no worms in my raised beds

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BernardSmith
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no worms in my raised beds

Post: #288463 BernardSmith
Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:51 pm

It's winter here in Upstate NY and I just added some compost to my two vegetable beds. I removed about 5 -6 inches of dirt and added the compost and then replaced the soil I removed. No problem... except that I did not find a single earthworm. So two questions:
1. In winter do earthworms bury themselves deeper in the dirt?
2. If there is a problem and I don't have any worms, is there some way that I can either attract them or I can purchase some and add them? Thoughts? Thanks.

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Green Aura
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Re: no worms in my raised beds

Post: #288465 Green Aura
Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:49 pm

Worms are definitely susceptible to the cold. So them burrowing down would make perfect sense. If it's a new bed the worms may not have found it yet. If it's mainly compost they may not have any food source so no need to go there. Just guesses on my part.

You can, if needed, buy all sorts of worms from fishing tackle suppliers. There are many different varieties, I know brandling worms are used for composting worm bins so they might be quite good. Otherwise dig a few of your native worms from elsewhere in the garden.

Now may be a good time to add some veg scraps etc to give any worms something to do. My Dad always laid out his brassica stalks on newspaper in a shallow trench in autumn, lightly covered with soil, to plant peas and beans on next spring.
Maggie

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BernardSmith
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
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Re: no worms in my raised beds

Post: #288467 BernardSmith
Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:31 am

Thanks, Maggie. The beds are about four years old and I just added some mature compost and some immature with the idea that if buried the soil will help decompose the fruit and vegetable scraps along with the leaves. I guess I will just hope that the worms are in the beds but just a good bit deeper than I was digging when I added the compost.

Taf
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Re: no worms in my raised beds

Post: #288480 Taf
Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:16 pm

Just dug over my veg patch the other morning, and it was fairly cold, but was full of big fat worms, but I did dig deep, so maybe that's the difference. Why don't you just have a deep dig in one spot to see if they are further down? I did put a lot of farmyard manure in last year, which I do every couple of years. Can you get any farmyard manure?

Weedo
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Re: no worms in my raised beds

Post: #288484 Weedo
Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:34 pm

Worms go deep in winter, even in my mild Wagga climate they do that (and in the hot summer). My local worm guru informs me that different worms work at different depths in the soil and that the species commonly sold (at least here) as "compost worms" are near surface dwellers. As Green Aura says, get a variety including local wild stock. I also rough chop all my veg bits before they go to the worms - definitely none of the onion family, no oils (even veg oils), no animal products as the worms hate them.
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