spring flowers

trying to show up. we will have thousands of daffodils coming into bloom in the next few weeks. at last! :) the earliest ones are the smaller/miniature daffodils. i didn't even know we had those there. Ma planted some stuff a friend had given her last year and those must have been in that batch of mixed forced bulbs. not all of those survive being forced and then planted.
the poor crocuses have been out, most of those outside the fenced garden were bunny food. some are still coming out.
the grecian windflowers aka anemone blanda are doing nicely in their place. i will keep spreading those seeds around as they get ready.
with the temperatures finally getting warm enough for me to be outside later this week i hope i can get some of the onion sets in if they are in good enough condition. i haven't even looked at them yet. they're buried behind too much junk in the garage.
and those apple tree saplings have to come out... wild grape vines to cut back...
ah, good to see spring warm up enough to move! :)
songbird
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On 4/12/2016 11:42 AM, songbird wrote:

Mine were a lot earlier than that and the biggest profusion of bulbs is well past. I had giant crocus coming out in January (thanks to a micro-climate next to a south-facing wall). Periwinkle were blooming then too. Regular crocus have come and gone as have the daffodils, Anemone blanda, hyacinth. There are a few surviving tulips and grape hyacinth but not many. On the plus side the huge patch of verbena is spectacular next to the moss phlox and conceal the crocus foliage. Flag iris are up quite high now and buds are showing on some of them. The daylilies are up too although they are still not showing flower stalks. The collection of ferns out back are doing well and many of them didn't even die back this year because of the mild winter. Hostas are popping up all over the place. I have even set out the huge pots with the Peruvian 'miracle lilies' which always overwinter in the garage after repotting but nothing is showing there yet. This is in central eastern Tennessee.
Oh, I forgot the English bluebells! They are actually doing pretty well this year and a few are showing up in places I don't remember planting any. And I noticed that some, but not all, of my trillium are coming up in the woods out front. Might have been a partial die-off there. They were rescues from a construction site so they will live or die as they see fit since they don't seem to respond to human intervention.
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John McGaw wrote: ...

i lived near Johnson City for a few years.

seeds or bulbs can get moved around (wind, rain, critters). we find crocuses moved around all the time. just wish the critters wouldn't eat so many of them. lost a few hundred bulbs a few years ago when the chipmunks nearly cleaned them out of a temporary garden where i put them when i was working on redoing a patch. planned on moving them all back when i was done... buggers ate 'em a few weeks before i went to do that. didn't even notice them until it was too late.
last year we waged war on the chipmunks and caught nearly 50 of them by the end of the season.

they do like some leaves/mulch. they are protected in MI from being moved/disturbed.
worms are actually not good for them because they eat the leaves and thus they lose their protection.
i hope yours survive, they are nice woodland plants. :)
time to get going, nice day out there and i have a pathway to take out. :) first day of gardening season!
songbird
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What kind of worms eat leaves? Do you mean caterpillars?

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J. Clarke wrote:

...

any of the composting worms (red wrigglers, belgian night crawlers, night crawlers, etc.) will break down leaves. many northern forests are not home to worms unless they are brought in by fisherfolks or some other means.
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songbird wrote:

Earthworms don't eat leaves, certainly not living plant leaves. Earthworms eat and subsist on the microbes that compost leaves and other organic matter. Earthworms injest the microbe laden soil and compost, digest the microbes and eject the soil and compost as castings... earthworms do no composting of leaves. Earthworms congregate near fallen leaves because the leaves attract microbes, but they do not eat the leaves. Earthworms exist very well in northern forests, they burrow down below the frost line, same as they burrow deep on hot summer days. Earthworms exist most everywhere on the planet except near the North Pole where the soil doesn't thaw. There are worms that live in the ground beneath bodies of water that do the same. I don't know why so many believe that earthworms compost organic matter, they do not, I suppose they can't make the leap that organic matter attracts microbes... that's why fisherman sprinkle cereal on the ground in the late afternoon and cover it with cardboard to attract nightcrawlers. Microbes multiply rapidly and are attracted to cereal, in turn the microbes attract nightcrawlers. Just before dawn the fisherman go out with flashlights, lift the cardboard and quickly harvest plenty of live bait for a day's fishing. The nightcrawlers are not eating the cereal, they are injesting the proximal soil that's loaded with microbes that are attracted to the cereal.
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On Fri, 15 Apr 2016 12:49:55 -0400

You need to brush up on your earthworm knowledge. See Benefits->Biological:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthworm
<snip>

They are considered an invasive species:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasive_earthworms_of_North_America
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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On Fri, 15 Apr 2016 15:18:48 -0400, Leon Fisk

You need to brush up on your reading comprehension, feeding on live organic matter means feeding on microbes.

Idiots like you are an invasive species of no value whatsoever.
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Brooklyn1 wrote: ...

