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Invisiblecaptain.koons
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Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 6,163
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soil aeration - worms!
    #243884 - 06/28/09 10:29 PM (7 years, 5 months ago)

Most people use perlite as a soil additive to give it an airy texture to promote root development. It's typically applied at 35%.

I've been looking into worms for soil aeration and there's a type of worm that seems to shine for this purpose. The Alabama Jumper grows large and can rip through heavy clay soils.

I would suspect this would give all the benefits of perlite and you could load your soil up with more composted peat, worm castings, etc. This would be more user friendly as you wouldn't need to fertilize as often if at all.

Anyone have questions, opinions, or input on the subject?


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Invisiblecaptain.koons
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Posts: 6,163
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Re: soil aeration - worms! [Re: captain.koons]
    #243886 - 06/28/09 10:35 PM (7 years, 5 months ago)

mmm, could this be moved to the soil section?


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InvisibleStonethM
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: captain.koons]
    #243897 - 06/28/09 10:56 PM (7 years, 5 months ago)

This thread was moved from Marijuana Cultivation.

Reason:
At the request of the poster.


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Invisibleagmotes165
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: Stoneth]
    #243935 - 06/28/09 11:58 PM (7 years, 5 months ago)

the only problem with loading up the soil with more worm castings is that they are toxic to the worms...

and peat moss, unless the PH is balanced...will cause the soil to become too acidic and kill the worms.

worms drown really easily...and any chemicals that you add to the soil (liquid ferts) can potentially kill them

worms also require constantly moist soil...which seems like it would also provide the perfect breeding ground for fungus...

worms need food...usually shredded cardboard or newspaper, and table
scraps

i have a few worm bins that i keep for composting my old table scraps...and i use the castings as a natural fertilizer, and worms are very picky about their environment...that being said...what you suggest can be done...I am just trying to provide some info on what not to do so that you can plan your soil mix appropriately and not kill all of the worms in the first week of your grow...

hope this helps :cool::thumbup: and good luck
agmotes165


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“The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you” -NDT


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Invisiblecaptain.koons
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: agmotes165]
    #243944 - 06/29/09 12:48 AM (7 years, 5 months ago)

Well I've had my bins with absolutely no bedding and my worm counts were still very high... I'm sure I'd use far less worm castings than that and I don't need the worms to thrive just survive and maintain a useful population.

as for the peat moss most composed peat mosses that you buy in store for horticulture are already balanced and you would be off to a bad start even without the worms to have a acidic soil environment.

worms thrive not on news paper, cardboard, and table scraps but they the complex organic molecules that bacteria produce when they break down the priorly listed materials. There is plenty of bacteria in a soil bed to support the worms.


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OfflineBuddy
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: captain.koons]
    #244284 - 06/29/09 08:02 PM (7 years, 5 months ago)

I wish I could say I got worms in my bush.

After reading agmotes post I think it would be a pretty hard task to keep the little worms alive and at the same time give your plants all the nutes they need. Although the idea kicks ass if you can find ways around those problems. Would have to be better than perlite.


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Invisibleagmotes165
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: Buddy]
    #244293 - 06/29/09 08:21 PM (7 years, 5 months ago)

i agree...try it and see if it works...I guess the only thing i would research is vermicompost...just to make sure you know how to take of them...and make sure to keep a log...this may be some ground-breaking stuff. :cool::thumbup:

agmotes165


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Offlinegrogan
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: agmotes165]
    #246597 - 07/07/09 02:37 AM (7 years, 4 months ago)

Give it a shot.. however it might be best to just start a small worm farm and use the castings for your grow :wink: let us know if you get it going.


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Invisiblecaptain.koons
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: grogan]
    #246701 - 07/07/09 02:18 PM (7 years, 4 months ago)

this has nothing to do with castings.


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Offlinegrogan
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: captain.koons]
    #252175 - 07/21/09 02:20 AM (7 years, 4 months ago)

Ahh yes my fault, you want to replace perlite with worms to aerate plus break down nutes.. smart I say try it out! ORGANIC!


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Offlineshakalaka
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: grogan]
    #253150 - 07/23/09 05:29 AM (7 years, 4 months ago)

OK here is my input. Been workin with composting worms for about 12 years now. Thats the type of worms that are surface dwellers...they would be more suitable for a pot grow. Im not sure what alabama jumpers are...but nightcrawler types would not be suitable for this idea. They need deeper soils for their burrows. I always add worms to my pots with great results! I still use perlite though..perlite helps a lot with drainage...and i like that in my mixes....drainage is also important for the worms...they dont like an overly saturated bedding. I add food like coffee grounds mixed with calcium carb and ground eggshells to the top of the pot as a mulch and food for the worms...they i will come to the surface to feed and deposit castings and create aeration for the plant roots.
If u dont want to feed them in the pots...then start a big worm bin. Keep that thriving...and add worms from there into ur pots regularly...as they will die off. Also...some worms tend to migrate..so make sure the pots are setup so they can't escape all over the place...put netting over the holes. Sometimes they will try to escape out of the sides of the pot in the periods of darkness too.


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OfflineBuddy
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: shakalaka]
    #253197 - 07/23/09 08:29 AM (7 years, 4 months ago)

If you were to just water your plant and feed the worms what they need. Would the castings provide enough nutes for your plants to thrive?


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Offlineshakalaka
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: Buddy]
    #253217 - 07/23/09 10:04 AM (7 years, 4 months ago)

It is a possibility for sure! There would need to be some trial and error and adjustments made in order to come up with the perfection of food, type of food,  timing, number of starter worms, size of pot, amount of potting mix, and prob a bunch other factors. It is definitely possible....but is it worth it? what would the benefits of such a system be?


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OfflineBuddy
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Re: soil aeration - worms! (moved) [Re: shakalaka]
    #253220 - 07/23/09 10:14 AM (7 years, 4 months ago)

It'd be cool.


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OfflineWinterRose
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Re: soil aeration - worms! [Re: captain.koons]
    #254564 - 07/25/09 08:53 AM (7 years, 4 months ago)

Everyone forgets the faithful worm!


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It seldom turns out the way
it does in the song
Once in a while
you get shown the light
in the strangest of places
if you look at it right

  ~ Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter



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OfflineChapter 4

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Re: soil aeration - worms! [Re: WinterRose]
    #272004 - 08/29/09 01:48 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

its a decent system.  we use if for our larger potted plants (not weed).  works quite well actually.  but like shakalaka, depending on species they like it deep (and dark).  we use them in 30cmcm pots and up, and they always seem to stay there.  never fertilize and get great growth on plants.  we use dried leaves powdered in our hands and mix it in the top layer of soil.  most pots start off as a 100% coco and after a few months are a nice darker, rich loamy type soil :thumbup:  but the soil does become noticeably more heavy with time.

gotta love worms.


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