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Worm Tube for the SFG

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Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  Josh on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:10 pm

I read in a gardening newsletter about Worm Tubes in your garden and how to make them. I made one for my sfg and wanted to share how to do it with all of you.
We have talked about worms in sfgs before and this might just be a way to do it.
I took a 5 inch PVC pipe and my dad helped me cut inch size holes in it, up to the 6 inch depth of a sfg box.

I put it in my sfg

And I drove a stake into the ground to give it support so it wouldn't fall over

I added some compost

added some worms

some left over food

Then for a lid, I took a flower pot and glued a screen over the hole so flies won't get in.



The article that I read said the worms can leave the tube through the holes and go out into the garden, leaving worm castings in the garden, then come back into it for food.
I thought it's worth a try.

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  choksaw on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:19 pm

Not a bad idea pretty easy and simple design to boot nice find and nice job on the mini tutorial

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  ColoradoNatureGirl on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:28 pm

Great idea! I was just looking into Worm Buckets, what a great combination without having to take your worm casing to your garden, they do it for you. Let us know how it goes Josh!

Your tutorial was great!

Stephanie thanks

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  timwardell on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:46 pm

Great idea! Thanks for posting this. Very Happy

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  milaneyjane on Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:55 pm

Great idea---definately will have to try it.

Rebecca

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question about worm tube

Post  jenjehle on Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:13 pm

Sorry if this is a dumb quesiton... but can someone explain exactly what the benefits of doing this would be? I'm guessing the worms go out into the garden and leave their waste? So instead of putting your normal items all in the compost, you put some into this tube?


I would love to understand the benefits better. Not sure I want to give up a square of my veggie space for a worm tube unless it's really worth it. But I may just do it if it really have a positive impact on my garden Smile

Thanks in advance for the info!

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  mckr3441 on Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:24 am

Josh, that's a great idea! I love worms in my garden. Now I know how to make that happen. Can you tell me why you made the holes so large? Would smaller holes work?

Thank you!

Claire

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  boffer on Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:22 am

mckr3441 wrote:Can you tell me why you made the holes so large?

He must feed them too well! rofl

good idea idea, Josh

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  timwardell on Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:17 am

jenjehle wrote:Sorry if this is a dumb quesiton... but can someone explain exactly what the benefits of doing this would be? I'm guessing the worms go out into the garden and leave their waste? So instead of putting your normal items all in the compost, you put some into this tube?
Thanks in advance for the info![/color][/font]
Most long-time gardeners (and many agricultural experts) will tell you that worm castings (worm poop) is one of the absolute best fertilizers you could ever use on your garden. A tube like this would create a multiple win/win because the worms would enter the pipe through the larges holes (needed for easy access - small holes would limit their ability to enter and exit - a 1" borer bit on your drill will do this), eat the compost (just as they do in the much discussed Wiggler Hilton in another forum thread), then exit the tube, aerate the soil, and leave poop in their wake.

I can easily see the benefits of this in normal soil (plain 'ol dirt) but what about Mel's Mix. Another thread discussed the prescence/absences of worms in Mel's Mix. The bottom 6 inches of my 12" beds are filled with amended topsoil and is LOADED with earthworms. The top 6" (all Mel's Mix) not so much. So what's the consensus - do most of you find earthworms in your Mel's Mix?

@Josh - Do you already have earthworms in your boxes? In your Mel's Mix? Curious minds want to know.
Thanks.

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  Josh on Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:33 pm

Thanks everyone,

jenjehle, I didn't give up the whole square, the pipe is only 5 inches round and I placed it in the corner of a square, that still leaves me enough room to plant radish, onions, even a smaller plant like a pepper plant still should grow ok there. I put my worm tube in that square because it didn't have anything planted there yet, but a person might want to put it in the middle of their garden.

Thanks Tim for your answers, I agree with Tim, I think the holes are 1 inch to give the worms lots space to come and go freely from garden to tube.

