Dixana
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Worms

Can anyone tell me a good place to order worms that doesn't charge a fortune and the worms arrive ALIVE? I haven't had any since we moved this last December and I forgot them in the truck all day :(
I was going to order more from the wrom dude when they went on sale but we forgot and I'm hoping we can get them cheaper.
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cynthia_h
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I've GIVEN red wigglers to maybe six people this season and last. I offered to two more, but others had responded before I did.

These people made their requests on FreeCycle, and each one got a packed quart yogurt container filled with worm-dense vermicompost. They watched me as I packed their quart containers, so they could 1) see that there were lots of worms, 2) know the worms were alive and strong, and 3) see that there were adults, juveniles, and cocoons.

Maybe you can put a "Wanted" announcement in a local FreeCycle list?

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Dixana
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I've tried my four freecycle lists a handful of times and never heard anything back. I tried craigslist too. Not many people around here must have worms :(
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Anna63
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In my country we don't need to buy any worms, you just need the right soil and they come themselves :D
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Lunacy
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I have purchased worms twice from eBay sellers. They are not free but reasonable. If you go the eBay way may sure you check the shipping prices, their is a huge difference on how much suppliers charge.

planter
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Are worms just not native everywhere or are people just getting a jump on their heaps or wormboxes. Are they not present in certain climates or areas and do different critters and such fill the void?

I guess I am lucky!! Just a little forking around the heap and I can feed every one of my fish till they can't jam anymore in their mouths..

I know you can buy worms in the back of every freshwater fishing magazine out there.. Outdoor Life or Field and Stream..
Got anything good that's Z6 hardy?

cynthia_h
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There are earthworms, and then there are compost worms.

Most people who are looking for worms are looking for Eisenia foetida, the "red wigglers" of compost fame. These little guys live in compost and other litter. They cannot live in soil, so those of us without access to (usually) horse stables need to acquire them either from other gardeners who do vermicomposting or from garden-supply sources. They can be pricey, and you don't always get what you're paying for, esp. when shipping is tacked on.

Maybe this distinction is what's confusing some posters on this thread?

Cynthia

planter
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Very cool cynthia..

I am guessing that the most common worms I dig out of the heap are in fact the red wigglers because the always seem to be at the edges of the pile in the more shallow leaf like material. mmm. Live and learn.

They are aptly named because do they WIGGLE alright when flipped over in a fork of compost but they sure seem to find a rapid exit heading straight back down. : :)

Is another attribute of the Reds is their ability to leave their tail behind when grabbed? It's a great defense mechanism when I'm gathering a few for the KOI. :twisted:

So can I select different kinds of worms to work different stata of the soil? I know Nightcrawlers can operate a couple feet straight down in rather rough soil. Are there mid-range worms??

I guess worms have alot to offer in so many ways. I read once that the weight of worms in the world exceeds the weight of humans.

Red Wigglers are what they offer most often in the back of the fishing mags but they also mention African worm??? What ever that may be. :D

Where else can you talk about worms on a Sunday morning except here on HG.. :?

dixana.. I'm gonna see what I can find for you as far as red wrigglers sold as bait and worm raising... Great episode on dirtiest job on worm farming. :)
Got anything good that's Z6 hardy?

Dixana
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It's sad that I even know this.....but :
Red wigglers (Eisenia Fetida) are the smallest, most efficient compoting worm. They reproduce the fastest and tolerate a mid-range of temps before throwing cacoons and/or slowing their eating. European nightcrawlers (Eisenia Hotensis) are the second largest, an average sized worm. They are considered ideal for people looking for a composting worm thay easily tranfers to a decent fishing worm. Slightly more thick skinned than wigglers, still a good composter, but large enough to fish for bass and other mid-sized fish. They also tolerate a slightly cooler temperature before throwing cacoons. African nightcrawlers (Eudrillus Eugeniae) are the largest of the "composting worms". They can easily get longer than my hand, make fantastic fishing worms given their size, and tolerate heat well but not so much colder temps. They make decent composters.
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planter
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OK then.. Lets turn the piles and head out for a little fishing.. :) A nice mess of fish with summertime veggies just might work. Someones gotta bring the new potatoes!!! :wink: :D
Of course we will compost the leaftover fish and veggie scraps... :roll:
Got anything good that's Z6 hardy?

