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Southwest Gardening forum: Do Worms Hibernate?

Views: 458, Replies: 18 » Jump to the end
Name: Mary
Phoenix Arizona
MaryMcP
Feb 7, 2010 8:22 AM CST
I had lots of worms in my beds last summer/fall. When I turned in some compost a couple of weeks ago, I didn't see a one. Do I need to buy some more from WalMart or are they just sleeping?

Wasn't sure which forum to post this in but since tomatoes are mainly what I can't grow - and wanna grow - thought I'd start here.
Name: Jayne
Glendale/Parks Az
Charter ATP Member Permaculture Vegetable Grower
rtl850nomore
Feb 7, 2010 8:49 AM CST
They might have run away from home because you didn't feed them. Dig a hole and put in some green kitchen waste, shredded newspaper or shredded brown grocery bags and coffee grounds. Sprinkle a bit of that dried lasses if you have any left. Sugar will do if you don't. Wet everything down and cover that hole back up and they should come back home. Keep hole composting in that area you want to grow in so that they stay around.
The reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment.
Name: Dan
San Tan Valley, AZ
Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: Southwest Gardening Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Tropicals
Dann_L
Feb 7, 2010 9:32 AM CST
I agree with Jayne. Way back in the day when I had a worm farm we used to feed the worms coffee grounds and cornmeal along with kitchen vegetable scraps.

If the compost is still hot they will retreat until the temps come back to their comfort zone.
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap ...What a ride!'
Name: Jayne
Glendale/Parks Az
Charter ATP Member Permaculture Vegetable Grower
rtl850nomore
Feb 7, 2010 12:54 PM CST
You can also use shredded leaves in the hole in place of the shredded paper. Worms love leaves. If you need some Mary I raked up 6 bags of them behind the Sprouts store over by me. I will be glad to drop off a bag on my way to the school Monday afternoon.
The reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment.
Name: Mary
Phoenix Arizona
MaryMcP
Feb 7, 2010 1:45 PM CST
Thanks jayne, leaves I've got.

Do you want to split another big bag of molasses? I was thinking about that the other day. We can meet at the feed store again and portion it out. LMK and I'll call them to order.
Name: Jayne
Glendale/Parks Az
Charter ATP Member Permaculture Vegetable Grower
rtl850nomore
Feb 7, 2010 2:49 PM CST
Thanks Mickey Pea but I am using EM right now, have a quart to finish up. Might be interested come fall though.
The reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment.
Name: Mary
Phoenix Arizona
MaryMcP
Feb 14, 2010 4:13 PM CST
Butch turned one of the beds for me today and said there are at least 15 million worms in there! They came baaaaacckkk.
Name: Dan
San Tan Valley, AZ
Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: Southwest Gardening Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Tropicals
Dann_L
Feb 14, 2010 4:44 PM CST
Happy days are here again!
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap ...What a ride!'
Name: Kelly
Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
locakelly
Feb 20, 2010 7:46 PM CST
FWIW, I read in the Ronniger's Potato catalog an interesting tidbit... To paraphrase: the sugar in molasses is a good way to enhance the health of potatoes and the soil by feeding and multiplying the beneficial soil microbes. Put 1 cup of molasses (liquid) in 5 gallons of water. Stir occasionally and let it work for a day or two. Then apply the liquid so that it soaks to the root zone of the potatoes. You can do this 1-4 times during the growing season. It is said to help prevent scab as the beneficial microbes compete against the harmful soil fungus that causes it.

I'm sure you could water other things with it as well to help the soil?
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown
Moderator for Southwest Living Vegetable Forum


Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
Image
tomatofreak
Feb 27, 2010 4:31 PM CST
Kelly, I got that catalog, too. Very interesting stuff there. However, after the potato debacle of '08 (or was it '07?), I'm not sure I'll try those again here. I do have some sprouted spuds, though....
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
Name: Kelly
Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
locakelly
Feb 27, 2010 9:08 PM CST
I'm slacking on planting my taters - lol. Got sprouts about to leaf out if I don't get them in the ground. Ran out of time today - hopefully tomorrow.

