question about worm castings

thinking of purchasing a couple hundred pound of worm castings for fertilizing vegetable garden........worms are fed peat.......I understand peat is somewhat acidic, could this be a problem?
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On Jan 11, 11:35 pm, snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org wrote:

Should be alkaline no matter what they're fed.
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On 1/11/12 8:35 PM, snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org wrote:

Instead of buying castings and then the effort to work the castings into the soil, buy worms. Spread a thin layer of an organic mulch on your vegetable garden over the worms. Keep the bed moist but not wet. As the mulch decomposes, add more. The worms will aerate the soil and leave their castings.
By "organic mulch" I mean partially composted leaves and grass clippings, the output of an paper shredder, or wood chips generated from a tree service's pruning efforts. At first, you might need to add a little nitrogen to the mulch since the composting process absorbs nitrogen.
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Compost worms and earthworms are different creatures. Earthworms are already present in garden soil, no need to buy. Compost worms won't survive freezing -- they stay near the surface, whereas earthworms can survive winter by tunneling deep under the frost line. In indoor bins, they're remarkably tough, able to survive a year or more without being fed. A $2.00 carton of "trout worms" from the bait store will last forever once introduced into a bin.
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On 1/12/12 4:37 PM, Father Haskell wrote:

soil, buy worms. Spread a thin layer of an organic mulch on your vegetable garden over the worms. Keep the bed moist but not wet. As the mulch decomposes, add more. The worms will aerate the soil and leave their castings.

output of an paper shredder, or wood chips generated from a tree service's pruning efforts. At first, you might need to add a little nitrogen to the mulch since the composting process absorbs nitrogen.

In my garden, I have earthworms under the mulch on my beds. I was not suggesting that "gaffer" use his vegetable garden as a compost pile. I was merely suggesting that he promote earthworm activity by providing a layer of mulch.
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Which is pretty much all he has to do. It'll return him all of the benefits of tilling, with less work.
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In article

Tilling is stupid and, destructive of your soil.
Go to a landscaping supplyer, where the prices are cheaper.
Cubic Yard to Gallon Conversion
1.0 cu.ft. =7.48 gal
32.0 gal/7.48 gal/cu.ft.=4.278 cu ft
1 cu.yd.' cu.ft.
32 gal. = 0.159 cu.yds
3 X 32 gal. = .477 c u. yds.
32 gallons is standard size for many garbage cans.
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Billy