Brand D NATURALS
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I got my red wigglers for only a couple of bucks per cup full from one of the local bait shops. I think I started with 2 or 3 cups full and had more than enough to get started. I guess maybe bait and tackle shops aren't plentiful everywhere like they are here in south georgia. :shock: The things we take for granted when we live our whole lives in one general area. :)
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Stella Blue
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I hate to admit it, but I got my red wigglers from Wal-mart today. :oops: Don't really like giving my money to big chains like that, but they had them there for $3/cup of 30 worms. I bought 3 cups thinking that would be enough to give my pile a boost. A word of advice, check inside before you purchase. Lucky for me I did, as 2 of the cups I checked had nothing but dirt in them.

Dixana
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:x Well wth! Our Wal-mart and all of our 500 billion baitshops do not sell composting worms. Only things like canadian nightcrawlers (cold earth dwellers not composters) and leeches and minnows. I find this to be highly unfair.
I got a catalog today from Gardens Alive and they sell worms and I also noticed territorial seed does all well.
Has anyone ever ordered worms from either of these?
I might just break down and order from the worm dude. His $11 shipping kills me but I want one of his special worm bins anyway since I can't get instructions on how to make my own off my phone :( At least I know I'll get what I ordered on time and alive. -sigh-
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cynthia_h
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Dixana wrote:... I want one of his special worm bins anyway since I can't get instructions on how to make my own off my phone
Go to the library and check out Worms Eat My Garbage, by Mary Appelhof. She was (sadly, passed on in 2005) the founding mother of worm composting for the modern era. Her book has never been out of print since it was first published, and it contains plans for several kinds of worm boxes.

Gotta be cheaper than buying a fancy get-up. Your county/city/solid-waste provider doesn't discount worm bins, I take it?

Cynthia

Dixana
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Nope no county worm bins for us. I made a worm "bin" and still have it but I either want or want to make a hanging basket thing for them. You can dump mass tons of garbage in them and it doesn't kill the worms.
My old neighbor had one and it was made of a strong fabric like a horse blanket or a backpack and hung in the kitchen closet out of the way. It has toggles on the bottom you open to release the castings and is just way easier than a traditional bin. Her worms processed a lot more food than mine too. There's instructions to make something similar on instructables but I can't access the site on my phone. I also don't know if I could find the material like that and have the skill to sew it as well so I think it will $70 well spent.
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engineeredgarden
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hmm....I just have plain old worms in my piles - I guess they are not the "happy composting kind". Still, they are a pleasure to see in there, and my piles decompose just fine.

EG

Brand D NATURALS
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Maybe south georgia fish prefer red wigglers :lol: I didn't realize bait shops had such a large selection of worms :) I always thought fishing worms were fishing worms. Learn something new every day :!:
Good luck with finding worms without breaking the bank.
As the Lord keeps and sustains us, so must we keep and sustain our Lords creation.

MikeP09
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Uncle Jim's Worm Farm,,,, they have red wigglers for sale at 20 bucks per 1000. plus shipping of course but worth it to me,, I ordered last year and used compost my worms produced for my garden in the spring and have been in veggie heaven ever since! Also made tea from the compost and WOW!!! The results were,,,, just get the worms.

Bl Blue
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Ah yes walmart does sell compost worms they sell the euro nightcrawlers as trout worms. 30 for around 3.00 I bought 2 containers last mounth and having used e.Foetida (red wigglers) and E. Hortensis (Euro nightcrawler) I am at least a little familar with them. Yes I know the Canadian crawler Is sold also but it was clearly marked as such, at least in the store I was in. I ended up with 64 worms not very many but after a month I have 74. Yes 10 new Babies. and 30 cocoons. I did not check for cocoons when I bought them but counted all worms closely. then added bedding and worms into an empty two gallon Frosting container with some almost complete pile compost. I harvested 1/2 gallon of castings in the first month. We will now see what month 2 brings. they are now in an empty 5 gallon bucket with about 2 gallons of final finishing pile compost. I just checked the web Euros were 34 dollars a pound. I did not check on shipping charges even if included just to much money. One more thing no compost worms running wild up here, the cold gets them. only worms that go into the ground survive our winters. :)
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Blue Fox
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When I first learned about the different worms I was too cheeep to buy any and got chicken manure in bags instead - and realized a few weeks later when I went to move the bags that there were FREE worms right under the plastic bags - I had my very own redworms just waiting for the right food. Ever since, I collect a few handfuls for my compost bins and worm bins to get them started, and now I have way too many to count. Loving it!
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Green Mantis
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:?: Just curious, Is it safe to add other red Wrigglers to an already working worm bin? Or could you bring disease in? Wouldn't use any soil they came in, probably TRY and wash them off. Which could be quite the experiment!!! lol. I can just see it now, here's one, there's one!!! :roll:

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rainbowgardener
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LMFAO - I love the image of you trying to catch and wash all your worms without drowning them! Do you have a teeny minature scrub brush to use on them? Would never have occurred to me to wash worms. But as you know, I just the past couple months have my first worm bin, so definitely not expert on them.

