Earthworms for giant planters in greenhouse


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I have four 7ft by 3 ft planters in my green house. I see they have earthworms for sale at Home Depot. I'm considering the worth of having earthworms in these 18" deep planters.
Do you have any experience with putting them in a raised planter?
 
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Maybe I`m being a bit English, but the thought of buying live earthworms horrifies me. In all my years experience of gardening I have left the presence of these creatures up to nature to provide. The worms here tend to be in the soil outside, and survive very well as they are free to burrow deeper when the weather gets hot and dry.
Goodness only knows how they will survive inside a greenhouse - maybe they will escape if it gets too hot for them in there.
I suppose it`s a novel way for your store to make money.
 
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I am guessing you would be purchasing red worms. Not knowing exactly your growing conditions I would guess it to be a good solution for new beds in a greenhouse environment. Earthworms are not native to the Americans and were imported like honeybees. Red worms are cultivated (for fishing) in a warmer environment than regular earthworms that retreat to cooler temperatures or go dormant during heat. Red worms tend to stay active at higher temperatures. They are often used in compost pits also. As a kid we raised red worms to sell to fishermen Red worms are sometimes raised for their worm castings. I guess it can be lucrative if you have a worm farm (judging by the cost of the last bag of castings I purchased). Be forewarned though...the little dickens will disappear into the wild lands if the conditions are not to their liking.
 
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From the ones I've seen sold at Home Depot, which they sometimes call "earthworms", they are not actually earthworms. There are basically two types of worms. Worms that burrow deep in the ground and come to the surface to feed (earthworms).

And the ones that live within the leaf litter, which are used for vermicomposting. That is the species most Home Depots sell. They will die without a lot of organic matter to feed on.

Actually, depending on your soil in your planters, both species may die, because both species needs organic matter to survive, the main difference is that the vermicomposting variety needs a heavy mulch layer to live in.


What kind of soil is in your planters? Are your planters basically raised be overtop native soil?
 
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I have top soil in the planters 18" deep. The bottoms are 12" off the ground. Lots of twigs , some clay, and evidence of compost. It's black dirt from Georgia.
I just thought that the worms will help keep the beds aeriated. I intend to grow broccoli, cabbages, tomatoes , red onions and purple top white turnips.
 
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Your beds are probably not going to work for adding worms. Stick with good organic soil and the plant roots will aerate the soil. Not walking on soil helps keep soil light. The more organic matter the lighter the soil. Peat, vermiculit, compost are all good for amending soil in planters, or just buying good soil.
 
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This soil looks pretty good. I had no choice but to buy bags of top soil. It looks like pretty good , with evidence of compost. My soil on my place is all sand with limestone about 12 inches deep.
I am tired of fighting weeds, insects, squirrels and rabbits. Had an invasion of deer last year. They wrecked my tomato cages and ate a lot of my garden in one sitting.
 
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Good luck with your raised garden this year. I live in a very metropolitan neighborhood and we still have deer problems. They live in vacant lots, and gullies along side raccoons and possums. It’s interesting to see the extent we have to go to to keep them out of our yards. A 6 foot fence with big dogs have worked well for us, sometimes . Raccoons used to be a major problem, but not since the neighbor took out some big trees.
 
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I live in a very rural Oklahoma. Wildlife runs rampant here. We have everything you can imagine from turtles to deer and even a bear or two. I worry about the heat in a greenhouse in August.
I was in Seattle on a bus tour couple of years ago. Rained the whole time. Did enjoy the traders market downtown, though. Too many people.
 
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I have top soil in the planters 18" deep. The bottoms are 12" off the ground. Lots of twigs , some clay, and evidence of compost. It's black dirt from Georgia.
I just thought that the worms will help keep the beds aeriated. I intend to grow broccoli, cabbages, tomatoes , red onions and purple top white turnips.
I would try and throw some earthworms in, but I wouldn't waste the money buying them, for one reason, most worms sold are the red wiggler type of worm, i.e. the ones used in vermicomposting. I would simply go out and dig some earthworms up from the ground and throw them in, since you have lots of twigs and some clay, that'll give them something to feed on.

If the environment is good for them, they will reproduce. It also wouldn't hurt to throw a layer of mulch (just some leaves and twigs you rake up) over the beds, nothing too thick, just enough as another food source for the earthworms. Grass clipping would make a really good mulch, provided there's no x-icides used on the lawn.
 
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I agree with Roadrunner.
Put some wet cardboard on your soil.
After a couple of days, remove the cardboard and you should find a decent amount of worms there.
Gently move them to your pots; if they like it there they will multiply quickly; if they don't, then their habitat is unsuitable.
Don't waste your money.
As worms process half their bodyweight in soil every day, you need limited numbers anyway.

Investigate greenhouse shading, either netting or whitewash, for your August heat problem.
Further, for wildlife, I fabricated a mesh door for my greenhouse with just some 2x1, chicken wire and net staples and 4 sliding brackets to keep it in place.
 
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I would be suspicious that a greenhouse would make it too hot for most veg. I do not have the wildlife problems you seem to. I am in East Sussex, the south of England is pretty tamed, but badger had all my strawberries one year. I make fruit cages and covers using aviary wire. It is stronger and holds its shape better than chicken wire even without a wooden frame. Tomatoes and peppers should do well in greenhouse beds and I can never produce too many for my missus. She dries surplus off in the bottom of the oven and freezes them for use later.
 
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Do you have any experience with putting them in a raised planter? ''

Did it years ago and worked great , plus got tons new worms .

I am surprised that Homedepot sells earthworms . I bought mine online .
 

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