Composting worms and Soil Amendments

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Yes and no. What do you suggest I do with the food scraps from a family of 5 then? Because if I put that directly in garden beds then dogs, bears, and raccoons would be ripping the soil out of my beds. I live in the middle of the woods.

My compost bins have produced large, large quantities of castings. And I have worms in all the beds too, hundreds and hundreds in each bed. But here’s the thing. After a hot summer a lot of the worms are dead or gone. So I add more. Several wheelbarrows full every year of compost, horse manure, and worms with castings.
Actually I think it's a great thing. Compost from scraps with the added benefit of worm castings. Not only that but you have a steady supply of fish bait. I would do it here but it gets too hot for worms to survive in the places I have for them during summer
 
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Actually I think it's a great thing. Compost from scraps with the added benefit of worm castings. Not only that but you have a steady supply of fish bait. I would do it here but it gets too hot for worms to survive in the places I have for them during summer
Ditto. My hoop house beds are almost impossible to keep worms in and in the summer everything in there dies or stops producing as it’s just too hot. So the compost bins and worm adding is necessary if I want a good vegetable crop in the non summer months.
 

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I don't think worm castings are nearly as beneficial to the soil and plants as is just having a healthy population of worms in the garden. I think it's a waste of time to vermicompost, just create a beneficial environment for worms to thrive and your garden will thrive.
Thanks for the input but I couldn't disagree more. I just got done with several setups and experiments that proves the worms are much more beneficial to have than not.
 

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Ditto. My hoop house beds are almost impossible to keep worms in and in the summer everything in there dies or stops producing as it’s just too hot. So the compost bins and worm adding is necessary if I want a good vegetable crop in the non summer months.
Same issues here, way too hot most of the time.
 
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Yes and no. What do you suggest I do with the food scraps from a family of 5 then? Because if I put that directly in garden beds then dogs, bears, and raccoons would be ripping the soil out of my beds. I live in the middle of the woods.

My compost bins have produced large, large quantities of castings. And I have worms in all the beds too, hundreds and hundreds in each bed. But here’s the thing. After a hot summer a lot of the worms are dead or gone. So I add more. Several wheelbarrows full every year of compost, horse manure, and worms with castings.

Thanks for the input but I couldn't disagree more. I just got done with several setups and experiments that proves the worms are much more beneficial to have than not.

I think I was misunderstood, or maybe I should have worded my post better, let me try again...

Vermicomposting I found was a waste of time FOR ME AND THE WAY I GARDEN

I did try the worm bins, but I found that I had to spend more time than I wanted to maintaining it for worms. And there were some things I couldn't throw into the worm bin, such as onions, garlic, etc... And because it's an enclosed container I had to worry about too much rain or it being too hot or too cold for the worms.

I also compost all my kitchen scraps and I don't feel like separating kitchen scraps for the regular compost and kitchen scraps for the worm bin. I've decided that the best way to compost (FOR ME:)) is to simply throw all kitchen (and yard) waste into my gardens, under the mulch, that way the organisms, including worms can simply just sift thru what they want and if there is any thing, such as onions, that they don't like, they can easily just move away, since they're not confined in a bin. Furthermore, I don't have to spend the time sifting thru the bin to collect the casting, the worms just put them where I need them.

I don't have to worry about weather destroying my worms, because they have adequate shelter in my yard to find safety. We just went thru a brutal winter and a lot of rain, yet last Wednesday I was digging up dirt to lay a log path thru various parts of my yard and garden and in that process I saw tons of worms, so they do just fine in nature without my assistance, other than providing a thick layer of mulch. The benefits of worms to the soil go way beyond their castings, the tunnels they dig help to keep the soil healthy...>>>> http://extension.illinois.edu/worms/live/ <<< Good read.

As for animals, I get a lot of animals in my yard, including raccoons, opossums, squirrels...and it's been my experience that they don't go after my food scraps, as incredible as that sounds. The only thing they seem to do is dig thru the soil a lot looking for grubs and stuff. The only times I've found my food scraps dug up is when I include meat, bones and carcasses included in my food scraps. Now what I do for that is to leave those things out in the open and allow them to eat it up, until they're satisfied, then I go back and bury the bones.

I didn't intend to say that ^^^this^^^ is the way things should be done, rather this is what I've found works best for me.
 
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I’ve had a black bear tear one of my bin doors clean off, twice. He’s such a jerk too because then he doesn’t even touch or eat anything. Like dude, come on! Apparently dirt mixed with bread and coffee grounds didn’t do it for him.