Since I am CHEAP (!), I didn't buy any worms, just dug some out of my compost pile. Since it was late in the season and cold, I didn't get very many. I am planning in the spring, once the compost pile warms up again, to dig up more worms to add to the worm bin. No plans to shampoo them, just plop them in the bin, but I'm assuming since they will be coming from the same source as the original ones, it should be okay. Since you can find big masses of worms clumped together in the compost pile, I guess they aren't too territorial.
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Green Mantis
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nutz: Ok I guess that did sound pretty silly!!!! I can just see myself looking for a teeny tiny scrub brush! :lol: Since they wouldn't come from the same place I won't add to that worm bin. It's doing really well, guess I just wanted to see more action! (Just a little impatient) But when I added more leaves last night, along with dampening it down a bit, they are very busy down there. There's some real nice compost coming along great. Guess I'll leave my bright idea of washing worms :roll: and get more for another bin in the spring. It's probably too cold to ship them now, for a new worm bin. It's just plain exciting to see how those little beasties work in there. That compost looks great! I should have done worm bins a long time ago. But thanks to this great site, that's how I found out about them, and got going.----- Being in a province where it's so cold and snowy, is extremely hard when you want to do things outside. I can't wait till spring!!!!

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applestar
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:lol: I was feeling like my worms weren't being very well-cared for, and then you post about giving them baths! :lol:

I'd neglected them somewhat over the holidays, so when I got around to feeding them, I was gratified to see them busy. When I first opened the lid, I didn't see them anywhere and I got a little worried, but as soon as I shifted things around a bit, there they were. :D I need to find a replacement for the moist blanket -- I think that's the problem -- I had a quarter-folded burlap but it fell apart and they ate it. :roll: When I had an intact blanket, I saw the worms as soon as I folded it over to look in. :hehe:

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soil
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most worms you get outside are not the same species of worms, and most of them have completely different living habits. its far better to spend 20$ and get the proper composting worms ( or be smart and find someone local who has worms to spare, trust me worm farmers are generous people) in no time your population will double, then double again, and again exponentially ever few months. if you wanted you could turn 1000 into a million by a years end. i started with a handful of worms years ago, in a year i had a old bathtub bin full of worms. its all on how you manage them. considering how much castings are worth and how much you can potentially get offsets the initial investment by far. im about to harvest 250 gallons of castings soon, in another month ill get to do it again, while doubling my worm population at the same time.
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Dixana
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250 GALLONS of castings?! Where in gods green earth do you keep those worms?! That's a LOT!
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Green Mantis
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:lol: I don't know but not in a bathtub! :lol:

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soil
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multiple battubs actually lol. all started from one handful of worms.
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Ozark Lady
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Okay, look out folks, the wheels of the brain are spinning! nutz:

What if you had more than one worm bin. One for the red wrigglers to digest compost, and fill the container with castings.

And a second one, with manure and compost pile type ingredients, wouldn't the native worms also make castings, and digest foods?

But if I am reading this right, one is vegetarian and the other is carnivorous?

You might have to color code the containers, but why wouldn't it work?
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Green Mantis
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:shock: Well I'll be darned your'e BACK!!!!! Glad to see your back on the site, I missed your conversations!!! I'm sure everyone did. Don't know about the colour coding?????

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Ozark Lady
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I was thinking one color maybe red for manure and compost, and another color maybe blue for kitchen scraps, minus milk, meat, and eggs.

With them being color coded less chance of a mix up.

I do find worms in the soil, but also in hay piles, I wonder if they are the same kind of worms, or different...

Time to experiment? :flower:

Yes, I had a bit of a rough fall and winter, still not overly mobile, but feeling better bit by bit.

I have been back for a couple weeks, just not so vocal...
But, I haven't been vocal in person either.
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Ozark Lady
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I found some worm links.

The first 2 are for buying them, and the third tells about setting them up.

https://www.gardenworms.com/1000-red-wiggler-worms-free-shipping-p-99.html?gclid=CIuu296n1KYCFUHt7QodiCtpGw

https://www.wormsetc.com/webstore/red-worms-wigglers-eisenia-fetida-1.html

https://www.trails.com/how_40507_raise-bait-earthworms.html
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Green Mantis
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They really are interesting to raise. They really do eat a lot after awhile. In the spring I am going to make a bigger bin, and buy more red wrigglers, quite a few this time. But won't be emptying the tub every 2 months, I want them to get lots of nice compost in there for spring planting. With all the snow, and -30 weather, they can happily stay in there and work away! The worm sites you posted ozark lady are very interesting. Fun to go back and see why I started my first ever worm bin.

