Mini
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:15 pm
Location: new forest

Worms

Hi,

Please note the postscript proclaiming my newness to gardening.

My question is about worms, or rather a lack of them.

Recently whilst digging a trench I noticed a distinct lack of worms. I expected to find a 100s, instead over about a 7 hour period only noticed a handful, less than 10.

What causes a lack of worms? Is there any way I can add some more? If so, what sort and where do I get them?

Mini
new gardener alert,
any tips and hints welcome.

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Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

I'm not an expert on earthworms, but I kinda know the basics. They will avoid/leave an area if the soil gets too wet or too dry. They will also avoid areas where the soil doesn't contain enough organic matter, which is the food they need to survive.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

getting more worms

Best way to get more worms in your soil is to have a compost pile. There will be lots of earthworms in your compost pile and when you add compost to your soil (which is a REALLY good thing to do), you will also be adding earthworms and food for earthworms.

Compost everything!

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applestar
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Posts: 28026
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

There was an extensive discussion on earthworms last year and it was mentioned that earthworms originally did not exist where the last glacier extended over approximately 1/2 of North America, and that imported/invasive/escaped earthworms are displacing native fauna and destroying native flora. In some northern states, conservation-minded folks are intentionally eradicating earthworms from their gardens.

Can't remember if you mentioned where you're from elsewhere, but if "new forest" is in the northern half of the Northern Hemisphere, you may live where earthworms are naturally scarce.... In other words, it may be a good idea to do some research before INTRODUCING earthworms to your area.

That said, earthworms dig deeper when soil surfaces are dry, and rise to the surface to escape drowning when the soil is saturated. People say they LOVE used coffee grounds. They love organic material and I can tell you that all my sheet mulched areas are teeming with earthworms. I was relieved to verify that I live south of the "glacier zone". :wink:

Mini
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:15 pm
Location: new forest

Thanks,

Northen hemisphere yes, The New Forest is in Hampshire, England. But there are ares in the garden where we have we seem to have worms.

I suspect it is the lack of nutrients caused by a great greedy cherry tree then.

So shall compost the area, and hope for the best.


Thanks again guys.

Mini
new gardener alert,
any tips and hints welcome.

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