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 Post subject: How to Find Earthworms?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:07 am 
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How do you find Earthworms? In your backyard, sewer drain, etc
Don't have time yet to buy some worm castings, but want wouldn't mind making some castings myself and putting some in containers.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:23 am 
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I think most people buy them. You'll have to set up a worm bin of some sort, and feed the worms regularly, in order to produce worm castings at home. I don't keep worms, so I'm not knowledgeable about any of the details.

I think the worms kept in bins are called red wrigglers. I get them (worms that look like them, anyway) and night crawlers in my compost bin that sits on the ground. (I don't know that night crawlers would do well in a worm bin. They very well might, I just don't know. :) )

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:23 am 
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Are you looking for earthworms / nightcrawlers or composting worms?

If you have farms or stables nearby, you can often find composting worms in manure piles.

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Eric


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:31 am 
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Well I'm just trying to find worms that are used for worm castings.
If not, I'll just go buy worm castings when I have time to go out.

I think that a container with worm castings as well as worms to continue to make more might work well.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:37 am 
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I think it's Soil that has the large bathtub worm operation. I'll let him answer your questions. :) :wink:


Eric


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:54 am 
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Rainbowgardener has posted some good links in this thread, including a pictorial showing how to build your own worm bin:

http://www.helpfulgardener.com/phpBB2/v ... ins#178674

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:01 am 
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A quick way to get local worms to come to your party is to moisten an area, dump some UCGs and a layer of leaves, cover with a wet corrugated cardboard, then put a bag of something on top of it (mulch, sand, gravel, whatever).

This only works during the warmer months when worms are closer to the surface and not during the freeze. I love early spring, after the ground thaws, when I start seeing little mounds of "worm signs" all over my garden and lawn. 8)

I mentioned elsewhere too, that my DH puts his leftover fishing worms in my compost pile... so a local Bait Shop?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:16 am 
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Thanks applestar


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:24 pm 
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I just turned over my compost pile yesterday and there were hundreds of earthworms in the working section of the pile. I added big clump of them to my worm bin. I started the worm bin back in November just with worms from the compost pile then. But in Nov. it was cold and the worms were a lot harder to find.

Most people do buy worms for worm bins, but mine seems to be working just fine with the compost worms. I'll be interested to see if they need a lot more food, now that I just doubled the population of the bin...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:36 pm 
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first off the earthworms you find in the ground are most likely not composting worms. most earthworms have different feeding,burrowing habits compared to the common composting worm( the red wiggler, aka Eisenia fetida). you can sometimes get them at bait stores but for the price you pay and the amount of worms you get, your basically getting ripped off( not for fishing though its a good deal).

if you don't want to buy castings, but are willing to buy worms. that is a smart decision. there is nothing like homemade castings, and buying a nice supply of worms to get yourself started is the quickest path to buckets and buckets of castings. with proper care your worms will multiply fast, giving you the opportunity to build another bin for more castings, or give some away for someone else to start a bin. which reminds me of the best way to get worms, find someone close by who has worms, chances are they will have more than a few handfuls to spare.

so the best place to get worms is a local fellow vermicomposter. chances are they will like organic gardening too giving you someone else to chat with possibly.

or just buy some online, 1 lb is like 20$, that can turn into a hundred lbs of worms in a year if you manage them right.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:09 pm 
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Alrighty. So I'll buy a small bag of castings first to use now. Then I'll buy some earthworms.

If I buy earthworms from nursery, I need to have a compost bib for them?
Or use the link that rainbow instructed?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:52 pm 
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Well I figure the worms I find in my compost pile are there because they are busy turning my kitchen scraps and the other stuff in the compost pile into worm castings. So why shouldn't they do the same thing in a worm bin? And why should I buy worms when there are hundreds of them in my compost pile? So far the worm bin seems to be working just fine with worms from my compost pile.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:51 pm 
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Quote:
So far the worm bin seems to be working just fine with worms from my compost pile.


no where did i say that would not work. i can go to my compost pile, pull out some worms, go to my worm bin which has red wigglers and it turns out they are not the same.

if you or anyone wants to go that route that's fine, youll still get castings no doubt.

for those who still care what i have to say, buying 1 lb of worms is about 20$. which = about 1000 worms. in two months they will be 2000, 2 months after that 4000, 8000, 16,000 ,and so on.... so where as one initial 20$ investment and another 10$ for a homemade bin if you don't use recycled material that is. in a year the 20$ worms multiplied can give you hundreds of dollars worth of castings annually. that will in turn grow hundreds of dollars worth of nutritionally rich food.

or you can get them from someone else with a worm bin for FREE, and start a bin that way. i started out with handful and now i care for thousands upon thousands of the little wigglers.

my 2 cents :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:03 pm 
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Or you can have the experience I did with worm-keeping.

In approx. 1998, soon after we moved to this house, I decided to keep worms for compost in addition to the compost bin (BioStack) we had moved with us from Berkeley. I got what was then available, a box with a tap, screens around the top of the sides, and a "roof" that opened sort of like the "wing" storage boxes do now.

I purchased the worms from my favorite independent local nursery. They thrived until...winter 2002/2003, when I was teaching full-time *and* sick over the Christmas (excuse me: "Winter") break. It rained cats and dogs here, and I was pushed to the max taking care of the three dogs and three cats then in residence. One dog was 10.5 y.o., one was 9, and Vesta (still here!) was a pistol at 2.5 y.o. I developed bronchitis, and DH stayed on his computer the whole two weeks. :x

About mid-January, when I turned in semester grades, I had a Moment of Clarity and went, "What happened to the worms? Are they OK?" b/c I had asked DH to make sure the blackberries were pruned in late December and that the composts were "taken care of."

The worms had drowned in the rains. The open-able roof was not watertight, and DH never opening the leachate tap condemned them to drowning. I, of course, had been too pre-occupied with my own illness/need for rest and the dogs/cats to even *think* of the yard.

So we fast forward to Spring 2007. I'm helping my GF turn her compost pile--she also has a BioStack--and ask her for a quart of worms. I've acquired supplies and now want to have back-ups upon back-ups in case something dire happens again.

The worms now live in their Worm Factory (purchased at county/municipal discount) in the carport under an old army blanket. More of them live in the BioStack. I've given a "quart of worms" to several people via FreeCycle.

But I must say that the first worms did *not* double their number in anything close to a month or even three months. They took their time settling in and seem to have found an ideal population density. I don't find ever-increasing numbers of Eisenia foetida in the Worm Factory or the BioStack; they seem happy as they are.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:51 am 
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Quote:
But I must say that the first worms did *not* double their number in anything close to a month or even three months. They took their time settling in and seem to have found an ideal population density. I don't find ever-increasing numbers of Eisenia foetida in the Worm Factory or the BioStack; they seem happy as they are.



from my earlier post

Quote:
with proper care your worms will multiply fast,


no offense but it sounds to me like your worms got the complete opposite of proper care considering you left them to drown.
[/quote]

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