earth worms

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by dreuky, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. dreuky

    dreuky Junior Member

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    The place I am leaving has lots of earth worms but the place I am going to is sand, over clay and very over worked as a cattle pasture and as far as I can dig no worms. I was thinking I would like to start a vegie garden and get worms established there and hopefully I can get them migrating out to the "wide world" when I get the soil a bit better out there. My question is how to I get worms into the vegie garden? I plan to add lots of cow and horse manure to the soil as that is what I have a lot of. I may be able to get lawn clippings as well. I thought about trying to dig up worms from this place to transport down to Milang, but it will be some months between leaving here and when I am ready to start the vegie garden at Milang, so it would be hard to keep them alive until I am ready. Can I buy earth worms, if so where? Any other thoughts about getting some. Also I have read that earth worms don't transplant very well that I really need to get very little ones or eggs.
    I always have lots of worms in my horse manure piles. When the piles are hot the worms go down into the soil below and then come back up into the manure when it cools down. These should be easy to harvest. I was wondering if I could just take a bucket of them down to Milang and pile a load of manure on top of them somewhere out of the way of the house builders and keep it damp until I am ready to start my vegie patch?
     
  2. Gourmet Garden

    Gourmet Garden Junior Member

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    I am also thinking of keeping earthworms. From my research so far, I understand that there are many, many different species of earthworms, which fall into 2 main categories: compost worms and deep-burrowing earthworms (also sometimes called "nightcrawlers"). Compost worms are the best choice for worm bins, but they don't survive easily when placed into the average garden soil. Deep-burrowing earthworms are much better for improving garden soils. Compost worms are readily available from worm farms everywhere all over the world. Deep-burrowing earthworms are harder to find. I'm not sure where you live. Someone else on a gardening forum helped me find a place to buy deep-burrowing worm eggs in Australia, where I am. It's the product called "Garden Worm Bomb":

    https://www.kookaburrawormfarms.com.au/products.html

    In your current situation, maybe if you dug out a few buckets of your current soil from underneath your current manure pile, this soil will probably contain quite a few earthworm eggs. If you took some of this soil with you to your new place, and keep this soil in cold storage, eg, below 10 degrees Celsius storage but not so cold as to kill any of the eggs, and then waited for a few months until your new vegetable patch is ready, and then added this old soil (which will hopefully contain many earthworm eggs), then any eggs will hatch when they warm up in the warmer garden soil and the earthworm life cycle should begin again in your new garden.
     
  3. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    I would possibly just start building your garden beds, provide them with the good habitat and wait for them to turn up. And they will.

    If, for some chance they didn't, then perhaps a bomb from the aforementioned site.

    While earthworms are great for the garden, it's only one part of the puzzle and you will get returns from a garden without them while their populations increase.

    But, stockpiling organic materials at your new house isn't a terrible idea and if you can do it, I would. I've kept a pile of mulch on my driveway for 3 years now and it's amazing. Order in some wood mulch, manure piles, clippings, and by the time you get there you will have a delicious mix for the garden and earthworms will probably already be in there.
     
  4. dreuky

    dreuky Junior Member

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    Thanks for all your thoughts. I've looked up the worm website. That looks really interesting and if the other ideas don't work I'll get some worm bombs through them
     
  5. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    generally i'd avoid using uncomposted lawn clippings from one place to the other as it is likely you'll be moving weed seeds too.

    deeper digging worms don't tend to transplant well as they usually develop their tunnel network over a lifetime, it gets bigger as they do. when you find a nightcrawler away from it's burrow it is in trouble and takes a long time to dig a new one.

    establish where you want your garden beds, increase organic materials and add composting worms as they will gladly live in that top layer of soil and organic materials, it does help to make sure there is a deep layer of mulch if the weather gets hot and dry.

    adding the other species to the mix can be a challenge as i think it is important to add the ones more native to an area instead of importing those from further away.
     
  6. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

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    All good advice. My little plot over here was sand/clay mix down to a handbreadth and then mostly sand about eight years ago. Not a worm anywhere. The following year after loads of horse manure and straw and general household compost the worms seemed to come from nowhere. As these folks have said "Build it and they will come"

    just my $.02 worth.

    Uncle Ben
     
  7. dreuky

    dreuky Junior Member

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    I know the idea of build it and they will come is a good idea but my land is in the middle of farmland that I don't think has a worm for miles so they will have to come a LONG way. I like the idea of getting worm eggs from Kookaburra worm farms. They aren't that expensive so once I've got a good layer of horse poo etc I think I will send for some and see what happens. Songbird I get what you are saying about the possibility of spreading weed seeds but this place is so barren that weeds would actually be good anything green would be an improvement. I figure in the vegie garden it won't be hard to keep on top of the weeds. I was planning on pulling up anything I don't want letting it die/dry and then adding it back to the mix.
     
  8. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i understand the sentiment, but still think it a good idea to introduce known good species vs. potential pest species. i've made the mistake years ago here on this property by using several "wildflower" seed mixes without looking at the individual species listed and paid for it dearly.

    spot weeding is useful, smothering with cardboard and wood chips is quicker, then i plant into holes through the cardboard or in strips. saves a lot of effort to not have to weed spaces in between rows. by the time the cardboard breaks down most weeds are smothered or have a hard time coming back if a second round is needed.

    in a whole new area the first thing i do is figure out where i want the water to go and how to keep the topsoil from being washed away. leveling, swaling, etc. before anything else. saves a lot of work later. also known from painful experience (where i live now has many gardens not designed or sited with the elements and water flows in mind, so i have to retrofit and work around gardens or features)...

    good luck. : )
     

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