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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Cat

Ordered some Euro Crawlers last week based on some forum advice here and the proprietor indicated for my zone they would perform better. I don't know about that - I was going to order Red Wigglers but he talked me out of it. I'll take some pics of my bin and the crawlers asap and appreciate your guidance to this point.


Hey TJ, I figure the more diversity and growers we have, the better! We should be able to learn from each other. Good luck. Keep reporting.


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I can't seem to help myself. But, here is just a little more about my worm friends.

Every year, I collect many cubic yards of leaves from our front yard.



After I consolidate the leaf piles in late November, I throw in about a pound of my worms. Over the winter I turn the piles several times with my little tractor. By springtime, they look like this:



I've got a number of raised beds and other garden areas around the property. They get regular dressings of the compost from the worm/leaf piles. Over the winter, everything gets a good dose of winter rye seeds to help the worms loosen the soil from way down deep.



Today, when I went to plant the tomatoes and a few other things, I was again amazed to see the incredible numbers of mature worms in the beds that had been topped with this compost last fall, and again about a month ago. I regularly check my soil conditions. I seldom need any additional fertilizer supplements through the season. From about mid-June until frost, we get a lot of vegetables from these beds to go with our fish dinners from the pond.


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Ken, you could write for Mother Earth News. That's neat.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

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Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Ken...I think we can all take a page from you and your use of what Mother Nature provides for free. Worm castings are an incredible source of natural fertilizer from what I've heard from many gardeners. Pan fried bluegill fillets, sliced cucumbers or tomatoes, and maybe some fried zuchini and a nice beverage of your choice [diet pepsi for me, please]. Afterwards it's off to the swing on the front porch and watch the sunset with the wife?


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
... Worm castings ...


Hey, TJ, is that techno-speak for "worm poop?" laugh


Todd La Neve

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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
and a nice beverage of your choice [diet pepsi for me, please].


Humph! I don't believe I saw you with a diet pepsi in your mitts all day TJ! grin


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An odd thing about worm castings (yep Todd, it's poop) is that they are good for the soil but bad for the worms. They've extracted what they need and then they move on.


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I thought it might be time to resurrect this old thread for the many new people who have joined Pond Boss.

I recently needed some fishing worms, and I wasn't near home. I was absolutely shocked at the price of fishing worms and nightcrawlers. $3-$4 a dozen for crawlers. About the same for 20 redworms. I thought maybe it was just the place I stopped at. Over the last week or so, I've stopped at a few other places, and I found that the prices have gone crazy for worms.

Even at these inflated prices, one can start a very successful worm farm, including stock, for under $15. We pull at least 25-50 worms out of our worm farm every week.

A few years ago, long-time Pond Boss friend Dave Davidson gave me some of his "Texas Jumping Worms." They don't seem to do very well in my worm farm, but these huge and demoniacal worms grow like crazy in my raised garden beds. They aren't for the faint of heart. They grow to about six inches. When subjected to sunlight, or when picked up, they writhe and jump like . . . I can't describe it.

Anyway, my redworms and Dave's adopted worms survive the 100 degree heat of summer. They make it through our the WV winters. They eat most of our kitchen garbage. They are worth a try if you have a fishing pond.

P.S. I'm about to go re-pot a bunch of my wife's flower plants. I'm planning on using a lot of the worm castings for fertilizer.


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Ken, I recently released all of my jumpers, and the West Va immigrants, back around the side of the shed whence they came. Sustained 100+ temps was taking its toll on them and some really nasty, stinking, Black Soldier Fly larvae got into the containers.

I transplanted some, and their soil, into a couple of places on my lawn where clay and shade kept grass from growing. Actually, I dug out the old clay and used the worms and castings in the holes. I now have grass spreading over the bald areas.


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For anyone who doesn't know about Dave's Texas Jumping Worms, they are absolutely spooky. The ones I got from Dave a few years ago have thrived in my garden beds -- and they have been quite prolific. They like to stay near the surface when the ground is a little damp. They also grow to near Canadian nightcrawler size. I'm still not accustomed to having them in the garden. If I'm picking weeds or planting seeds, some will jump out of the ground -- and I immediately think "snake." They are much firmer and stiffer than regular night crawlers. Actually, they are kind of brittle, and will break if not handled properly.

They make great bait worms because of their size, ability to stand really high heat, and their tenacity. Dave needs to go into business exporting those critters.


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Funny story Ken.

About 30 or so years ago, I started a backyard worm farm in an old free standing military foot locker. Those were in the days that earthworm raising took over chinchilla ranching and preceded ostrich raising as a sucker deal. The worm scam involved buying 100 select breeders for about 25 cents each + shipping and handling and then selling them back to the worm dealer by the pound. The sales pitch was that you could get your original investment back in 6 months and the more you bought, the more money you made. Any idea how many worms it takes to make a pound? Heck, I just wanted them for fishing. However, worms are highly prolific and I was giving a lot away.

