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using vermicompost in my SFG boxes

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using vermicompost in my SFG boxes

Post  Andrina on 2/26/2011, 12:23 pm

Hello! It is the first time I access this forum. I am from San José Costa Rica, and I stated a few months ago using the SFG method. I just found out today that the compost I bought for my boxes live californian worms that are very happy eating the roots of my baby plants. I am very disappointed and would love to have some advices to solve this problem and keep learning. Should I just star over again?

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Re: using vermicompost in my SFG boxes

Post  Megan on 2/26/2011, 5:17 pm

Hi Andrina, welcome to the forum and to SFG! glad you\'re here

I am not quite sure the problem you are describing. Do you mean that there are worms in your compost? This is common and generally a great sign, as it means your soil is healthy. Worms help to aerate the soil and their droppings (feces) are good fertilizer. How do you know the worms are eating your plants' roots? What I mean is, by what signs can you tell that is happening? More information will help us to pinpoint the problem and try to help you better. (Pictures would be great, too.)
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californian worms

Post  Andrina on 2/26/2011, 7:57 pm

@Megan wrote:Hi Andrina, welcome to the forum and to SFG! glad you\'re here

I am not quite sure the problem you are describing. Do you mean that there are worms in your compost? This is common and generally a great sign, as it means your soil is healthy. Worms help to aerate the soil and their droppings (feces) are good fertilizer. How do you know the worms are eating your plants' roots? What I mean is, by what signs can you tell that is happening? More information will help us to pinpoint the problem and try to help you better. (Pictures would be great, too.)

Hello Megan! Thank you for your interest. There were live californian worms in the compost I bought for my SFG boxes. I saw that there was a very sad lettuce, so I pulled it out to search for the cause, and there was a fat worm trying to get the food she needed from the roots of the lettuce. It happened the same with an Onion plant. I pulled it out of the ground, and several worms were trying to eat from the roots.

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Re: using vermicompost in my SFG boxes

Post  Megan on 2/26/2011, 8:08 pm

Do you mean earthworms? Or something else? I have never seen earthworms attack roots before....???
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Re: using vermicompost in my SFG boxes

Post  camprn on 2/26/2011, 8:13 pm

can you send a photo of the worm, that would help us help you. Also, if the worms came in the compost, perhaps calling the manufacturer would get an answer.
As far as I know earthworms do not eat living plant matter.
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Re: using vermicompost in my SFG boxes

Post  Andrina on 2/27/2011, 9:28 am

@Megan wrote:Do you mean earthworms? Or something else? I have never seen earthworms attack roots before....???

Yes, they are red earthworms,. In my country we call them californian earthworms, and they are cultivated and fed with food debris, to make compost. Now, I think it might be possible that I am wrong, and that would make me very happy! But the two plants I pulled out had earthwoms hanging from them. I tried to include a picture of my boxes, but I couldnt figure it out yet. Thank you again! [img][/img]

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Re: using vermicompost in my SFG boxes

Post  Megan on 2/27/2011, 9:40 am

Sounds like what we might call "red wigglers", perhaps. Worms hanging from the roots, if they are really earthworms, is a GREAT thing. They are not eating your plants. They are loosening the soil, adding nutrients and all good sorts of things. Just pick them free gently and drop them back onto your garden, they will burrow back in again. If you accidentally cut one in two with a shovel, the two parts usually survive.
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Re: using vermicompost in my SFG boxes

Post  Odd Duck on 3/1/2011, 7:13 pm

Red wigglers - Eisenia fetida, do not eat live plants, but they will certainly eat bacteria and other micro-organisms that may be eating dying plant roots. There are many other types of earthworms and as far as I know, none are a problem in the garden. Earthworms are considered a really good thing for the garden. It's been shown that plants grow and produce about 20-25% higher if there are earthworms in the soil.

You will probably need to look for another reason for the lettuce looking sad. If you could post pictures, we might be able to help you solve the problem.

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Re: using vermicompost in my SFG boxes

Post  Andrina on 3/1/2011, 9:21 pm

@Odd Duck wrote:Red wigglers - Eisenia fetida, do not eat live plants, but they will certainly eat bacteria and other micro-organisms that may be eating dying plant roots. There are many other types of earthworms and as far as I know, none are a problem in the garden. Earthworms are considered a really good thing for the garden. It's been shown that plants grow and produce about 20-25% higher if there are earthworms in the soil.

You will probably need to look for another reason for the lettuce looking sad. If you could post pictures, we might be able to help you solve the problem.

Thank you very much for your advice. I will keep going and see what happens!

Andrina

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