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growing with your worm castings

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growing with your worm castings

Post  GWN on 2/4/2013, 11:35 am

I have started a few Embarassed seeds indoors in little pots. I have limited supplies right now and have made some mels mix for the seeds with what is left of vermiculite, peat and my worm castings.
Unfortunately, and somewhat expectantly... the worm castings are FULL of seeds since they have been eating my tomatoes all fall. SOOOOO Embarassed my little pots are full of little tomato seeds.
I have also planted some flower seeds and soon enough I WILL be able to tell them apart, but with the tomatoes I have just planted each pot that I put 2 seeds in has about 25 tomato plants growing.... Hard to know which plant is THE plant I wanted.
Anyone else had this issue. I guess this has happened to me before with the compost, but usually my plants are of a certain size before the volunteers start coming up.
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Re: growing with your worm castings

Post  JackieB999 on 2/4/2013, 12:37 pm

Wow, it's amazing that they grow when we dont want them to! LOL! They might end up being a killer tomato crop.

I don't farm my own worms (yet lol)... but I wondered if it's a good idea to keep scrap seeds out of the worm bin?
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Re: Growing with your worm castings

Post  GloriaG on 2/4/2013, 1:28 pm

Hi GWN,

Sorry you're having such trouble with your seedlings.

FWIW - I have been very successful starting seeds in little containers of pure vermiculite than moving them to little pots of MM. If you haven't started all your seeds yet, and have some vermiculite left, you might try that. Then, by the time you move them you'd be able to differentiate the tomato volunteers from your intended starts.

With your existing tomato seedlings, perhaps you will be able to tell by the leaf shape and color as well as where they're located in the pot.

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Re: growing with your worm castings

Post  camprn on 2/4/2013, 2:12 pm

This is a good example of why I use a sterile seed starting mixture. Hang in there GWN.

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Re: growing with your worm castings

Post  GWN on 2/4/2013, 2:24 pm

YEs good point...
I guess I have always used sterile seed starting mixes, but was hoping not to buy any more stuff this year, especially vermiculite since all my beds are made.
However I guess I CAN see vermiculite on a future shopping list ....
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Re: growing with your worm castings

Post  littlejo on 2/4/2013, 11:18 pm

GWN, sorry to hear of your many tomato plants. You can just use what you have to start seeds, but pop in the microwave for about 3 min to sterilize first. You could make up some filtered worm tea to give the plants a boost after they are up.

I made a mistake with my worms last summer. I was busy, and cut a musk melon, scooped out the seed mess, and just put straight into my worms. A couple days later, lifted the lid, and had about 300 melon plants growing in the dark. Of course it was too late in the year to put in the garden.
Jo
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Re: growing with your worm castings

Post  plantoid on 2/5/2013, 9:20 am

Gwn , perhaps pour a couple of kettles of boiling water into a half bucket of what you want to use for seed starting to sterilize and kill off any seeds in it . Let it cook &cool by itself ( don't add cold water ), drain off, spread it out and when it's dry enough to handle..
It will be free of any seeds that could germinate thus giving you a clear start . Useful bacteria & fungi out the air will regenerate of its own accord .

Perhaps keep the drained off brew as a liquid fertilizer .
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Re: growing with your worm castings

Post  GWN on 2/5/2013, 9:48 am

thanks for all the suggestions and comments. This is only a very small part of my planting. The tomatoes are way to early anyways, I could just dump them out and start over.
The other plants are more important, they are the only seeds I have of a mystery plant I have kept going for years,.....however I will be able to recognize the seedlings of these ones because I have been transplanting them for about 15 years.
Plantoid the worm castings are not totally sterile of worms either, I guess I could not sterilize it for fear of killing worms. BB\'s happy face
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