That catalog has great info!
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown
Moderator for Southwest Living Vegetable Forum


Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses
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Steve812
Apr 13, 2010 10:08 PM CST
I felt like an idiot all last year when I would sneak out in to the garden at six thirty to bury my week's worth of coffee grounds and banana peels. But this time last year there weren't many earthworms in the garden. This year they are plentiful. I was afraid I was just attracting bad company; but is sounds like I got a reward worth the effort. Worms. I guess I gotta take up that task again.
Name: RoseAnn Lucke
Queen Creek
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ropegro
Dec 19, 2010 10:18 PM CST
Because it gets so hot here can I grown worms in a bin in my backyard. I have a young garden, 1 yr. old. I have added a lot of various organic ammendments and as of yet I have not seen a single worm. I even purchased some from WalMart but after two days they were gone even though I had plenty of kitchen scraps in the ground. Now I would like to grow some in a bin, confined, but I don't want them to roast in the bin when it gets hot here. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks
ropegro
Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ (Zone 9a)
Southwest Gardening~ moderator/ATP.
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer Forum moderator Region: Southwest Gardening Garden Ideas: Level 2 Roses
Birds Region: United States of America Garden Art Dog Lover Daylilies Hummingbirder
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Aguane
Dec 19, 2010 11:22 PM CST

Moderator

Glad you've found us, RoseAnne, welcome.
I have a compost pile (only about 6 months old) where I add kitchen scraps and leaves. I have worms at the moment. I moved this pile from anther location in my yard that seemed to be conducive to worms in summer. Few, but they were apparent. That location was on the east side of a north / south facing block wall with lots and lots of shade and needed moisture. What sort of exposure do you have? It might have something to do with whether you can keep the worms active. If not, I'll tell you we've had this conversation before and it appears that the worms do migrate *somewhere* and reappear during cooler weather. I think it might depend on the exposure of you pile, however.
Maybe some others will drop in and add more wisdom; Kelly, Jayne, Jill, Dete, Dan etc.
“Don't give up too quickly"... unknown, I heard it somewhere.
~ All Things Plants, SOUTHWEST GARDENING ~Cubits.org ENERGY & POWER
Name: Dan
San Tan Valley, AZ
Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: Southwest Gardening Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Tropicals
Dann_L
Dec 20, 2010 10:35 AM CST
I have not had a lot of success with sustaining a year round worm population in my raised beds either. Having said that, it is only fair to mention that outside of introducing a few containers of fishing worms to the beds I have not given much effort towards that goal.
It's quite possible that birds and lizards got most of them when they surface after a heavy watering or rain.

Long ago I had a number of worm bins on my property in N Cal. They were 4'x8' and about 15" deep. I would water them lightly about once a week and feed them corn meal and coffee grounds as well as kitchen scrap. When I started there were several thousand worms in each bed. After 2 years when I sold a couple the estimated population was around 20/25 thousand per bed.

That project didn't pan out finanically so I dumped the remaining worm bins (10) out and created a 40' by 80' vegetable garden on that spot. For the next 25 years I had an incredible vegetable garden!
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap ...What a ride!'
Name: Alan
Chandler, AZ; 85225 (Zone 9b)
Sunset Zone 13
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Plumerias Plant and/or Seed Trader Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Bulbs Container Gardener
GardenGuyAZ
Dec 20, 2010 2:52 PM CST
Bag of Molasses? I thought Molasses came in a jar. That's the only way I've ever bought it???

























Name: Jayne
Glendale/Parks Az
Charter ATP Member Permaculture Vegetable Grower
rtl850nomore
Dec 20, 2010 4:31 PM CST
Alan, you can buy dried molasses by the bag at feed stores.

The only way I have been able to keep worms around is to feed them weekly by hole composting kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, etc directly in my garden beds.

There is a guy in Mesa who has outside worm bins year around. When I get more time I will post more about him. Interesting guy...interesting property...I just took a tour of his place two weeks ago.
The reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment.
Name: Alan
Chandler, AZ; 85225 (Zone 9b)
Sunset Zone 13
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Plumerias Plant and/or Seed Trader Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Bulbs Container Gardener
GardenGuyAZ
Dec 20, 2010 5:35 PM CST
So you put the dried molasses in your soil? Sorry, I'm missing something here.

Alan

























Name: Jayne
Glendale/Parks Az
Charter ATP Member Permaculture Vegetable Grower
rtl850nomore
Dec 20, 2010 6:46 PM CST
http://www.phoenixpermaculture.org/video/worm-bin-overview-h...
Vermicomposting video

ropegro keep an eye on the Permaculture Guild for vermicomposting classes. They cover how to do the bins outside.
Also watch for tours of the Bee Oasis in Mesa. The Bee Oasis is the house with the outside worm bins.

Alan, dried molasses is an organic strategy for feeding microbes. Microbes increase the health of the soil and worms consume microbes. Worms don't actually eat the burried food rather the microbes that break down the burried food. Yes, I use dried molasses in my soil...just a little desert for my microbes...sweetens them up for my worms.

Thumb of 2010-12-21/rtl850nomore/006dc5
Check out the romaine lettuce the worms helped me produce. I am fixin to go out and pick some of that for dinner tonight.
The reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they give up what they want most for what they want at the moment.

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