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It's even easier just to lay an inch or so of newspaper over the rows.
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Growing your own soil is what organic gardening is all about.
Garden Soil
You're garden soil shouldn't be more than 10%, or less than 5% organic material.
Garden soil should be 30% - 40% sand, 30% - 40% silt, and 20% - 30% clay. You can check your soil by scraping away the organic material on top of the ground and then take a vertical sample of your soil to 12 in. (30 cm) deep (rectangular or circular hole). Mix this with water in an appropriately large glass (transparent) jar. The sand will settle out quickly, the silt in a couple of hours, and the clay within a day. The depth of the layer in relationship to the total (layer/total = % of composition) is the percent that fraction has in the soil.
Garden soil needs a constant input of nutrients, i.e. carbon, e.g. brown leaves, and nitrogen, e.g. manure in a ratio of C/N of 25. This is the same ratio you will what in a compost pile. -----
Let it Rot!: The Gardener's Guide to Composting (Third Edition) (Storey's Down-to-Earth Guides) by Stu Campbell
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)94901182&sr=1-1>
p.39
Compostable Material Average C/N
Alder or ash leaves ............................ 25
Grass clippings ................................ 25
Leguminous plants (peas, beans,soybeans) ............................. 15
Manure with bedding ........................... 23
Manure ....................................... 15
Oak leaves .................................... 50
Pine needles .............................. 60-100
Sawdust................................. 150-500
Straw, cornstalks and cobs .................. 50-100
Vegetable trimmings ........................... 25 Aged Chicken Manure  ........................  7 Alfalfa ................................................ 12 Newspaper........................................ 175 -----
http://www.composting101.com/c-n-ratio.html
A Balancing Act (Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratios)
All organic matter is made up of substantial amounts of carbon (C) combined with lesser amounts of nitrogen (N). The balance of these two elements in an organism is called the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio (C:N ratio). For best performance, the compost pile, or more to the point the composting microorganisms, require the correct proportion of carbon for energy and nitrogen for protein production. Scientists (yes, there are compost scientists) have determined that the fastest way to produce fertile, sweet-smelling compost is to maintain a C:N ratio somewhere around 25 to 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen, or 25-30:1. If the C:N ratio is too high (excess carbon), decomposition slows down. If the C:N ratio is too low (excess nitrogen) you will end up with a stinky pile. (cont.) ------
No reason to till after the first preparation of the garden (no reason to till the first/last time but it does speed up soil development). Spread out your soil amendments: € N: € 18.37 lb. chicken manure/ 100 sq.ft. (2.88 oz/sq.ft.) € € P: € 3 lb. / 100/sq.ft. (.48 oz/sq.ft.) € € K: € How much wood ash should you use in your garden? The late Bernard G. Wesenberg, a former Washington State University Extension horticulturist, recommended using one gallon of ashes per square yard on loam to clay-loam soil, and half as much on sandier soils.
<http://www.plantea.com/manure.htm € Manure Chicken Diary cow Horse Steer Rabbit € N 1.1 .257 .70 .70 2.4 € P .80 .15 .30 .30 1.4 € K .50 .25 .60 .40 .60 € Sheep Alfalfa Fish Emulsion € N .70 3 5 € P .30 1 1 € K .90 2 1
€ Sources: Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, An Illustrated Guide to Organic Gardening, by Sunset Publishing, and the Rodale Guide to Composting. <http://www.plantea.com/manure.htm € Manure Chicken Diary cow Horse Steer Rabbit € N 1.1 .257 .70 .70 2.4 € P .80 .15 .30 .30 1.4 € K .50 .25 .60 .40 .60 € Sheep Alfalfa Fish Emulsion € N .70 3 5 € P .30 1 1 € K .90 2 1
€ Sources: Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, An Illustrated Guide to Organic Gardening, by Sunset Publishing, and the Rodale Guide to Composting.
Cover this with newspaper (to block light from weeds and provide a barrier to sprouting weeds). Cover the newspaper with mulch (up to 6" in depth). Spray the garden bed with water, and wait 6 weeks before planting (if you can).
A dibble can help with planting. The dinky little ones from the nursery may be of some help, but I prefer a sharpened, old, shovel handle for making a hole through the mulch and paper for planting seedlings.
Adding drip lines takes a little time, but saves a lot of time during the season.
That's all I know.
Good luck.
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Billy

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snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org wrote:

not to worry.
worms excrete calcium into their gut to provide the bacteria with a suitable environment.
if in doubt ask the people you are getting the castings from.
songbird
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On Jan 11, 8:35 pm, snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org wrote: ........worms are fed peat.......I understand

Probably not. However, it would depend on your soil's present pH and composition and your environment. So any answer is a guess without knowing that info. Most worm casting in my area of the PNW is ~ 6.5 -7.5 & my veg bed soils range from ~ 5.4 -6.2 .
There is an article in the below wormdigest.org on worm bin pH and peat if your interested.
Do have to say that is a bit spendy to buy couple of hundred weight
Some helpful info: http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/topic/vermicomposting/vermiculture/castings.html http://www.wormdigest.org /
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The cost is very reasonable $ 0.30 per pound two hundred pounds is $60.00
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On Sun, 15 Jan 2012 18:52:04 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org wrote:

Yeah, hardly enough for a very small flower bed... when you till that into the ground it disappears in no time.... that's barely enough for a 5' X 5' bed. When sold by weight at least 1/3 will be water. You'd be far better off buying good topsoil by the sq yd, then the earthworms will find you.
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Worm Castings are an excellent idea; however all you really need is to put a teaspoon full into the hole before you drop in your transplant. This will cut way down on the amount you need and it will benefit the plant, which is why you are doing it in the first place. Here is a link for worm castings, http://www.gardenharvestsupply.com/ProductCart/pc/Earth-Worm-Castings-for-Sale-c808.htm Think Spring!
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