Feeding earthworms?

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I don't have enough food scraps to keep worms in my garden bag beds. I just added some rabbit manure with the alfalfa straw attached that was full of worms. I pulled up some snow pea plants that were in different bed and were green and healthy to prepare for the next round of planting. Is there any chance the worms would eat these leaves and/or stems? I'm hoping to keep them happy in these beds and not sure what I have to feed them? I don't have enough tree leaves either. Thanks
 

sugarapsa

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Can you post a photo of your worm bin?
Or perhaps you can give more information as to the size of the container, and the material it's made of?
 
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It's not a worm bin, it's just one of those 4x4 cloth garden bags with commercial soil, some peat moss, my compost and now the rabbit manure.
My neighbors put out leaves in the fall but no grass clippings for spring. What other garden waste should I keep an eye out for?
 

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It's not a worm bin, it's just one of those 4x4 cloth garden bags with commercial soil, some peat moss, my compost and now the rabbit manure.
My neighbors put out leaves in the fall but no grass clippings for spring. What other garden waste should I keep an eye out for?
A word of caution; even though rabbit manure isn't as hot as say cow, horse, and chicken manure it still generates heat until it's completely broken down. A confined space such as a garden bag leaves little room for the worms to migrate away from the heat.

There must be somewhere near your location where leaves have accumulated. This is what the majority of my worm bin has in it. Then I add kitchen scraps and chicken and rabbit manure only when it isn't generating heat. That is unless I want to add heat to the bin during the winter. My bin is large enough where this can be done. I will place hot manure & coffee grounds at one end of the bin and then the worms are free to seek out their comfort zone.

For what its worth, my worms love watermelon and bananas.
 
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Just curious, how did you get earthworms in a garden bag (I'm assuming it has a bottom that separates it from the ground)?

Do you have any food scraps? You don't need much -- it doesn't have to be enough to be their entire source of food, just supplemental. You can also shred up paper, but I much prefer leaves, since much more is included with leaves.

Another good practice is when you're done with the plants to just chop and drop, or at least don't pull them out by the roots. Earthworms also eat things under the soil, such as decaying roots.

Earthworms don't eat any of the waste we throw on the ground, they eat the microbes that eat that waste. So any organic thing will be good for them. I've found them inside the seedpods of our native Southern Magnolia trees, I've also seen them bore thru large pine tree logs I leave on the ground.

So any type of yard waste will do, including the stuff you mentioned in the OP, because, again, they don't feed on the "yard waste" rather they're feeding on the microbes that decompose the yard waste. Even twigs will provide a food source.
 
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BTW, my neighbor has a Date tree and every year that thing drops tons of Dates that just fall on the street. They are edible to humans, but I'm not much of a fruit eater. I collect those Dates and throw them into a pile anywhere in my yard and that pile eventually becomes packed with earthworms.
 
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This is kind of interesting. Obviously you don't need this much stuff, but maybe you can find a bakery willing to give away some of their trash. As for coffee grinds, I've done that before, just go to any coffee shop and they're usually happy to give you the used grounds.


 
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Thank you all for these suggestions. Mostly what folks in this neighborhood have is pine straw which I didn't think would be to the worms liking. But if they eat the microbes off the organic stuff, I do have sticks and certainly plenty of weeds. The worms didn't come up from the ground; they were in the; rabbit manure I was given. I did put on the top of the soil the snow pea plants I mentioned. The worms are already in the soil from the rabbit manure, I'm just trying to keep them there. We, unfortunately don't eat much vegetables that would have left overs, but I'll add that to the bed. What about orange peels? We do have coffee grounds that I can add as well.
 
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To you gardeners in the USA, don't you have any ordinary earthworms in your ordinary garden soil?
My garden, and most others here have millions of them. I uncover loads of them every time I turn a fork full of soil. They find their own grub.
 

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To you gardeners in the USA, don't you have any ordinary earthworms in your ordinary garden soil?
My garden, and most others here have millions of them. I uncover loads of them every time I turn a fork full of soil. They find their own grub.
That isn't fair. We have to work like the dickens here in the desert southwest to lour those slimy suckers in.
 
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Thank you all for these suggestions. Mostly what folks in this neighborhood have is pine straw which I didn't think would be to the worms liking. But if they eat the microbes off the organic stuff, I do have sticks and certainly plenty of weeds. The worms didn't come up from the ground; they were in the; rabbit manure I was given. I did put on the top of the soil the snow pea plants I mentioned. The worms are already in the soil from the rabbit manure, I'm just trying to keep them there. We, unfortunately don't eat much vegetables that would have left overs, but I'll add that to the bed. What about orange peels? We do have coffee grounds that I can add as well.
You often hear people that keep worm bins warn to NOT put orange peels in the bin. However, most worm bins are relatively small and and the citric acid could hurt the worms.

However, in your case I would add the orange peels, because they have room (unlike most worm bins) to stay away from the orange peels, until they start getting moldy. Once the orange peels get moldy the worms will eat them as well. I always mix in orange peels to my little compost piles with no problem.

BTW, your question about orange peels reminded me of a story from Costa Rica. It's very interesting about two scientists that had 12,000 tons of wastes from a company that made orange juice.

Very Interesting. I posted only an excerpt, but it's a good article to read.




Excerpt:

Orange is the new green: How orange peels revived a Costa Rican forest


In the mid-1990s, 1,000 truckloads of orange peels and orange pulp were purposefully unloaded onto a barren pasture in a Costa Rican national park. Today, that area is covered in lush, vine-laden forest.

A team led by Princeton University researchers surveyed the land 16 years after the orange peels were deposited. They found a 176 percent increase in aboveground biomass — or the wood in the trees — within the 3-hectare area studied (7 acres). Their results are published in the journal Restoration Ecology.

This story, which involves a contentious lawsuit, showcases the unique power of agricultural waste to not only regenerate a forest but also to sequester a significant amount of carbon at no cost.

“This is one of the only instances I’ve ever heard of where you can have cost-negative carbon sequestration,” said Timothy Treuer, co-lead author of the study and a graduate student in Princeton’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. “It’s not just a win-win between the company and the local park — it’s a win for everyone.”
 
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To you gardeners in the USA, don't you have any ordinary earthworms in your ordinary garden soil?
My garden, and most others here have millions of them. I uncover loads of them every time I turn a fork full of soil. They find their own grub.
No shortage of earthworms here in Florida.
 
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That isn't fair. We have to work like the dickens here in the desert southwest to lour those slimy suckers in.
The only time I've seen the death of hundreds of earthworms here was after the local farmer sprayed his field with something that smelt really bad - poison of some kind ?
Maybe you could pop over to Florida and cadge a few of theirs - find out where roadrunner lives :unsure:
 
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I pulled up some snow pea plants that were in different bed and were green and healthy to prepare for the next round of planting. Is there any chance the worms would eat these leaves and/or stems?
Snow pea waste will be fine if you chop it into smaller bits. Can you buy a bale of straw? Pea straw, wheat straw, barley straw are all good. Put the straw on the ground and wet it. It will start to decompose. Feed in onto the top of the bag bed bit by bit. Eventually use that bit of straw topped soil to put your worms into and grow a potato or something in it.
 

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