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Past Articles Library | Soil | Increase Earthworms

Make a earthworm hotel, and keep them smiling!


Just about everyone knows that more earthworms in your soil means better soil fertility, better soil structure, and better drainage.

One of the basic mistakes people make to get more worms into their soil is to simply go out an buy some!

Nice try, but that won't work!

There is a major problem with buying worms - and that's because the kind of earthworms most often sold in stores or catalogs have been raised, and do best in, extremely nutrient-rich soil.

This poses a problem because when you get home and release store bought earthworms into your soil, they tend to leave.

So what we want to do is encourage earthworms, by luring them into our garden. So how is that done?

What we need to do then, is modify some of our soil to create the habitat that earthworms love - in other words, make them an earthworm hotel.

Here Is What To Do:

1. Pick an area in your yard that is about 3 feet x 3 feet (1 m x 1 m)

2. Adjust the soil pH in that area to 7.0 or neutral

3. Add some of organic matter like compost to that area

4. Keep tilling to a minimum, especially during the warmer weather when earthworms are most active, but till in the organic matter a little bit

5. Plant a cover crop like clover, buckwheat, or hairy vetch

6. Let the crop grow and then gently work it into the soil

7. Periodically check the site, in a very short time you will see a lot more earthworm activity

8. Once you see a thriving community of worms, now you can use them around your garden

9. Carefully dig out cubic blocks of earthworm-rich soil, how much is up to you, and switch them with cubic blocks of regular soil

10. Make sure you give the worms some good organic matter in their new home so they don't leave

11. Keep replanting your hotel area with cover crops to maintain a good organic matter supply for them

12. This works better than store-bought worms because they are being attracted to, and raised in, soil that is similar to yours so when they are released they won't leave

13. In time, you will have tons of earthworms all over your garden, and you will have improved you soil a little at a time, which is much easier than tackling a large area all at once.

For more information on how to use worms to your benefit, make sure to read: Quickly Test Your Soil Fertility


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Use Edgings

Nothing finishes off a flower bed like low, long flowering edging plants.

Alyssum, lobelia, and dianthus are great for just this purpose.

For good continual flowering, also fertilize every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer like a 15-15-15.

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