...
go back and read what i wrote. nowhere did i say "earthworm", i used the terms "worm" and "compost worm".
having raised such creatures for many years i think i can tell what they eat...
i also raise earthworms.
i usually don't bother replying to you because you are so often wrong.
songbird
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Compost worms are "Eisenia fetida". Also known as: redworm, brandling worm, panfish worm, trout worm, tiger worm, red wiggler worm, red californian earth worm

According to this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenia_fetida
they are adapted to eating decaying organic matter. That doesn't sound like "living plant leaves".

Worse than wrong is rude. No idea why he can't carry on a discussion without name calling. The sign of a small intellect.
--
Dan Espen

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wrote:

Small intellect would be you, I did no name calling.
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To be clear, you were just rude and it was uncalled for. You do a lot of name calling.
--
Dan Espen

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wrote:

Actually it's you who are rude. Once again, earthworms do not eat leaves. The insect larva that do eat leaves are NOT worms. Catapillars are NOT worms. You don't want to know the names I've reserved for the likes of you and your know nothing ilk. You don't do gardening, no one here has seen your garden because you're ashamed to show your pitiful garden. As best I can tell you may have a small pot with a dying plant in the one small window of your ghetto basement apt.
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Dan Espen wrote:

...

yep, they raise these using horse manure or other plant stuff, no dirt needed, just organic matter...
i have some mixed in with various other species of worms (including earth worms) and they do a great job of composting about anything organic.
because i actually study various processes involved in decomposition and how worms and fungi interact (or don't) to break woody stuff down (along with the other soil critters) i will sometimes throw them a challenge and see how it turns out. in one bucket i have a very putrid bone from the christmas ham (i also study how well the soil can deal with odors :) ). the first few days i wasn't sure how well they were going to be able to cope. the smell was noticeable so i added another inch of soil on top. haven't smelled it since then. i will be looking at in the next next few weeks as that bucket is coming up on the feeding rotation schedule again.

the other thing too is that this description is not really complete. some worms will take any organic matter into their burrows even if it is green or not as long as it isn't attached too hard for them to pull it off.
worms are a very diverse group of creatures with many habits.
i like studying ants too. :)
songbird
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On Sat, 16 Apr 2016 18:05:16 -0400
<snip>

I get a lot of Silver Maple "helicopters" in the garden. Earthworms do a really good job of planting them for me :) Maybe I'll take some pictures this year. I say that every year but never get around to it...
I read an article awhile back that discussed how the earthworms were pulling weed seeds down into there burrows. Made near perfect conditions for it to germinate, grow. This made for unforeseen problems using no-till planting. It was awhile back, so I've probably got some of the details messed up... It might have been this:
http://portal.nifa.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/0204757-role-of-the-exotic-earthworm-lumbricus-terrestris-in-the-colonizing-behavior-of-the-native-weed-ambrosia-trifida-giant-ragweed.html
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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On 4/15/2016 11:49 AM, Brooklyn1 wrote:

Sheldon, you're full of shit as usual. The common earthworm is not native to the US, it was introduced by settlers. Researchers have found that it degrades the forest ground cover by rapidly decomposing the leaf mulch. As a result, there is an effort to protect the (few) forested regions in NA that are not infested with earthworms by reminding people not to introduce them.
Mulch is good. Compost is good. Earthworms are a major factor in the rapid decomposition of both. It should be obvious that earthworms are not environmentally beneficial, contrary to popular misconception. Imagine the advantages of soils where organic matter has a chance to persist and only slowly decompose over several seasons, instead of several months. Think how much richer and more productive such soils would be - and how much less labor we'd have if we only had to amend our soils occasionally, instead of frequently.
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Moe DeLoughan wrote: ...

it depends upon what you are growing as to how much nutrient demand there is.
for a forested woodland in a place that gets enough moisture, if you are producing fruits/nuts then it is great to be able to hold moisture and only have to add some top mulches to keep things going.
if you are producing veggies, some of the heavier feeders do much better with amended soils.
no till is by far the best method (and in a rotational planting it is possible in three of four years to grow without amending much at all) but if you are starting with poor soil, deficient in nutrients and organic matter then worms will help you out.
worms are now pretty common in all tilled fields in this area. the neighboring woodlands may not have them at all (i've not even looked).
the more general thing to evaluate with any agricultural system is your base soil forming capacity. how are your various minerals and nutrients getting there? for many gardens worms play a critical role in that they grind soil particles together and also add nutrients from their own wastes. you don't get that without them as easily. lichens only dissolve rocks and release minerals for plant availability in areas where they grow, the same with the freeze/thaw cycles and erosion from rains. for N there is some deposition from the air along with some dust from other regions. sulfur used to come via the rains too, but with improved air quality and less coal burning that has decreased. etc.
earthworms and composting worms play their parts. many animals eat them. i'd not eradicate them (any more than i would eradicate mosquitoes or flies). i think it's stupid to remove creatures that play a very important role in improving the soil. they make channels for plant roots here in this heavy soil and they certainly play a key role in how we use and recycle plant materials.
songbird
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