All Things Gardening forum→PSA: Composting & Earthworms

Views: 868, Replies: 15 » Jump to the end
Zone 8a
Birds Salvias Roses Foliage Fan Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dragonflies
Bee Lover Ferns Butterflies Irises
Image
OAP
Jun 8, 2020 12:36 PM CST
Hey kids! I did not see a forum on composting (unless I somehow overlooked it!), so I am posting this public service message here.

If like myself you are trying to rebuild depleted, dead soil, you probably are already adding compost to your garden. Worm castings are also extremely good although I have not used those yet. I really want to add live earthworms to my garden, but right now, the soil is not really rich enough to support them. However, I found a lovely seller in Oregon who not only sells earthworm castings but will sell cocoons and babies as well. He sells for a very reasonable price, too.

This is fabulous news for me as I have been looking for live earthworms since last year and could not find any. Now I know, though, that I should not add them until my soil is rich enough to support them, so maybe next year(?) How long does it take the soil to become rich enough to support earthworms if you compost at least twice per year by the way?? Confused

Anyway, for anyone interested in buying castings or the cocoons and babies, the man's name is Peter. He sells on etsy. His shop is called Pinecreek Enterprises.

You are very welcome! Green Grin!
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
[Last edited by OAP - Jun 8, 2020 1:03 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2267324 (1)
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Daylilies Composter Cottage Gardener Hibiscus Enjoys or suffers hot summers Zinnias
Salvias Bulbs Amaryllis Lilies Clematis Region: Texas
Image
Altheabyanothername
Jun 8, 2020 1:48 PM CST
There is a forum for composting....Soil and compost. Thumbs up

Just a couple of notes...not sure if you know there is a difference between earthworms and composting worms which are red wigglers. Earthworms are for soil and eat waaayyy less than composting worms. Most earth worm castings come from composting worms.

Always be careful when introducing non-native worms. If you do not have them find either a neighbor who does or someone locally. Spring is the only time here to really catch them. Summer and winter they hide deeper. Take a 10 inch nursery pot with big holes on the side or bottom and dig it down in about 4 inches. Put in the bottom half some crumpled leaves, coffee grinds, a little chopped up fruit, handful or two of soil, and a sprinkle of wood chips. Make sure it is in a shady area as close as you can to your outside water. Keep it damp, but not soggy. Check it in the fall for earthworms...I think by next spring you should have some that moved in.

Many blessings for a spectacular year!
One to take to heart....1 John 4
Zone 8a
Birds Salvias Roses Foliage Fan Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dragonflies
Bee Lover Ferns Butterflies Irises
Image
OAP
Jun 8, 2020 4:19 PM CST
Oh, I totally missed that because I did not think to look under "soil" just "compost." Whistling

No, I do not have room to compost, so I am not interested in the composting worms. I want earthworms. The soil all around here is so dead. Few people around here have done any sort of gardening. I can dig two feet into the ground here and not find anything. Maybe I can try that pot trick somewhere else. There is a very lovely park not too far from here that is surrounded by beautiful and very expensive homes. I even see wildlife there that I am surprised to see. Maybe I can put a pot down in the ground over there somewhere. I never heard of doing that before. I hope it works!! Thank you!

I will probably opt for worm castings from that etsy seller, and then maybe later I can add earthworms. The important question is how rich does my soil have to be to support them, and how long will it take me to get it that rich?? I composted once last Spring because no one told me to do it again in October. I did it this Spring and plan to do it again in October. I am not very experienced, but my gut feeling tells me I could be doing this for quite a few years before my soil is rich enough to be a good environment to keep earthworms. As a child, I could start digging anywhere around my home and turn up tons of them. I thought I would always find them anywhere I dug. Boy was I wrong!! Rolling my eyes.
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Frillylily
Jun 8, 2020 4:52 PM CST
what is the difference between composting worms and earthworms?
Zone 8a
Birds Salvias Roses Foliage Fan Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dragonflies
Bee Lover Ferns Butterflies Irises
Image
OAP
Jun 8, 2020 4:56 PM CST
I am sure Altheabyanothername could explain it best, but just in physical terms, composting worms are red in colour and very active. Earthworms are more pink and pale, and I haver never seen them active above ground.

Altheabyanothername, please tell us more. Thank You!
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
[Last edited by OAP - Jun 8, 2020 4:58 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2267605 (5)

Sweetgreen
Jun 8, 2020 4:58 PM CST
I have a bunch , I guess it's because of the moist ground , and I leave boards in garden and keep the soil covered with straw or grass clippings . I got away from excessive tilling I can leave a board in the driveway and look under it and find them .
Zone 8a
Birds Salvias Roses Foliage Fan Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dragonflies
Bee Lover Ferns Butterflies Irises
Image
OAP
Jun 8, 2020 4:59 PM CST
How lucky, Sweetgreen! In which part of the country are you??
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts

Sweetgreen
Jun 8, 2020 6:06 PM CST
I'm in western Kentucky, I have found Indian tools in it so maby they farmed it , there was a house by it I'm sure they farmed it , my dad , grandfather , now me ,
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Daylilies Composter Cottage Gardener Hibiscus Enjoys or suffers hot summers Zinnias
Salvias Bulbs Amaryllis Lilies Clematis Region: Texas
Image
Altheabyanothername
Jun 8, 2020 6:13 PM CST
Composting worms are usually red wrigglers. Smaller than typical earthworms. Huge appetites for decomposing material. They have to be fed material to break down. They multiple quicker than traditional garden earthworms. All they eat turns into a lot of worm castings. Earthworms in the garden are larger and will take dead organic material from the top of the ground and tunnel it underground. Slow eaters, slower to multiply, and not that much in worm castings...but they aerate the soil.

