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worms good or bad ?


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blownin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:08 pm    Post subject: worms good or bad ? Reply with quote

i have just started to dig a vegetable plot that has been grazed by ponies for many years, i dug a good bit out today, a spade depth of good black well compacted soil on top of blue clay, but not one worm to be seen is this good or bad ?
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'ts bad, but likely because it's so compact, once you start cultivating you can bet your bottom dollar they will move in. If you use farmyard manure that will speed up the process, you could also buy a kilo from a worm farm to get it going once you've started cultivating.
Get loads of humus in there the more the better, you can't over do it. When I dig and manure in autumn my intention is to have the soil level at least 6" above the surrounding soil, raised by the digging action and amount of manure in it. The winter process drops this level about 2" - 3" then after preparation for planting etc, it should be about 2" above. If it's about the same level, then I haven't put enough manure in.
Your be surprised at how many worms are in there the next time you dig it over.
Bill.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More to aid you here blownin
Earth Worms

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JennyS
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got no worms in my vegetable garden either - its been dug and well-manured for many years but the last few years its been seriously short of worms Surprised Surprised

The soil is fairly compacted there but even in lighter soil worms are in short supply - and clues would be really appreciated

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blownin
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe no worms is good then they cant eat in to potatoes or root vegetables ?
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worms don't do that sort of damage really, only if there's a lack of humus etc. they feed on decaying matter and prevent it going sour and help keep your soil open.
If your plot is so compacted, especially under he topsoil, then I'm afraid next autumn your going to have to do a bit of double-digging.
Meantime, get a half Kilo of worms from a farm or someone. I'm very surprised that your farmyard manure hasn't got worms in it already!
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Michael196
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have noticed during composting, that If I put in a standard size newspaper ( like the size if the Star etc, just fold it over and put it into the composter, maybe in a corner of the composter, that worms love to breed in the newspaper. When I dig out the composter, the newspaper had hundreds of baby worms, all tucked up in between the decaying sheets of the newspaper.

Just something I noticed !!
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Dr. Sunny Thomson
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael196 wrote:
I put in a standard size newspaper ( like the size if the Star etc, just fold it over and put it into the composter,


Thats the place for it . Laughing Laughing
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Michael196
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats an ecumenical matter !!! the Star makes for good reading for worms. sorry Breeding !!! OOPPPPPP Cool Shocked Laughing
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blownin
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've been digging for two days and not getting very far, so i hired out a hydrolic rotorvator today, even that strugled to get through, but it has losened up a good bit now. Two wagtails and one robin landed but didnt hang about, i didnt see one worm after rotervating 150 plus square yards. Should i now add worms or wait until autum
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Michael196
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Blownin

You have completed teh first stage.

next stage realy is to replenish the soil now with compost / humus /manure. the rotavating work could all be reversed with a wet summer re-constituting the soil, so prevent this now by adding in compost/ humus/ manure over the next few weeks or months as per your own schedule.

worms should naturally take over duing that phase.
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blowin, by the sound of your soil, hiring a hydrostatic rotovater was not a very good investment. Check your soil you've rotovated and you will be lucky if it's gone to 6 " How big is your plot? Do you know someone with a mini-tractor and plough? Otherwise you'd be better off digging it then rotovating in other years. It really sounds like you either need to plough or double dig. If there's no depth of soil, the worms won't hang around. You need to open that ground up to a minimum of a spade blade depth. You don't need to double dig it all one season, do a section this year and another section next year and so on. Just single dig the others.
Bill.

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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what's a hydrostatic rotovator?
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woops! he said hydrolic, sorry my mistake. I don't know what a hydrolic rotovater is but a hydrostatic is a very heavy beast, the gears work on oil/fluid and they have no clutch, just change gear forward reverse etc with no clutch. That's the basics. They do very hevy work, but won't really go down deep on very compacted soil unless it's been ploughed first.
Bill.

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blownin
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well it seems to have done the trick, there was an adjustable bar at the back of the machine that acts as a plough and rips up the soil, i forked it over and racked it level today, a good bit of sunshine on it dried it out a good bit this afternoon, i even managed to plant a few rows of seed potatoes, we'll see how they get on, should i add worms now or latter ? yeh it was a hydrolic machine 9 horse powered honda engine drove a hydrolic pump that drove very small tractor tyres that propelled it and the blades and the bar at the back that riped down to about 12 inches, well worth the €70.00 for the day, rotorvated 150m sq and more. Hydrostatic means preasure of water or a fluid.
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