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rainbowgardener
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Yeah, I'm impressed. My few worms that I dug up in late fall, manage to chew through quite a bit. I put a cup full of kitchen scraps in twice a week as well as adding more leaves now and then.

In the spring, I will dig up more worms and then I expect my worm bin will really go to town!
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grassroot
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ok, this might be a little silly to ask, but i might as well because the only dumb question is the one not asked! is vermicomposting smelly? i have a garage, but it's not heated and i don't want to kill the little guys so i was thinking about just getting a bin or two in my closet so i can start making use of all the scraps I'm letting slip through my fingers (i work in a group home and there are literally too many organic solids/carbons that just get tossed/recycled each day - i may be starting to develop a tic about it lol) i guess i could line the top of the bin with charcoal if need be :roll: .

how many would anyone advise for starting say... a 12 gallon rubbermaid tote bin (i don't mind growing wormopolises). thanks in advance for any help!
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rainbowgardener
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No, absolutely not smelly. The only smell to it is a bit earthy from all the fall leaves I put in there. And I have had my nose right down in it, because I like to inspect, see how it's all working.

I have no idea how many you would need, depends on how much organics you are trying to get rid of, but I would start smallish and see how it all works and then you can add more bins. I just dug up some worms from my garden, but people usually buy them. You can order them on line. I think a pound of worms is around 500 of them. A pound of worms should eat half a pound of food a day, once they are established and happy. As your worm population grows, so will the amount of food they eat.
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cynthia_h
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Purchasing may not be essential; I've given composting worms to a few people who requested them on FreeCycle, so that may be worth a shot. At this time of year in Minnesota, though, most worms may be less active; it all depends on how the people have their worm habitats set up.

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Bobberman
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You can buy red worms by the pound in many places. A pound run about $27 and 10 pound is about $209. You get about a 1000 worms a pound but can buy smaller ones and get more per pound! Shipping is about $10 a pound. I suggest that if you want worms go to the local playground at night after a rain and get a 100 in a half hour.My playground has 1000,s all over the place on a rainy night and I pick them all summer 200 a clip! Keep them cool or they will die fast where the red worms wil tolarate even a 100 degrees! The playground worms are not red worms but will work in the garden or planting boxes!
+++ I ordered a pound of very small worms about the diameter of spegeatt and made a box for them with a screen at the bottom but did not make it deep enough and lost most of the worms! Imay try it again this year since I fish alot!
+++ I found a worm about 10 years ago near my house in a rocky dry soil that was really strange because they moved like a snake very fast and their tail would break off when you tried to grab them. The tail that broke off was about a 1/2 inch long and was good bait for catching small fish for bait! You could not hold the worm in your open hand it would wiggle off fast and would dig into the soft ground very fast! I put them in my garden and have them all over the place now especially in the drier soil!
+++Walmart does sell red worms and they are fat and about 3 inches long. I think there are 30 in a box. They also have a trout worm or a small version of a night crawler. Another place I buy a thin worm is at a pet store where they are called trout worms and sold for the small lizzards and small animals they sell for $3.99 for 50 and our in a dry back soil in a styrofoam cup!
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cynthia_h
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Bobberman wrote:You can buy red worms by the pound in many places. ...I suggest that if you want worms go to the local playground at night after a rain and get a 100 in a half hour.My playground has 1000,s all over the place on a rainy night and I pick them all summer 200 a clip! Keep them cool or they will die fast where the red worms wil tolarate even a 100 degrees!
Eisenia foetida, or red composting worms (also called red wigglers), are litter dwellers. They live between layers of leaves, straw (hence horse manure), or compost. Earthworms--the ones that come up out of the...ah...earth after rain--are burrow dwellers. Their burrows are permanent.

Neither species can dwell where the other one does. Red composting worms will suffocate in the earth, and earthworms will die if denied the earth.

Red composting worms will NOT tolerate 100 degrees. A worm "farmer" would be lucky if his/her worms were to tolerate as much as 85 degrees in their habitat or less than 50 or so degrees on the other end of the spectrum. Mine are in a triple-layer worm habitat in my carport, under an old Army blanket which seems to even out the temperature swings. We got down into the 20s December 2009, and the blanket/carport arrangement worked just fine: no loss of hard-working invertebrates. :)

Cynthia H.
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