RE: [tomato] worm castings (long)

Pete (
Wed, 19 Jan 2000 14:34:06 -0500

I went to one worm composting site, and they said that red worms will not
live in the soil.  If this is the case, how do the appropiate worms migrate
into the compost..this is not a challenge, just a question?  Also, I also do
container gardening.  Usually I use Miracle-gro and/or Osmocote.  This
season, I'm going totally organic, and I wanted to add good organic
nutrients that won't burn the veggies.  I figure, if I add worm compost, and
some dry granular organic fertilizer, I'd be set for about 3 months....which
might actually be less work than using the liquid fertilizers I have to drag
around.  I'm also using Vam Fungi to enhance the effect.

Pete, South Florida, Zone 10   Who has some earthworms...but not that many

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Richard Yarnell
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2000 12:41 PM
Subject: Re: [tomato] worm castings (long)

Would you please provide documentation for your statement that "these
worms are not the ones ....

We build both a composting system (The Stack^R) and a worm composter.  We
suggest that unless the gardener is beginning on a plot which has been
sterilized, that the appropriate worms will seek out a properly managed
compost pile.  The worms which migrate into the pile as it cools are most
assuredly appropriate to the task  both in the compost pile and in the
worm box.

Granted, "night crawlers" are not the ones we're looking for even though
they are what many folks visualize when they think of "worms."  But the
smaller red worms which multiply prodigiously and which are present in
most areas of the US, do the job nicely.  Properly fed, they will double
in number every thirty days.

I would also like to see some basis for your statement that worm castings
are "better" than compost because they provide nutrition and act as a soil
amendment.  Action of the worms is one part of the composting process.
Generally, worm castings are uniformly fine textured.  Typical compost,
even from a well managed rapid composting system, tends to produce a
varied texture.  If worms are set to work on a compost pile, they will
moderate the texture but I'm unaware they add nutrition.

On Wed, 19 Jan 2000, shan wrote:

> 	Worm castings are great!  I have a worm composting system (Can-O-Worms)in
> my garage - they produce about one 15 -lb tray of castings in about 8
> now, but when the garage temps get above 55 they'll give me about 15 lbs a
> month.  The castings are better than normal compost or fertilizer because
> they provide both nutrients and soil amendment.  They've never burned my
> plants, even in containers.  I do give my container plants additional
> fertilizer.
> 	These worms are not the same as the ones that till your garden soil.
> Composting worms won't survive in your garden and normal earthworms from
> your garden won't survive in the composting system.
> 	Would I pay $10?  I don't know - like regular compost, it sort of makes
> more sense to produce it yourself.  There are self-contained systems on
> market that are clean & small & don't smell for about $100, or you can
> your own.  In many zones they can be kept outside in a shady area or in a
> garage or basement.
> 	I have url's for worm composting discussion boards, sites, etc. . . email
> privately if you want them.
> -shan

Richard Yarnell, SHAMBLES WORKSHOPS | No gimmick we try, no "scientific"
Beavercreek, OR. Makers of fine     | fix we attempt, will save our planet
Wooden Canoes, The Stack(R) urban   | until we reduce the population. Let's
composter, fly tying benches        | leave our kids a decent place to live.