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Thread: Stinky dead worms and smelly soil?

  1. #1
    1Bee's Avatar
    1Bee is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default Stinky dead worms and smelly soil?

    I'm digging over our new allotment and have encountered something odd. Every now and then, down one side of one bed, I'm hitting small patches of soil with a nasty drains smell. Frequently in the same place, I'm finding dead, squished, extremely smelly worms. Waterlogged soil? Or worse, sewer leakage? Then again, seeing as cottage gardens were freqently fertilised with 'night soil', maybe waterlogging is the worse option...

    The areas affected are very small - I can dig up a forkful and one clod will smell and one will be fresh, sweet and normal. There are living worms around, too, even in the clods with a dead worm and unpleasant smell.

    The plot has been overgrown and uncultivated in years, and was cleared by mini-digger a few weeks ago.

    The weather has been wet, and the soil is... hard to put your finger on. I keep thinking silty loam, then hit a patch that is slightly clay. I wouldn't normally want to be digging with the soil this wet, but we're agains the clock as have only been able to get on the plot at the end of April, and have a lot of clearing of perennial roots before we can cultivate.

    Ideally I'd like to put potatoes in this bed, but now I'm wondering whether root veg is the right idea.

    Any ideas, lovely folks?

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    WendyC is offline Early Fruiter
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    Have you asked around on your site whether anyone else has this problem?

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    Good point. No, I haven't, but I never see anyone - it's a small site and I'm there at odd times. I have bumped into the unofficial site manager once, so I'll ask him if we coincide again.

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    Potstubsdustbins's Avatar
    Potstubsdustbins is offline Gardening Guru
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    It would seem strange to have sewers there unless there were housing there previously, top water drains maybe but sewers doubtful.

    I don't like the sound of dead worms though.
    Potty by name Potty by nature.

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    i would have thought if it was sewer waste the worms would not have died sounds more like some one has dumped something oily fryer fat maybe does it feel greasy to the touch

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    Because there are so many live worms around, too (and they're big bugg... um... creatures) we're thinking some got squished when the mini digger went over the ground.

    Some googling suggests that dead worms really do stink to high heaven, so maybe that's it?
    weed likes this.

  7. #7
    Floyd is offline Seedling
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    We put a load of compost from the garden heap into sealed containers last month to take up to the allotment, however work commitments meant I didn't get around to moving it for about 3 weeks. Christ on a bike! The stench of the dead worms when I opened those tubs was eye blistering!!

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    1Bee's Avatar
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    Yeah, one clod with three big deceased critturs in it had me gagging.... but the rest of the soil's sweet and healthy, so I really think it's just that.
    Floyd likes this.

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