annastasia76
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worms

I was wondering something, I know that worms are supposed to be good for the garden but we have never had any, and I thought that it was just our area just didn't have any worms but today my son was weeding the neighbor's property and they have tons of worms so I was wondering how is it that one property can have tons of worms while right next door there are none?? I also need to mention that right next door is probably about 900 feet away (or is that yards?) well we are at one end (opposite end) of 7 acres and they are in the center of 5 acres.

what can I do to attract more worms, or do I need to have some, somehow, brought in??

DoubleDogFarm
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What is your soil like. If it is hard dry, it's the wrong environment for worms. If you have lots of compost, they will come.


Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

annastasia76
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well I started adding some compost last year, and have added much more this year, I did snag 4 worms from them and put them in a pot just to see if they might happen to survive and multiply

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applestar
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Is it possible your property was treated with something that killed the earthworms :?:

I was at a gardening department of a store where a woman was adamant about ridding her lawn of moles, and the sales person was recommending she get rid of all earthworms (NOT grubs, mind you, earthworms -- so he had the info right that moles prefer earthworms to grubs but, c'mon!). :shock:

I bit my tongue, put down what I was holding, and left in a hurry. :roll:

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rainbowgardener
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Start a compost pile! Best thing you can do for your garden anyway and there will be tons of earthworms in your compost pile, which you can add to the garden with the compost.

Earthworms are beneficial for the garden because they aerate the soil, leave tunnels behind that make channels for better water penetration, and break down organic materials in the soil into worm castings, which are high in nitrogen and have the nutrients in easily used form.

cynthia_h
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Hmm...my compost bin sits directly on the ground, but almost no earthworms have made themselves at home in it. OTOH, red wigglers (aka compost worms, Eisenia fetida) abound. Almost all of the red wigglers are from, or descended from, the initial quart of worms my GF gave me in Spring 2007, and they are quite happy.

I use raised beds similar to the Square Foot Gardening method, and due to the loose nature of the bedding medium, the red wigglers are happy there, too, at least in the top few inches. There may be earthworms further down, but I haven't disturbed the earth that far down to find out. I know that there are earthworms in the non-raised-bed portions of the yard (e.g., roses), b/c they're all over the place during strong rain.

You might take a sample of the dirt/soil you're working with to a local independent gardening store (NOT big box type) and ask them what they recommend. Your county ag dept might know, too, but the counties are so HUGE in SoCal that you'll probably get lost in the shuffle. :(

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

annastasia76
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it shouldn't have been treated for anything, we are the first ones to live here and the first ones to plant but who knows what may have happened 20-30 years ago

DoubleDogFarm
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You could also try this test.
https://www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/jardin/en/info_verte/fertilisation/bocal_eau.htm


Eric

annastasia76
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hey that's cool, I'll try that, It will probably be mostly sand if I do an area that I haven't added compost to yet..

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farmerlon
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Yep, I think it's (usually) all about the amount of organic matter in the soil. Keep "feeding" the soil with all the good compost and organic matter that you can find, and the worms should move right in. :D

Alight
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Why not start a worm bin. You can order worms off the Internet and all you need is a rubbermaid bin, newspaper, and some scrap veggies! There is plenty of how to videos on YouTube and it's a lot of fun. You get the worms you need, the help compost for you, and let's not forget all the wonderful worm castings!
Nicki

dearmad
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Your soil is poisoned somehow or completely not nutritious to them. 900 feet is nothing for worms.

You need to fix your soil and make it worm friendly.

No amount of dumping worms into it will help if they live next door already- they will only leave you.

Fix the soil. Maybe you are rototilling too much? That drives them away too if you do that every year. You don't need to do that to your soil- in fact it harms it in many ways.

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stella1751
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Last year I found out that, for the first half of the twentieth century, the site of my and my neighbors' homes was a huge gravel pit. When the homes were built on it around 1950, the pile of rocks, which are the size of those river stones you can buy bagged at Home Depot, was removed and the remaining rocks spread around at a depth of about 6" to 8".

By the time I moved here, in 2006, the rocks were compacted down and covered with a 1" layer of topsoil. To begin a new bed, I have to pound out the rocks with a rock hammer.

The first time I cleared and spaded an area, all I found were two incredibly skinny, pale earthworms. They were tied in knots. I was devastated. Only two earthworms, and they were clearly mutants. A gardening friend told me that earthworms do that just before they die of dehydration. Our summers are dry, and there was no need to water rocks, so my earthworms died or left for greener soil (pun intended).

I use a lot of compost. The next year, I counted perhaps a dozen earthworms when I prepared that bed. The following year, I'll bet I had 50 or 60. Now the bed is teeming with them.

I read somewhere, probably in the Shepard book, that if you can count two dozen earthworms in a spadeful of dirt, you've created an earthworm friendly environment. Although it varies from bed to bed, I can generally exceed that.

You just need to be patient :-)

garden5
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It sounds like compost is your best bet.

Also, one thing to keep in mind is that if you have any person or company treating your grass...you may want to have them stop. At least inquire as to just what they are using.

HydroCura
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:You could also try this test.
https://www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/jardin/en/info_verte/fertilisation/bocal_eau.htm


Eric
I'm gonna try this test. Great! Thanks.
Do those worms eat pumpkin? Because I've made a self-watering container out of a 1 liter bottle. I planted in it and I've put like 30 of them in there. I don't know if they damage the seeds or what. Do they?

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soil
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today my son was weeding the neighbor's property
its the weeds, weeds build fertile soil, and worms like fertile soil. plain and simple.



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