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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old February 10, 2009   #16
mresseguie
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Neva,

It's not uncommon for worms to take a week or so to adjust to their new environment. It's could be different temps, different bedding materials, shock from the move/shipping, or even orneriness. Your sweet potato peels will have to first start breaking down before the worms will feed. Bacteria are the prime facilitators that make food 'edible' to the worms. Be patient with the worms.

If you have any, mix in a couple handfuls of brown leaves just to add to the newspaper. If you have corn meal, flour, or oatmeal in your kitchen, toss in an ounce or so.

Did you soak the newspaper first?

60 to 90 degrees is okay. I've been told 50 to 80 is best for making babies, but yours is close enough.

Actually, I do not have a big operation. I re-started with approx. 2000 worms last year. I can't seem to count them now, but there seem to be more. ;-) My set up can supposedly house up to 12,000 without getting too crowded. We'll see how that unfolds. I occasionally help care for two big worm bins that look a lot like coffins. (8' long x 2' wide x 2' high) These have got kazillions of worms and produce prodigious amounts of castings each year.

Don't worry about using them as bait. I suspect it happens a lot. I'd sure use some if I had a stocked pond near me!

Michael
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Old February 13, 2009   #17
veggie babe
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michael,dice

thank you so much, i feel better after you posts. i do have corn meal,flour and oatmeal in the kitchen so i will try that this morning. as you can tell,i am a country girl (was country before country was cool) you have to have these staples in your kitchen to survive.

the temp has been down in the 20's several times so i should be good to go,now if they can stand the texas heat this summer we will alright.

thanks a bunch guys,

neva
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Old February 13, 2009   #18
mresseguie
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You're most welcome!

I grew up a [mostly] small city boy who didn't have much contact with the country. Now I wish I could live in the country with a few acres of my own. Unfortunately, my wife sees things differently as she's a big city girl through and through. I love her too much to alienate her by demanding we live in the country, so the backyard must suffice.

As Dice pointed out, worms can get pretty cold without actually dying. Just don't let them freeze. In summer heat, laying a couple wet burlap sacks (available from coffee roasters) on top helps cool the worms. Shade helps as well.

Have fun!

Michael
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Old February 13, 2009   #19
dice
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I stocked my worm bin from the yard. About 1/2 of the
original batch came out of a big pile of decaying leaves,
about 90% redworms, and the rest from a compost bin. By
now they have multiplied several times over. I did not worry
about getting a few immature nightcrawlers in there, too.
I figure that once they get big enough to be cramped for
space, they will just migrate out the drainage holes in the
bottom and go searching for deeper soil to inhabit.
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Last edited by dice; December 14, 2009 at 06:06 AM. Reason: clarity; removing old edit no longer needed
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Old February 13, 2009   #20
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OK - I have been very successful with my freecycle wants for leaves & horse/rabbit/goat manure & am now really considering asking for the "beer brewing leftovers". I suppose the worst thing I could do is spill it on myself loading into the pickup - eventually I'd stop gacking...
My neighbor's adult son came over today & was watching me layer the last of my old compost onto layers of leaves I picked up today. He RAN after helping me lift a 1/2 full 32 gallon trashcan of leftover horse manure tea that I was annointing my pile with (we have a PVC crack on outdoor water system we are fixing this weekend but now I am water restricted). The grainy sludge at the bottom of the can reminded me of the beer brewing leftovers... ah, glorious organics!
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Old February 13, 2009   #21
dice
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Worm heaven (layers of leaves, manure, and old compost
doused with manure tea). If there is a quarry around, mixing
granite dust into it will raise the earthworm content.

Another quality compost additive to watch for is grape pomace
(the wine-making equivalent of beer-brewing leftovers),
although it needs a hot pile to disable the grape seeds in it:

http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/NEWSLTR/v5n1/sa-3.htm
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Old February 14, 2009   #22
veggie babe
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Good info dice, my husband makes wine. We just planted several new vines, I’m going to have the happiest worms in Texas .
neva
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Old February 14, 2009   #23
newatthiskat
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Happy drunk worms!
Kat
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Old December 9, 2009   #24
mensplace
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Beer brewing is by its very nature anaerobic. I have a storage room full of many kinds that I brewed. If air gets into the brewing process it will ruin a batch...though in some countries like Belgium they use controlled open batch brewing to get a certain sourness. Both the ingredients and the process are very closely related to Bokashi. Some beers even use the Lacto cultures for a certain bite or wild flavor. KVASS, that some have raved about elsewhere, is simply weak, Rye beer. The sugars, grains, yeasts, etc.. would be good for a compost bin and for the soil. Not all anaerobic or aerobic bacteria is bad....or good. Too, the beer ingredients would be prone to "heat up" a compost pile.
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Old December 11, 2009   #25
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I've always believed that you could put any plant-based substance through a compost system ,maybe not a worm farm ,but I use tumblers ,traditional heaps and open steel drums for mine ,and they are full of worms if in contact with the ground .
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Old December 13, 2009   #26
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I am a new member and I looked around to see what would catch my eye the most and guess what! It was dinosaur worms! I called up my neighbor to come over to read it a second time---all 2 pages of it! We do not drink beer, but we are ready to hunt down the closest brewery!
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