One of the benefits of having the worm tube directly in your garden rather than add your left over food scraps to your compost pile is that your compost pile takes time to break down before it becomes usable compost, worm poop is ready to use instantly and the worms are spreading it for you.
In my worm compost bin the worms travel all over in it, they do not stay just inside the bedding, often they are on the lid and sides of the box leaving worm poop everywhere with in the bin, so I'm pretty sure the worms are going to travel about in the sfg.
We talked about in our other discussion about there would maybe not be enough food to feed worms in your sfg, this would solve that problem and not be messy.

Tim to answer your question about do I have worms in my sfg, yes I do but not alot of them. They have traveled there on their own, or have hatched from worm cocoons from when I added worm compost from my worm compost bin.

I can easily see the benefits of this in normal soil (plain 'ol dirt)
but what about Mel's Mix.
Now we know that Mel's mix is the perfect mix for our plants, and we just need to add some compost when we harvest a square for the next new crop, but I read this in an article, here is a quote from the professor:
"Even when we provided all plants with enough
fertilizer for optimum growth, plants still grew better when the soil
was amended with worm compost," reports Jim Metzger, Ph.D., horticulture
professor at Ohio State.

Hope I explained everything ok.

I can give it a try...I'll let you know how I do with it.
Thanks everyone!

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  Lavender Debs on Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:58 pm

I wouldn't have thought to feed them that way. My gardens are full of worms (doesn't that sound gross? maybe I should call them red wigglers) Worm "castings" (me, I like to call it poop but am ever warned that I spend too much time with 5th grade boys), ARE great for the garden but even better is what they do to keep the soil soft.

I started putting red wigglers into pots of herbs in my kitchen window. I think one of my boys brought one in and asked if he could keep it as a pet (??? I KNOW). We dropped him (him??) into a pot of oregano in the window. A funny thing happened, the soil in that pot got soft instead of the usual house plant hard. I never added any fertilizer (not that I would have added chemicals, but there were “teas”). We only sprinkled cornmeal on top of the soil of the pot to feed him, because my dad used to toss it on the bin of fishing worms he kept in the basement. Two years later the soil was fresh and bouncy while other soil from the same mix in other house plants was like brick.

Most of what we learned was by accident.

Make a happy worm habitat instead of striving for good root anchors.

Do not drown nor parch wormy.....mr oregano was much happier with a happy wormy (so was miss african violet)

Instead of feeding the plant, feed the worm. House plant worms were only fed cornmeal because we didn't know any better. No matter what we fed other house plants, no plant did as well as the plant with the worm, not just because of the "castings" but because of the condition of the soil as he tunneled about.

Deborah ....who is sure that worm had a name but I'll be jiggered if I can remember it.

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  timwardell on Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:37 pm

Thanks Josh & Debs! This is great info. Very Happy

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  sbeach on Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:34 am

I want to adopt you Josh!

That worm tube idea looks like the solution for us. I wanted to start a worm compost bin in our kitchen, but that was vetoed by the rest of the family...

Your tube could work, though.

Do you know if the worms will be able to overwinter outdoors? Will they just dig themselves down deeper in the garden for shelter?

Sharon
Mom to a 17 yr old boy and 21 year old girl, neither of whom want anything to do with gardening.

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Worm Tube in SFG

Post  Bec on Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:16 am

Thanks for all of this information. Just this weekend I spent hours moving my compost pile to a more sunny location and in the process taking as many worms out of it as I could (I know - this seems like the wrong thing to do). I moved the compost in more direct sun so it would get hot enough to kill the seeds. But I've heard that if it is hot enough to kills the seeds it is too hot for worms and will kill them. I don't want the worms to die. I was going to start a worm farm with them in the shade but now I may just make some worm tubes. What about the heat of the sun on the SFG. It doesn't kill the worms?

Wanting to do this right without too much trial and error,
Bec

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Re: Worm Tube for the SFG

Post  PeggyC on Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:37 am

This is a REALLY. COOL. IDEA.

Are you going to fill the whole tube with food? are you going to have to add shredded paper like in regular vermicomposting? Will the worms move up into the tube to live? Everything i've read about vermicomposting says you have to put the food in a different section of the box each time. This seems to be the complete opposite of that.

I've had starting a worm bin on my to-do list all winter...and now it's spring...guess I'll just have to start an indoor one.

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