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 Post subject: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:30 pm
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Location: Jandakot, WA
This is an interesting alternative to the typical tiered worm farm. . .

I have been experimenting with this concept for about six months now and so far it is working perfectly. I first saw the idea after watching the Olomana Permaculture and Aquaponics DVD, which is available through BYAP.

The basic concept of the system revolves around a large PVC pipe. The pipe is drilled with numerous large holes, about 10 mm in diametre, or slits, and is buried into the ground. I have been using 100mm PVC as it is about 4mm thick, (nice and strong), anything larger was too expensive.

Food is added to the chamber where the worms eat through it, turning it into vermicastings. They then tunnel through the surrounding soil, along with the help of earth worms, to distribute the castings throughout the surrounding soil. This creates viens of vermicastings throughout the soil, similar to the veins of gold in rocks. The worms then continue feeding, continuously repeating the cycle over and over again.

I've placed one tube near a few of my plants and they are all looking very healthy. I have modified and expanded the concept quite a lot and will post of variations later on.

Looking down the tube.
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File comment: Looking down the tube
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Worm tube next to apricot.
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File comment: Worm tube, next to apricot
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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:30 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:10 am
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Location: Benger, 160kms south of Perth, Western Australia (Temperate/Mediterranean)
Good idea, Mitch. I'll try it myself.

What sort of apricot is that? Mine has much rounder leaves.

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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:55 am 
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Location: Rural NSW temperate zones
I've heard of people using mesh bags in a similar way. Worms moving in and out with the temp flux and food supply.

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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:31 am 
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Location: Perth hills, Western Australia
What a great lateral thought - might have to look into that DVD.

So there's no sign Mitch that the plant roots are moving in and clogging up the holes ?
I imagine it would be moist in there and you know what happens when there's a bit of extra moisture around :bad:

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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:58 pm 
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Location: Jandakot, WA
Oops. . that's not the apricot, that's the peach. :) I rotate the tube usually once a fortnight or so to sever any roots etc.

And I hadn't thought about the extra moisture affecting the roots of the plant. There's been no negative signs as yet. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:02 pm 
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OK, yep - turning the pipe would definitely do the job - good idea.

With regard to the extra moisture, I only meant that it would attract the roots to clog the holes, not that fungus or rot may be a problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:09 pm 
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Location: Western Australia, Perth, mediterranean climate
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Damn... Guess I really should get some pipe from work before planting my trees..

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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:19 pm 
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Location: here and there, near Townsville, dry tropics
Location: that should do
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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:22 pm 
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Shhhhhhhhh....

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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:57 pm 
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Wonder if a pipe into the soil would work like a moisture trap. Helps when the owner forgets to water them. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:27 am 
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surely they would become a moisture trap.

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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:59 pm 
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Location: Jandakot, WA
I imagine so. Coupled with the fact that the worm castings are incredibly water retentive the tube would hold a small store of water.

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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:19 pm 
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Location: Brisbane
I've heard of people having larger ones made from recycled plastic barrels (that was before they became more expensive due to demand from aquaponicians :lol:).

Provided you didn't inted to move them around, the large slotted ag pipe dug in verticaly may be a good option also??


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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:49 pm 
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Location: Jandakot, WA
Yes I've heard of people using barrels too. I've used buckets, which are a lot easier to fill due to the wider opening. The concept is very simple. You don't even need a container really. You could just dig a hole, fill it with organic matter and add a handful of compost worms. They would then do the same thing.

Its actually more popular than what I first thought. I found a few videos on youtube last night, which were rather informative. Simply search worm tube in youtube. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Worm tubes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:48 pm 
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I find now that I add more mulch the compost worms will live in the soil.

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