Worm Bed Anyone?

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LaqueRatt

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Decided to get back into fishing and started a worm bed last year. Buried an old recycling bin that is about 2' deep. Our compost bin is full of red worms if you dig down to the bottom so I put a bunch of those in there. We get pretty cold winters here so wondering if the worms will still be alive. It was a mild winter, but the frost line frequently gets down that far if not more. Anybody think my worms are still alive? For filler I used shredded newspapers, soil, compost, and a little horse manure. Not so sure I like the red worms though. They never got all that big. Would nightcrawlers be better? I think maybe so. Can I just add them in with the red worms or should I start over? If it matters mainly we catch crappie, blue gill, bullhead, and catfish.
 

dingbat

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Grew up with a creek full of trout in my back yard.

Tried worm farming but didn’t have any luck with the endeavor. Was easier to just turn logs and rocks on the walk way down to the creek.

In this day and age I’d try one of the “gum” baits on the market. Fishbites work very well once water temps come up
 

LaqueRatt

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When I was a kid my grandparents backyard was the lake. We always had a worm bed, but I also remember hunting night crawlers pretty often. So not so sure we were farming them. Maybe just keeping them handy. Attaching a pic of my meager attempt. Hoping to find it full of big juicy worms, but wouldn't be too surprised if there aren't any.
 

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aspeck

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Redworms are excellent for the crappie and blue gill. Nightcrawlers for the others. As for them being together, I don't know why it wouldn't be okay, but I am no expert and never raised or had a worm bed. When I was using live bait I just kept a coffee can of nightcrawlers in the refrigerator and refreshed the can at night after hard rains.

Good luck. Sorry I am no more help than that. I am pretty much strictly artificial now ... from a combination of my tournament fishing days gone by and too lazy to get live bait any more.
 

Grub54891

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neighbors would put coffee grounds in a spot in their backyard. Always good crawlers back there free for the taking. They would just dump them on the surface.
 

airshot

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In my much younger days we had a worm bed, not sure I ever bred any as we used them to often ! We would scout all over for worms to add, golf courses etc...probably cant do that today!! We always covered our bed with a foot of leaves/ grass clippings, the action of decaying kept things warm enough, we always had nice fat worms in late spring, early summer. Coffee grounds, corn meal and other food was added thru the summer. Your bed needed to drain well, many find their worms dead from drowning or molded from fungus. Gotta keep the soil/ mulch material aerated by turning it with an old pitchfork.. our bed was on a hill, rock and sand at the bottom, screened then at least 12" of soil/ mulch then a top/lid of another 12" of leaves/grass and shaded, no direct sun to dry things out. Not sure if any of this is right, but it worked for me 60 plus years back!! Much easier to buy them today !!
 

LaqueRatt

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Thanks for all the tips. I try to remember to throw some veggie scraps and coffee grounds on top once in awhile and it is in the shade. There's a few holes in the bottom, but the ground is mostly clay. No idea how well it drains.

Ground seems thawed. When this rain gives up guess I'll poke around in the bed to see if I have any survivors. Put hundreds in there and only pulled a few dozen out. Be sad if they're all dead, but oh well. I know where to get more. A forkful from the bottom of the compost bin looks like living spaghetti!
 

airshot

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If needed raise your bed with some gravel and sand so it drains, clay is nasty stuff, we have it at our place. If you have living spagetti, sounds like yours is working !!
 

LaqueRatt

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Well you sure called that one airshot. I dug into the bed today and wow, what a mucky mess. Surprisingly there were pretty many nightcrawlers, but thiink the red worms all died. I'm going to do what you suggested and dig the hole deeper and add gravel underneath.
 

airshot

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If you have a hill use that or make a mound higher up so it will drain. Worms like moisture but not flooded out, that iscwhy they surface in rainstorms..
 

LaqueRatt

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Picked up 200 or so crawlers last night after the big rain. Was surprised to see any since the ground was hard not much more than a week ago. A lot of scrawny ones, but some big guys too. Now I got something to restock the bed with after I re-do it. What's good to put in there besides shredded paper and coffee grounds? I can maybe snag me a free bundle of straw.
 

airshot

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Grass clippings as long as there are no chemicals on them. They also make commercial bedding, leaves work well also. Most any type organic material that will break down is good. Gotta stir it up ocassionally with a pitchfork to keep it aerated.
 

LaqueRatt

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Dug it out deeper. Wasn't easy. Added 18" of gravel. A waste of time. Pretty sad. The worms now live in a condo next to a swimming pool. Guess I'm gonna have to move this thing someplace else.
 

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airshot

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Your best bet is to build a small hill to put your worm farm on. If already a low spot, going deeper wont help. I have saw some folks build a pile from old leaves, after setting for a good year, then build the worm farm on top. However you do it it needs to drain, the worm ved needs to be higher than surrounding area!! Be aware though, racoons and skunks like worms also and they can dig !!
 

rolmops

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You can have a worm farm in an old cooler in your basement. add a bit of water every so often and success is guaranteed
 
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