I don’t put animal products outside of egg shells in it. Garlic and onions smell, so I try to avoid putting them in but outside of the onion skins my worms will eat them. So if some onion pieces were in our dinner I don’t bother sorting it but if you’re talking huge hunks from a cutting board I skip those. I don’t put citrus or peels in. The few times grapefruit or orange peels found their way in the worms simply eat everything around it.

In my experience the only way to ruin it is to let the pile dry out completely. But I can ignore them for weeks at a time and they just keep on eating cardboard and rocks. Usually they get fed daily. And then I just sort of toss random stuff in every couple weeks like rock phosphate or biolive.
 

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I think I was misunderstood, or maybe I should have worded my post better, let me try again...

Vermicomposting I found was a waste of time FOR ME AND THE WAY I GARDEN

I did try the worm bins, but I found that I had to spend more time than I wanted to maintaining it for worms. And there were some things I couldn't throw into the worm bin, such as onions, garlic, etc... And because it's an enclosed container I had to worry about too much rain or it being too hot or too cold for the worms.

I also compost all my kitchen scraps and I don't feel like separating kitchen scraps for the regular compost and kitchen scraps for the worm bin. I've decided that the best way to compost (FOR ME:)) is to simply throw all kitchen (and yard) waste into my gardens, under the mulch, that way the organisms, including worms can simply just sift thru what they want and if there is any thing, such as onions, that they don't like, they can easily just move away, since they're not confined in a bin. Furthermore, I don't have to spend the time sifting thru the bin to collect the casting, the worms just put them where I need them.

I don't have to worry about weather destroying my worms, because they have adequate shelter in my yard to find safety. We just went thru a brutal winter and a lot of rain, yet last Wednesday I was digging up dirt to lay a log path thru various parts of my yard and garden and in that process I saw tons of worms, so they do just fine in nature without my assistance, other than providing a thick layer of mulch. The benefits of worms to the soil go way beyond their castings, the tunnels they dig help to keep the soil healthy...>>>> http://extension.illinois.edu/worms/live/ <<< Good read.

As for animals, I get a lot of animals in my yard, including raccoons, opossums, squirrels...and it's been my experience that they don't go after my food scraps, as incredible as that sounds. The only thing they seem to do is dig thru the soil a lot looking for grubs and stuff. The only times I've found my food scraps dug up is when I include meat, bones and carcasses included in my food scraps. Now what I do for that is to leave those things out in the open and allow them to eat it up, until they're satisfied, then I go back and bury the bones.

I didn't intend to say that ^^^this^^^ is the way things should be done, rather this is what I've found works best for me.
Ah I gotcha. Apologies for the misunderstanding
 
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I’ve done some reading on the topic. The worms will produce or transform whatever they eat. So if they eat egg shells then calcium would be added. If they eat banana peels then it adds phosphorous. The reason a lot of people believe worms only produce nitrogen is because they’re only feeding them cardboard and paper, which will in fact produce nothing but nitrogen. So feeding them a more diverse diet, including rock powders and lots of food scraps, makes for more nutritionally diverse castings. It isn’t being wasted, in fact it becomes more bioavailable for plants as it gets digested and covered in worm juices.
 

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I’ve done some reading on the topic. The worms will produce or transform whatever they eat. So if they eat egg shells then calcium would be added. If they eat banana peels then it adds phosphorous. The reason a lot of people believe worms only produce nitrogen is because they’re only feeding them cardboard and paper, which will in fact produce nothing but nitrogen. So feeding them a more diverse diet, including rock powders and lots of food scraps, makes for more nutritionally diverse castings. It isn’t being wasted, in fact it becomes more bioavailable for plants as it gets digested and covered in worm juices.
Agreed based on my research and projects as well. Thanks for sharing.
 
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The porosity created by worms may be another reason not to bury tomatoes deep, as the (near to) surface roots probable need to breathe, so there is little point going below the depth of worms.
 
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I’ve done some reading on the topic. The worms will produce or transform whatever they eat. So if they eat egg shells then calcium would be added. If they eat banana peels then it adds phosphorous. The reason a lot of people believe worms only produce nitrogen is because they’re only feeding them cardboard and paper, which will in fact produce nothing but nitrogen. So feeding them a more diverse diet, including rock powders and lots of food scraps, makes for more nutritionally diverse castings. It isn’t being wasted, in fact it becomes more bioavailable for plants as it gets digested and covered in worm juices.
Precisely.
 
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I don't think worm castings are nearly as beneficial to the soil and plants as is just having a healthy population of worms in the garden. I think it's a waste of time to vermicompost, just create a beneficial environment for worms to thrive and your garden will thrive.
Worms do have beneficial microbes in their digestive systems, which show up in their castings.
I totally agree thata good worm population is best, but castings are far better than nothing.
 

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