Susan W
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Worming my plants

Yes, worming the plants! I got 1/2 or more bucket (5 gallon) of worms in worm dirt/castings from my farmers market worm guy. I am sifting through and trying to get at least a couple in each pot of basil near ready to come inside. And putting a few in other containers, in the ground beds.

In the spring (March-April), I plan to get a bucket or 2 or more of his castings or a potting blend and work in the large containers. As the plants show new growth can clean and freshen the top few inches. Most of the herbs don't want rich, but can stand some freshening when growing out of the winter rest.
Have fun!
Susan

john gault
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What kind of worms?

grandmamaloy
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Worms/Worm Castings

I've actually used worm castings before, but I've never gotten the worms WITH the castings. I don't know of anywhere near me that has a "worm-guy" so I depend upon my online garden guy, GardenHarvestSupply.com. I had to buy mine in a bag. But, the results have been fantastic! I read a blog on worm castings at this link: https://blog.gardenharvestsupply.com/2011/07/14/worm-made-vs-man-made/ and then when I was just looking up this link, I found out that GHS posted another article and here's the link: https://blog.gardenharvestsupply.com/2011/09/17/what-are-worm-castings/

To make a long story short...Worm Castings rock, but please let me know how the worms do in the pot that you'll be bringing inside. I'm going to try growing my herbs outside this winter, in a mini-greenhouse. If that doesn't work well, I'll bring them back in and put them under a grow light, for lack of a good south facing window.

john gault
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If they're red wigglers they'll probably just die or try to escape if there's nothing for them to live in (mulch) since they don't dig into the soil like the earthworms. And if they're earth worms it needs to be a pretty big container, though not sure if they can live in potting soil.

If it was me I'd put them in the compost pile where redwigglers do their best work and if they are earthworms they'll find their way to the soil.

grandmamaloy
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Worms/Worm Castings

Thanks so much John. That's pretty much what I figured too, but I thought maybe Susan knew something that I didn't...which is always a possibility. :roll:

My next big project. Making a rotating compost bin...or two. Gotta get the hubby motivated for that one!

Susan W
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To be honest, not sure if this will work. The pots are 10" some top soil, mostly miracle grow potting mix. If the worms (I think red wigglers) make it, is good, if not, well, go to worm heaven. I added a handful of the castings/dirt in each pot. I added some handfuls to a 4 x 4 raised bed that is doing well, and handful here and there in other large containers.

I will get some wiggly things into the pile that was an ignored and not turned sorta compost. Veg scraps and coffee grounds get thrown there, along with some other stuff. It had been neglected, not turned, and what was a mess of worms now looks lean.
Have fun!
Susan

grandmamaloy
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Worms/Worm Castings

Hey Susan,

It's worth a try, that's for sure! At the least, the worm castings will be good for the plants.

Keep us posted!

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applestar
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I always put earthworms in my container plants and they continue to make castings. I "water" with UCG mixed into the water as well as leftover coffee, tea, etc. I love seeing "worm signs" on the surface and the crumbly casting mulch left behind.

I've never purchased red wrigglers for compost, etc so I don't know about the variety, but mine came from the compost pile and under piles of leaves as well as stranded earthworms on the sidewalks and driveway after rain. Oh, and they move in on their own while the container plants vacation outside during the warmer months.

grandmamaloy
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Worming my plants

Hi applestar,

That's good to know. How big are your containers? I always do my tomatoes in containers on my patio just because I really like watching them and they seem to be the most delicate and I can baby them. I never thought about putting worms in the pots though. I will have to try that.

I love seeing the worm activity after a heavy dew or rain in my yard, so I know exactly what you're talking about. Please get back to me about the size of the containers. And what is UCG and you water with liquid coffee or just add the grounds?

Can't wait to hear back!

Susan W
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GM. I think it was Apple to encourage worms in pots. What's to lose?! I was dumping a few pots and saw some worms at the bottom. Now these were early basil, then gone south (10 -12" pots). I cut what I could for market (I sell fresh herbs at farmers market), tumped the pots. I will add I am not diligent. They are in container form, piled, perhaps 10 or so. One day, someday, Ill break them up as there is dirt, roots etc, and will mix into the ground beds. When tumping, noticed a few nice worms that had gone to bottom of pots (it had been hot then). BTW, when I throw in a few from whatever source, like to loosen the soil and give them nice worm-dig area.
Have fun!
Susan

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applestar
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Containers of all sizes. At least one worm in each pot. :D
I put my containers directly on the ground so if it gets too hot/dry, the worms just migrate into the ground but usually come back with cooler weather as long as I bring them in before freezing weather.

Since the containers are crammed into limited available windowsill space, the earthworms sometimes wander from one pot to another, usually at night. That or accidental overwatering has resulted in live or dried up worm on the floor but only two or three times in all the years that I've been doing this. Not enough to get creeped out about. :wink:

UCG=Used Coffee Grounds. I dump in watering can, add water then pour. last pot gets the sunken dregs so I try to give each pot a chance, though I have my favorites. Used loose tea leaves would work too as long as you scratch them into the soil, but tea leaves tend to mat and mold or otherwise look messy whereas coffee grounds can fake it and look like soil. 8)

grandmamaloy
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Worming my plants

Hi Apple...and here I thought UCG was something I was missing out on! LOL! I use them too, but now I'll have to sound all smart like you and use the acronym instead. ROFL! I kinda feel like a dummy...oh well.

I made a cool discovery. I think I mentioned I bought a very small greenhouse. I decided to get the pots ready and I put the greenhouse on the south side of my house, against the rock, so I'm hoping the heat will radiate from the rock and help this winter. Anyway, I had some bags of peat sitting outside since last year. I decided to mix the peat with my potting soil, but when I opened the bags, it was wet and more like soil than peat and had worms in it! So, I'm just using that! Will pick up herb seeds today and get them planted and see if this works. It is really an experiment to see if I can grow winter time herbs outside and if it doesn't work, then I'll plant an herb garden in the spring. I figure if there are worms living in the peat/soil, then it must be really healthy. I've got 3 window-box type planters (2-med & 1 lg), 1 lg gallon size pot and then 7-6" pots to fill. I hope I can still find seed for herbs. If I can't find them at the farm store, I know I can go online to GardenHarvestSupply and have them shipped.

Thanks for the tips and your input. I'll keep in touch about my success with the winter herbs.

john gault
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applestar wrote:I've never purchased red wrigglers for compost, etc so I don't know about the variety, but mine came from the compost pile and under piles of leaves as well as stranded earthworms on the sidewalks and driveway after rain. Oh, and they move in on their own while the container plants vacation outside during the warmer months.
I've also never purchased the redwigglers; If you got worms from your compost under piles of leaves chances are those are the red wigglers. Once I started my compost pile and heavily mulched under all my trees I started seeing the red wigglers, before that I only saw worm casting on bare ground around wormholes -- that's from the earthworms. They look very much the same, but their habitat is completly different.

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applestar
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So that's good news for Susan. :D

Susan and GrandmaM, keep us posted with ressults of your experiments. :wink:

Susan W
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Worm update! This isn't earth shattering, or perhaps is, if the worms do well in the pots and wiggly up the soil. Worm guy was at the market today, and we are neighbors. I have red wigglers. I wasn't quite sure, but it does take 2 to make more, even though each has both male and female. That's all I need to know! So if I got 2 worms in a pot I may find more when I tump them in the spring.....The handfuls of castings etc may have some eggs and teeny tinies that I missed seeing.
Have fun!
Susan

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