OAG-- digging in different organic materials will help break up clay.
Both the digging and material help achieve this. Then hopefully the worms will come and continue to help the clay from compacting.

I garden inground along with very large containers, 20 inch or larger. My earthworms are few and far between because I have a terrible mole problem. When I find garden earthworms I throw them into my containers, too. Alfalfa pellets twice a year, pecans and wood mulch...if composting worms were in there...I do not think I could keep them fed.

Here in Texas spring is about the only time I hunt for earthworms...otherwise they hide.

Many blessings to everyone for good health and a healthy garden!
One to take to heart....1 John 4
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Frillylily
Jun 8, 2020 6:15 PM CST
I have never heard of composting worms, around here we have earthworms, and what we call nightcrawlers, that get really large. But never heard of composting worms.
Zone 8a
Birds Salvias Roses Foliage Fan Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dragonflies
Bee Lover Ferns Butterflies Irises
Image
OAP
Jun 8, 2020 6:22 PM CST
I sometimes find what I want by posting a "wanted" ad on CL. I posted one today for earthworms. Some kind soul might let me come dig for some this Autumn or next Spring, and by then, maybe my soil will be better. Crossing Fingers!

Now, how long does it take to create a really rich garden soil if you add compost twice a year and perhaps some worm castings?
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Daylilies Composter Cottage Gardener Hibiscus Enjoys or suffers hot summers Zinnias
Salvias Bulbs Amaryllis Lilies Clematis Region: Texas
Image
Altheabyanothername
Jun 8, 2020 6:55 PM CST
Although we are somewhat in the same area...my soil problems are opposite yours. I have sand that was old cotton fields. I add and add organic, but it revertes back to sand every growing season.
The heat, heavy-feeding massive trees, pecans and cottonwoods,
moles and ants...so many ants that when it rains, they temporarily drive out the moles. The ants alone would keep my yard sand...they bite but are not fire ants. My battle for good soil will never end.

You have clay...you have hope Big Grin Clay will hold moisture and that helps the soil not wear out in the heat. Besides compost, digging, and worm castings, wood chips on top as mulch would also help your soil. Could not guess a time frame because of the extreme difference in soil types. Maybe someone else would have an idea.

May the remainder of the week be fantastic!

One to take to heart....1 John 4

Sweetgreen
Jun 8, 2020 7:01 PM CST
I don't know , beans grow in poor soil and there a nitrogen fixer I rotate crops , I have cut the grass off a spot and took a pepper shaker full of radish seeds and shook them out and they done fine your soil may surprise you , when I got away from deep plowing , there is no words for the abuse I used to do with tractors and equipment but now I use minimum to no till and I feel that I can see positive results .
Zone 8a
Birds Salvias Roses Foliage Fan Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dragonflies
Bee Lover Ferns Butterflies Irises
Image
OAP
Jun 8, 2020 7:45 PM CST
Clay = Hope. Thanks, Althea! Green Grin!

Good for you, Sweetgreen! Gardening is a lot of hard work, but I prefer it to a lot of other hard work because it is infinitely more rewarding.
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts
Florida
TerryCloth
Jun 13, 2020 9:45 AM CST
I learned the hard way that rats invaded my compost pile. I probably didn't turn it enough. I read an article from "David the Good" that solved it. He said to bury your material to be composted. We keep an empty plastic coffee can with lid under the kitchen sink and once it's full we take it out to where we want to garden. We dig a new hole each time. We now have two gardens to grow both winter and spring crops. And the worms have found them.
Zone 8a
Birds Salvias Roses Foliage Fan Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dragonflies
Bee Lover Ferns Butterflies Irises
Image
OAP
Jun 13, 2020 11:56 AM CST
I have never had a compost pile, TerryCloth, but I have heard about rats and (ugh) roaches getting into them. I buy a good quality compost from an organic garden centre about 20 miles from my home. I do not like to drive that far, but doing it twice a year is not too horrendous. I have a friend whose son is trying to get a landscaping business off of the ground. He said $10 a bag for compost (which is what I pay) is very expensive, but it is a pretty big bag, and I do not have to worry about trying to build and maintain a compost pile.

My city collects yard waste such as grass clippings and tree trimmings, etc., and uses it to make compost that is free to all. You just have to go pick it up. I have never used any from the city because I really cannot vouch for wha goes into theirs. Who knows how picky they are? At least buying it from the organic garden centre that has been around for many years, I feel confident I am buying quality compost.

I am not sure what you mean by digging a hole..... Are you saying you save your kitchen waste such as potato, apple, and banana skins and periodically bury the waste in different holes around your garden beds???? Is that what you do?? How well has that worked? Has it drawn any vermin at all? Do the scraps break down quickly?? Are the plants and soil thriving from doing that?? I would certainly give it a go if that is the case!

Thanks for posting. Smiling
Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.
~ Gregory David Roberts

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« All Things Gardening forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "'Strawberry Lace' Daylily"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.