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300 red wigglers in my SFG

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300 red wigglers in my SFG

Post  MrBooker on 6/30/2016, 6:14 am

I've noticed, I haven't seen any worms in my SFG since early spring so I ordered 300 red wigglers which will arrive this morning in the mail. (09:00 CST). I plan on putting them in my sgf. I have two 4x4's and four 4x8's which will be 50 worms in each box.
        I have no experience with "store bought" worms. What should I do when they arrive? I planned on putting them in buckets with shredded newspapers and table scraps and feeding them for a few days before introducing them to the garden. Any ideas on what to feed them or any other input appreciated.

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Re: 300 red wigglers in my SFG

Post  sanderson on 6/30/2016, 12:52 pm

This is just my take.  Don't waste time on putting them in a box but rather walk them right out the back door and put them in the boxes.  In each 4' x 4' area, dig 2 holes like a squirrel and put some kitchen food in one hole and cover back up.  Set the worms in the adjacent holes and cover up.  Make sure the Mel's Mix is wet in those areas.  As far as food, chop or dice up the food so it breaks down faster.  Salad ingredients, celery, carrot peels, grapes cut in half, cantaloupe, banana peels, coffee grounds.  Don't use paper in the food as it is high carbon as it will compete for the nitrogen.  25 worms in each 4' x 4' is sufficient.  300 worms / 10 areas = 30 worms.

PS I wouldn't use any fertilizer in the beds unless it is worm castings or organic.

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Re: 300 red wigglers in my SFG

Post  Cajun Cappy on 6/30/2016, 1:34 pm

We never put worms in or garden boxes but they are there in abundance.  They seem to like our "compost" and the plants do too.  When I pulled up the garlic and the carrot patch they both exposed a couple dozen big fat night crawlers.

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Re: 300 red wigglers in my SFG

Post  sanderson on 6/30/2016, 2:09 pm

Cappy, Ground worms, yes, but he has ordered the little red composting wigglers. When my boxes were on the ground, the ground worms found a way inside them! They seemed to coexist just fine.

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Re: 300 red wigglers in my SFG

Post  has55 on 6/30/2016, 6:16 pm

Sanderson method is great, esp if you want to care of them in the house, shop, shaded above ground area like a outside table. how many  SFG beds do you have? 
you can also transfer them into homemade vermicomposting bucket(VGB). Use lowes  2/12 gallons blue paint buckets with a 10" green valve cover lid from the irrigation pipe section of the store. Drill 1" holes in sidewall and drill one at the bottom for drainage. Use the feeding material that Sanderson discussed and  insert the VRG directly into the garden bed. The soil will protect them . they will stay were the food is till it run out.  start off about 1/4 to 1/2 full, then feed it when you see the food goes down about a inch. You may want to put a wet paper  towel over the food material to protect from soldier fly and provide moisture. I fill my VGB all the way, but I have so many worms now, they come in and out as they please consuming the food rapidly. you can remove the top and feel the food. it will always be a mellow temp. cover the rest of the garden bed with compost, mulch or both. this will keep it cool. I learned that trick from my California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada friends here on the forum. It saved my butt.




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Re: 300 red wigglers in my SFG

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 6/30/2016, 10:33 pm

I just pick up a handful and place them in the new bed.  If it's bright sun, it's a good idea to bury them and let them find there way throught the soil as the sun is painful to them.  I would do exactly as Sanderson suggested.  I also keep a couple of inches of mulch on top of the beds that the worms are constantly eating so they get well fed and in turn they fertilize my beds fabulously well!

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Re: 300 red wigglers in my SFG

Post  MrBooker on 7/1/2016, 6:05 am

@sanderson wrote:This is just my take.  Don't waste time on putting them in a box but rather walk them right out the back door and put them in the boxes.  In each 4' x 4' area, dig 2 holes like a squirrel and put some kitchen food in one hole and cover back up.  Set the worms in the adjacent holes and cover up.  Make sure the Mel's Mix is wet in those areas.  As far as food, chop or dice up the food so it breaks down faster.  Salad ingredients, celery, carrot peels, grapes cut in half, cantaloupe, banana peels, coffee grounds.  Don't use paper in the food as it is high carbon as it will compete for the nitrogen.  25 worms in each 4' x 4' is sufficient.  300 worms / 10 areas = 30 worms.

PS  I wouldn't use any fertilizer in the beds unless it is worm castings or organic.
         I can't give you a Gold Star on your timing Sanderson but the content of your answer deserves one.. lol.
My worms arrived before 09:00 a.m and I figured I had to do something with them since they had been in transit for 3 days. So, here's what I did.
 
I shredded and dampened some newspaper and mixed in some corn meal, oatmeal and bread crumbs and put it in the hole and added about 50 worms.

Then, I added finely chopped veggies on top of that and covered it with soil and moistened with rain water.
Wish I had known about not adding the shredded paper. 

I'll go out when it gets daylight and uncover the holes and try to retrieve all the paper I can and re-cover the holes and add compost on top.
PS:  Before the worms arrived, I dug the hole out to the bottom and cut one square ft of the weed barrier out and loosened the soil. It gets daylight here about 05:30 a.m and I'm going out to investigate. THANKS to ALL replied.
       I'll let you guys know........

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Re: 300 red wigglers in my SFG

Post  sanderson on 7/1/2016, 12:08 pm

Don't be surprised if you can't find the worms! They may be investigating their new digs. Earthworms and red wigglers have different habits, if that is the right word. The red wigglers don't like light at all and usually come back to the food trough to feed. They can live in the confines of Mel's Mix, having babies, for years as long as they have a wet, nutritious environment that doesn't freeze solid. With the now open bottom, you will probably get earthworms, also. They have a wider habitat.

Another topic is Worm Tubes. I like them because they are my kitchen waste disposal site. This spring I moved their locations within the boxes so that other areas will get concentrations of castings.

Good luck with the wormies!

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Re: 300 red wigglers in my SFG

Post  MrBooker on 7/1/2016, 2:35 pm

@sanderson wrote:Don't be surprised if you can't find the worms!  They may be investigating their new digs.  Earthworms and red wigglers have different habits, if that is the right word.  The red wigglers don't like light at all and usually come back to the food trough to feed.  They can live in the confines of Mel's Mix, having babies, for years as long as they have a wet, nutritious environment that doesn't freeze solid.  With the now open bottom, you will probably get earthworms, also.  They have a wider habitat.

Another topic is Worm Tubes.  I like them because they are my kitchen waste disposal site.  This spring I moved their locations within the boxes so that other areas will get concentrations of castings.

Good luck with the wormies!  
   You are correct about not finding the worms. I went out this morning and only found two worms in the first hole and none in the other holes.   I dont think my beds will freeze solid since I will have them covered. (Hoops)
         My wife has a food processor that she is going to "loan" me and I'm going to process everything I can get my hands on and make smoothies for the worms. Heck, who knows, I may even have one myself. (Burp).
  Thanks for all your help.

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Re: 300 red wigglers in my SFG

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