and bits. "

The worm kibbles and bits that I was referring to as undercooked were the cardboard bits. The cardboard looked like the dense stuff that one would find in a cereal box. I add this stuff to my bin and am not saying it's bad. Cereal boxes are often treated with a preservative called BHT. It's not considered harmful because people don't eat the boxes and BHT is the synthesized version of the natural wax found on apples. The BHT would likely repel moisture though, and thus the cardboard has not started to break down in the close-up image. As I was saying though, it really does not matter because the worms bypassed the waiting period by breeding and thus trying again when the food would be ready.

"Is there a great food or bedding source for worms that is often overlooked? "

You ask if there is a great food or bedding source that is often overlooked. My reply to that I've been saying over and over. Worms need space. The more space you give worms, the more they will be able to take care of themselves. The bin needs to be deep because worms will inhabit whatever depth they prefer, and different worms of the same species prefer widely varying bin microenvironments. A large bin also lets you perform hot composting right in the bin without threatening the worms or wasting the compost products or heat energy. They simply go away from what they don't like and toward what they do. I have performed this experiment in robots I've built in the past that had the equivalent of one brain cell but were fully capable of moving towards one stimulus and away from another. One braincell, but worms are smarter than that. The larger the bin, the more likely it will be outdoors where it doesn't matter if it smells a little and can manage it's own temperature in the cold. I live in zone 5 and my bin has already frozen and thawed through without apparent hardship. My bedding of most interest is fine wood chips, I have mostly newspaper and corrugated cardboard that I have put through a paper shredder that I modified, and that is acceptable bedding for outdoors. My favorite worm food input is dead animals, such as mice and frost-burned meat.

"What do you think of those newfangled cloth worm bins"

The cloth worm bins seem to have the advantages of a larger mass, more depth, and the much desired flow-through design. They also may keep people from digging around in them if they are awkward enough. On the downside though, their excessive exposure to air would likely make them unstable in varying conditions, inconsistent because of perimeter drying, and a maintenance hog. I don't have one of these though, so I can't tell you anything from experience.

You asked something about google and freedom of information. Information is not freely available on the internet. Most of it is copyrighted property of someone and using it for your gain will land you in trouble. This is a general hindrance to the betterment of mankind. A good example is that university research is generally free information to all because universities are heavily subsidized by government and donations, but whatever company that is holding it for you to look at will nearly always require you to pay for access to it. I feel this is against the spirit of government funded education and the nature of public information. Also, I have switched from google to bing for one reason. Google has a feature where you can block up to 500 domains from your search results. This is good because they often serve up loads of spam web pages that don't hold the data that was implied. But these pages are profitable for google, so google refuses to block certain pages from their manual (pain in the butt) block list. The pages that are refused blocking are always the crappiest ones that fill pages of results going to the same place. For this reason, and because I also use Firefox browser, I have switched to Bing because I can get a Firefox addon that will force-block results of my choosing (without the pain in the butt) from Bing's search results. The addon is called "bing results remover". Google and Bing give substantially the same search results with only a general change in the brand and attitude slant. This means that google will offer more of the pages that pay it to do so and offer more bing-slandering sites, while bing search will do the very same thing in its own benefit. This is another example of how the information is not free... but at least general information is more obtainable on a search engine than raw research publications from anywhere I've seen on the internet. This is ironic since the internet was created specifically to share research information. It was not freely available back then though either.

"I way like your basing worm stuff answers on actual facts. "

I'm basing worm stuff on my interpretation of observations, reading, and logic. If they sound more agreeable than other worm stuff, that alone does not make them actual facts. Furthermore, a fact is not guaranteed to be correct. I like to help and communicate information freely with the intention of being a good neighbor, or something similar, but I don't have anything to sell and make no money or have any financial interests related to worms or gardening besides growing food for myself and making fertilizer for my own use.

" Please tell me the common species of vermicompost worms do not need grit. "

I do not suspect that worms need special dietary care for their gizzards. If you suspect they do, then you can chuck some dirt on the bin. A worm gizzard is really small. At that size, it's not likely to have the same exact use as a chicken gizzard. I would not confuse the two animals. Furthermore, worms and chickens do not have a stomach like a human does. The crop and gizzard do the metering and mastication that a human uses its teeth and stomach for.

"This board, or another one, used to have a lady who since moved on who provided research based worm information. Her posts are my vermicompost holy grail.
Perhaps you could be this boards new her? You might need a bit of a makeover though. She was very, very sweet."

Lead nitrate, arsenic, Ethylene glycol, phenylalanine aspartate, sodium saccharin and Kelly Slocum are all described as sweet. I would rather be described as bitter so as to serve as a warning that I'm not to be recklessly over-consumed, as no one should. I have no reason to be excessively nice or "sweet" and I consider that a virtue. I'm happy to learn and share what I learn. Some people think that's nice, some want that and a smile.

This post was edited by buckstarchaser on Sun, Feb 24, 13 at 2:04


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RE: Any worm experts here?

I think that is nice.


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RE: Any worm experts here?

I cannot believe I read this entire thread.


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this is the thread that came up when I put Pictures in the Search

how do I post more than one picture ?


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RE: Any worm experts here?

Ive just been vermicomposting since april 2013 , at first [inside] I was having worms out on the floor often not a lot but a few. But since then things have settled down and its more of a rarety if I find one out . Just part of learning I suppose.

Anyway in following this discussion I was thinking about what I did in my garden bed this past year. I cut up a bunch of cardboard and covered the soil in an attempt to keep weeds down. Of course I watered down the cardboard down. Now Im thinking how many wigglers did I attract because of this deed and how many castings and soil improvement did I get in spite of myself-- just had to laugh at myself and also thought back to looking at the decomposing cardboard and the why's of and what was really happening.


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