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Beginner Gardening Questions: Has anyone ever........

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Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 23, Views: 170
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CoryS
Clarksville, TN

April 23, 2007
9:08 PM

Post #3423291

purchased earthworms for their garden? After realizing that I have been using the lasagna method of gardening, I got to thinking that in my entire landscaping bed (4x10x17x10) I have only seen 2 earthworms, and about 15 grubs (arrrr!). I was thinking of buying some worms might speed some things up. What does everyone else think?
Len123
Adrian, MO
(Zone 6a)

April 23, 2007
9:52 PM

Post #3423507

I just planted some roses and hydrangeas and in every handful of soil I had at least
an earthworm or two they were thick, but I think after a good heavy soaking rain they
come to the surface of the soil and dive deeper when it gets drier. I wouldn't buy any, I'd just make sure I used organic fertilizers and don't use a lot of herbacides or pesticides and they should multiply substancially.
tggfisk
Garner, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2007
9:57 PM

Post #3423531

Have you tried a compost pile? You know it's successful when the robins move in. You can try raising worms but it's time consuming. Do you have any in other places in your yard? You could 'transplant' them and add a bit of composted material (purchased would do) to encourage them.
CoryS
Clarksville, TN

April 23, 2007
10:04 PM

Post #3423567

I was thinking of starting a compost pile, however, after looking at the garden center, they only had 1 compost container, and it was $110. I can't spend that much on a compost container, not to mention the fact that they only thing I would have to put in it would be kitchen scraps. I use my grass clippings as mulch for my sodded area in the front that was laid in January, and I have no grass in the back yet either.

As far as other areas of the yard, unfortunatly, there are VERY few anywhere else.
tggfisk
Garner, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2007
10:12 PM

Post #3423614

You don't have to purchase a fancy container for composting. My husband made one for me with timbers and rebar. You could also just use some chicken wire or another loose wire. Kitchen scraps are fine. Just make sure that you don't add meat, oils, or fats into the pile. Egg shells, coffee filters with your grounds still inside, veggies and fruits all make good composting elements.
I've also been known to 'steal' our neighbors bagged leaves. She has no dogs!
Lots of folks have receipies for compost, but I find that compost happens sooner or later no matter what. I have used some cheap beer to jump-start the process.
One of my containers even helped me save my just-purchased plants during the late frosts. I set all the pots in the bin, covered it with a top loosely and left them in until frosts had past.
GiddyMoon
Carmichael, CA

April 24, 2007
12:17 AM

Post #3424151

Do an internet search for composting. Many cities have free composting supplies and there are MANY ways to start one without spending anything.

I am actually going to buy redworms soon because I want to vermiculture and add more to the area..but the cheapest I have found is $16 a pound plus shipping.
1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC
(Zone 8a)

April 24, 2007
3:05 AM

Post #3424364

Are redworms the regular garden worms? Are they guaranteed to be alive? At least they would not migrate to the neighbors' yard the way that lady bugs and butterflies do (from what I have read/heard).

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2007
7:56 AM

Post #3424660

My husband fishes occasionally but never uses all his nightcrawlers, so a;ways put those in my garden. Our new house has very bad cly soil so having to amend & I told him he needs to go fishing more often!!LOL
1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC
(Zone 8a)

April 24, 2007
8:15 AM

Post #3424706

I'm sorry, nanny, but I thought nightcrawlers were the "bad" worms for yards. Maybe it's just a different name for the same critter, depending on where you live.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2007
1:44 PM

Post #3425721

Nightcrawlers are the ordinary earthworms found in your soil. Redworms are used in aiding compost.
1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC
(Zone 8a)

April 24, 2007
3:14 PM

Post #3425985

Then what are those really large worms that I've heard called nightcrawlers that people can't get out of their lawns? I'm glad you don't have those, whatever their name is.
GiddyMoon
Carmichael, CA

April 24, 2007
4:57 PM

Post #3426297

If you do an internet search for vermiculture you can get the right answers. There are diffrances. The smaller redworms are the ones used for composting.

My grandfather has 4 acres up near MT Shasta CA and he built himself an electric doohicky to get nightcrawlers out of the soil. He took something electric, attachd rebar to it, and it sent small electric shock into the soil. In the evening we would sit around in lawn chairs with thing in the ground grabbing the nightcrawlers as they tried to get away from the movement. So much fun. lol His trout pond loved it!
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 24, 2007
7:15 PM

Post #3426715

Think the electric shock thingy would work to get rid of gophers? Maybe I can arrange for the neighbor's cats to be around and catch them as they jump out of their little holes!
hart
Shenandoah Valley, VA

April 24, 2007
7:23 PM

Post #3426751

My first compost pile years ago was just a pile - no sides or container at all -where I dumped the grass clippings and leaves in a shady corner. It took a couple of years to make compost, but I got compost.

It takes so little effort to make compost, everybody would be doing it if they knew how easy it was.
tggfisk
Garner, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 24, 2007
7:43 PM

Post #3426832

I agree with the easiness of making compost. The most fun thing is that I never quite know what might pop up from the compost once I use it on the beds. Sometimes it's tomato, sometimes it's pumpkin.
GiddyMoon
Carmichael, CA

April 24, 2007
9:42 PM

Post #3427228

I don't know about the gophers...you could always give it a try. lol
Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

April 25, 2007
3:58 AM

Post #3428034

ecrane3...do I detect just a touch of villany in that post? Your gophers were my squirrels...in colorado they drove me crazy. My kids had a t-shirt made for me with the 10 most wanted squirrels...its funny, and I still wear it but sure don't miss those critter battles. Now all I really have to contend with is the occasional hermit crab hanging out in my orchids. :)

Good luck with the worms, all!
KillerChihuahua
Merritt Island, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 25, 2007
5:24 AM

Post #3428062

If you want a bin, I build mine out of used pallets - keep your eyes open for places which are tossing them. Take four and stand them up in a square, and fasten together with rope or bungees. When you need to get at it, unfasten the front pallet and open like a door or move to one side. You can make a shallow trench for them to stand in for added stability if you want. Mine stand up to hurricanes no problem, you can plant vines to cover the outside, they have the open slat sides so plenty of oxygen gets in... and when the skids rot I just get more.
CoryS
Clarksville, TN

April 25, 2007
1:16 PM

Post #3429350

Those are all great ideas, but the thing that concerns me is I don't want a section of my yard to look like a landfill...thatis my reasoning for wanting a composting barrelNot to mention the smell.
KillerChihuahua
Merritt Island, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 25, 2007
1:48 PM

Post #3429466

No smell if there is sufficient oxygen. If there is a bad smell, its due to anaerobic bacteria. A correctly built compost never smells bad at all.
1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC
(Zone 8a)

April 25, 2007
3:03 PM

Post #3429668

I can't do a compost pile any more, but I still use my kitchen scraps and egg shells. I just bury them next to a plant. I've never had any problems with smell or flies. I crunch up the egg shells and scatter them around the flower beds. The birds munch on them and the rest just decompose.
GiddyMoon
Carmichael, CA

April 25, 2007
3:29 PM

Post #3429728

I mentioned this on another thread but I will mention it here too.

I know a woman who keeps all her compost safe stuff in the kitchen, blends it with water in the blender and feeds it to her roses. She has tons of worms and very healthy plants.
1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC
(Zone 8a)

April 25, 2007
5:03 PM

Post #3430139

Thanks for sharing that tip, Giddy. That would be so easy!!
tggfisk
Garner, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 25, 2007
8:21 PM

Post #3430748

What a great idea. I may have to break down and get a blender! My compost pile always smells like grapefruit. Guess I have a gf habit.

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