Ask a Question forum: millipedes in my container

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Name: Bhingri
(Zone 6b)
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bhingari
May 30, 2014 10:22 AM CST
I had two 5 gallon buckets I used to grow eggplant and pepper last season. I just got them up from the basement to amend the soil and put eggplant seedlings in. One of the bucket has depleted soil and a lot of what I think are millipedes. What should I do with it now? do I have to dump the soil? Are they harmful to the plants. Can I just scoop out some soil and hope not all of the five gallon is infested?
Photo attached so that somebody can confirm those are millipedes.

Both the buckets were next to each other, but only one has the infestation. This one had another small planter upside down in it was the only difference.

Thumb of 2014-05-30/bhingari/6c8a1f
Thumb of 2014-05-30/bhingari/be20b6

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
May 30, 2014 3:14 PM CST
As I recall, millipedes eat other insects, so no they are not harmful to the plants. Beneficial, in fact. Still, I'd refresh that soil before planting your new plants, adding at least half new potting soil to the mix. A healthy population of millipedes might mean there's somebody else living in there as well. Otherwise what have they been feeding on?

Or, you could dump those containers into your new raised bed, and start completely fresh.
Elaine

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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
May 30, 2014 3:27 PM CST
It depends on the species. I know a few species are omnivorous and some are even carnivorous. They feed on insects, earthworms, snails, centipedes, etc. Some species have mouth parts that allow them to feed on plant juices.
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Name: Bhingri
(Zone 6b)
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bhingari
May 31, 2014 8:48 AM CST
But are they millipedes?
Yesterday's heavy rain or the sun before that seems to have killed them all. Well at least they are not moving anymore. sigh.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
May 31, 2014 9:04 AM CST
Those are millipedes. Millipedes feed mostly on decaying matter, but as Tee said some feed on other things.
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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
May 31, 2014 10:27 AM CST
Thumbs up
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Bhingri
(Zone 6b)
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bhingari
May 31, 2014 11:33 AM CST
Thank you. I dumped some soil out. Refreshed it and planted eggplants. My outdoor planting season begins :)

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