raised bed, earthworms, and fertilizer question

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Outlaw9, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. Outlaw9

    Outlaw9 GO VOLS!!!!

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    I have a raised bed garden I filled it with the cheapest top soil bag wal-mart had. Like 1.39 for a 40 lb bag. And ways I have been adding compost and I added some earthworms to it to. I was wondering if adding fertilizer will kill the earthworms. If not will it effect them in anyway?
     
  2. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

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    Depends on how hot your bed gets from the fertilizer. I have always heard that worms and rabbit poo go wonderfully together. I was getting lazy about taking care of my worms, (they are the small red composting worms), so I thought I would just feed them some rabbit poo. Bad choice! I guess I overdid it, burned most of my worms up.

    If your soil is deep enough, and you overdo it with the fertilizer, the worms will crawl to where they are safe though, which might mean they leave your raised bed ...... And also, the worms themselves will provide fertilization from their excrement once they become established in your bed. Just burying your kitchen scraps in your garden at odd places will bring the natural worms in. Not sure any of this information will help! lol.... :shrug:

    Woodsmokeinherhair!<who advises against fertilizing in midseason.>
     

  3. Outlaw9

    Outlaw9 GO VOLS!!!!

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    Hey woodsmoke thanks. Its not to deep right now maybe 3 inches. I had hoped to add to it over year. I didnt havbe much time before I made it so I put down some carboard to stop grass and weeds boxed the area off and added soil and plants. Put some tomatoes and peppers in it and left for 2 months. I added the worms before I left and I have been adding veggie and fruits scraps to it for about a week. Plant were doing ok but look a little unhealthy. Thought I would fertilize it but didnt want to kill the worms. I may add a little and see how they do.

    Thanks
     
  4. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    The au natural fertilizers are always best for gardening. Healthy soil = healthy plants. The problem with chemical fertilizers for soils is that the plants get a real boost and put on growth which can't be sustained for more than about three to four weeks, unless you use sulpher coated or slow release fertilizer. Still the same effect though. You aren't improving the soil as much as you are improving the plants in a lacking soil. At the end you have soil that is even more tired. Balance is important too in the n-p-k equation. Constant applications of high nitrogen stuff to trees or grass causes rapid extensive growth but doesn't allow the plants to develop a root system to keep up with the top growth. Evergreens fall down with a wind storm and lawns look terrible after you get rid of the lawn service because the only plants that'll grow in the depleted soils are weeds. The grasses didn't get enough phosphorous. Chemicals probably aren't very good for the worms but neither is lack of food for them. Compost, mulch, and manure will go a long way to improving the conditions in your soil, for the worms.
     
  5. Outlaw9

    Outlaw9 GO VOLS!!!!

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    Ive got plenty of manure. Cow manure. Anyways If i want to use newspaper and boxes will the worms help compost it? I can also get a bunch of old saw dust from a mill. It has set for at least 5 yrs. I used it last yr and tomatoes did great will worms help break it down to. One more question If I buy some night crawlers from the a fishing store will they survive if i dump them out in it or should I just use regular old earth worms I find around the house.
     
  6. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    The problem that I have with newspaper is the chemicals they use to clean the printing presses. It's called "Varn". That and the ink never dries. So, to me at least, I've never used it because I did some printing in my other life. There are better things to use in you garden than cardboard it seems. Again the sawdust isn't going to break down in your soil very quickly and breaking down any carbon sources in your garden is going to require nitrogen that would be best used by your plants. If you want to experiment with composting, then I would do it outside of your garden and then add the finished results to it.
     
  7. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    what do you mean by fertilizer? 10-10-10 or the like or do you mean manure?
    the phosphate in fertilizers will kill worms, (because it is treated with sulphuric acid I think, to make it available quicker). worms are the best thing to have and just feed them all you can, manure, coffee grounds, grassclippings, leaves etc etc.