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Who has actual personal experience with worm towers?

 
pollinator
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Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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I love the idea of putting food scraps right in the garden beds rather than tending a thermophilic compost pile. But I can't help but wonder about the claim that food scraps in a worm tower will result in worm castings being automagically spread throughout the garden bed. Obviously you can - and probably should - have more than one tower in a bed. But my experience with worm bins leads me to wonder why you wouldn't wind up with a concentrated pile of castings at the bottom of the tower rather than redistribution to the rest of the bed. IME the worms hang out where the food is rather than travelling to areas of lesser food concentration.

Anyone?

 
Posts: 525
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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heya ... old topic but same question....

i think, garden worms behave differently than compost worms. they dig deeper and wander around more than the compost worms.

but will the worm tower be emptied by them? or will it fill up with stuff?

how far will the worms wander? so how far should the towers be spaced from each other?

an idea would be to use a food-safe bucket with lid and screw holes into it. when it gets too full, harvest the worm compost and start over again
 
gardener
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I did the bucket thing. I did not add composting worms and I got poor results. Lots of moldy bits of food.
I might try again with composting worms, or even ivory headed roaches.
 
pollinator
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I don't use a tower; what I do is put down a little pile of scraps and place some biggish rocks over them. The scraps get eaten by a combination of native worms, pill bugs, sow bugs, and sometimes little native roaches. When I'm raising baby chicks I do this to attract a large number of critters which I can scoop up and feed to the chicks.

I hope this isn't too off-topic!

 
Tobias Ber
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heya... i think it depends on what kind of worms are already there... and how much.

when i started with this garden (small allotment, clay soil, not much organic matter in it) there were hardly any worms.
after this season of gardening there are lots of more. i left the potatoes in teh ground for too long, so some rotted. while harvesting them, i collected lots of earthworms for inside worm-bin.
they re not working the same as compost worms are supposed to work.

but i ll try them in dug- in buckets and/or wormtowers.

i started just to dig in the kitchen scraps into the beds. even in winter. while it freezes, it just stays there. but when it gets warm enough for the worms (even some days), they ll find their all-u-can-eat-buffet.

garden worms love this stuff ... but how far will they wander after eating? how far will they scatter their castings? how much matter will they take out of the bucket/tower?


EDIT: different composting worms

Part 2 of that article
 
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