Then a couple of guys wanted to buy my worm farm. One was a bearded hippie and the other was a Dallas Cop. They figured to get rich on selling worms(or so they said). I think I sold them for $175.00.

About 2 years later one of them contacted me and asked if I wanted to buy my worms and their progeny back. They had over a dozen beds. I said no. Later I found out that they had gotten busted for raising marijuana in the worm beds and needed Lawyer $. Evidently they figured the super charged soil ought to grow good weed. I wouldn't know.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 07/26/11 10:22 AM.

It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

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Originally Posted By: catmandoo
My friends are poaching from me!



Sometime last week my chickens (and Mr. Rooster) learned how get the cover off of my main worm bin. Between Friday and Sunday they ate several thousand worms!


*puts rock on top of worm bin*

your turn chickens...

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When I was a kid on the farm we had New Zealand White rabbits...70 breeding does and 20 breeding bucks...and all the little ones growing out to dressing size. Anyhow, we used to use the rabbit poop as media for our red wigglers. We must have had millions of them. I couldn't even tell you how many could live in the manure produced by over 100 rabbits, and whoever mentioned the worm poop being just about the best garden soil additive on the planet? That is spot on. Rabbit poop, transformed into worm poop, is the BEST garden soil additive you can find. We would put a whole layer of it over the vegetable garden every year a few inches thick and till in all into the soil.

I didn't really have anything to add. Just wanted to share the story LOL.

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kept this thread in my bookmarks.....
fantastic advice, 1. question...living here in nc is gawd awful hot, but my worms seem too cold and get mushy when i keep them in the fridge ....any advice on this ?
ty mike

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Glad someone brought this post up. I hadn't seen it before. I hope more people read it.

Any tips for setting up a compost 'corner' or bin? I have a back that isn't up for a lot of turning compost and I don't have a front end loader on my tractor although if I could find a used one I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I have tons of leaves, mostly Oak and maple and I'd love to mix them with soil and turn them a few times through the fall, winter and spring.

If it was in a big tote with sides then it isn't so easy to work in or to add to, or subtract from the pile.

I was thinking of trying to build a 3 sided enclosure, but would need a smooth solid bottom to help with scooping out right? Maybe I could source some plastic pallets (smooth top) and put out a few for the bottom, then add some sides by adding wooden or plastic pallets set up on their sides?

Is there an advantage to buying a IBC tote (275 gallons) and maybe keeping the top on and maybe partially cut open, but cutting open one of the sides to allow turning of the pile? Working in a confined space like that may not be so easy?

Then I'd like to have worms grow in that. I'll have it down by the pond where I usually dump grass clippings and leaves. I dump my FA there too, but mine is so tenacious that I can't figure out how to shred it up to add it to a compost pile.

Great ideas in this thread. I'm always trying to figure out the gardening thing. Raised beds sound interesting. I rototilled today and was thinking that maybe this year I'm going to plant my beans REALLY high on a raised platform of some type so when I have to pick them I can pretty much stand upright!

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I have found that turning and loosening the actual soil doesn't impress the worms. They seem to need something firm enough to crawl through and extract whatever they need.

I dump some leaves and grass clippings and really don't mess with them. The number one place to find them is an old horse blanket next to the piles of composted junk.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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it's crazy how things pop up here and provide information that I need from time to time. I like that about this site and the people who contribute, that is just cool

So, last week my son show up with an old refrigerator and tells me of his plans to have a worm bed for fishing worms. I am thinking holes will need to be drilled in the bottom (back side) when layed down. This would be for drainage of excess moisture. And maybe a layer of rock in the bottom?

Another note, my son is a junk collector, not commercial, just a collector of junk. Ben that way ever since he was a small boy. He is now 37

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Tracy if you raise them you need a bottom of screen and a top to keep them in during rain and lightning events.... Had a neighbor loose all his worms during a storm, they bailed out the top .....

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Bailed Huh !! Now that is funny

Thank Pat

Tracy


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Originally Posted By: bugsbunny
When I was a kid on the farm we had New Zealand White rabbits...70 breeding does and 20 breeding bucks...and all the little ones growing out to dressing size. Anyhow, we used to use the rabbit poop as media for our red wigglers. We must have had millions of them. I couldn't even tell you how many could live in the manure produced by over 100 rabbits, and whoever mentioned the worm poop being just about the best garden soil additive on the planet? That is spot on. Rabbit poop, transformed into worm poop, is the BEST garden soil additive you can find. We would put a whole layer of it over the vegetable garden every year a few inches thick and till in all into the soil.

I didn't really have anything to add. Just wanted to share the story LOL.

Rabbit poo is the best all around fertilizer that can be had ... It doesn't burn plants right out of the bunnie. Tomatoes are the sweetest that they can be on rabbit poo, when we raised them to show when the daughter was young we put it on everything that would grow with amazing results. There is a composting barrel that you turn the crank to turn it over that works amazing.... Compost in two weeks if you get the mix right.

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