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Earth Worms


 
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aveeno2005
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:15 pm    Post subject: Earth Worms Reply with quote

Hello,

I dug my garden in april/may of this year. I planted a lawn on one side and raised beds on the other. Everything I planted grow, and is still growing well. But I'm curious and hope someone can help. When I dug the garden, I didn't find any earth worms, not one. Can anyone tell me why? The soil in alkaline but in very good condition.

Look forward to reading any replies,

Thanks,

Dermot.
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James Kilkelly
Rank: Site Admin


Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:06 am    Post subject: No Earthworms in a New Garden / How to Get them Back Reply with quote

Hello aveeno2005.
Glad you found the Irish gardeners forum.
Take some time to introduce yourself to the other gardeners in the members area.
I'm sure you will have many more questions plus pieces of advice to offer as your garden grows.

On the topic of your query, it is not uncommon to find no earthworms in a new garden.
Some possible reasons include......

1/ The soil before digging the garden was badly compacted.
Some soils I come across are so badly compacted that they have the consistancy of concrete.
Digging over the garden is a good thing.

2/ The soil my have a high level of sand or sharp grit.
I know if I was forced to crawl naked through a sharp sandy tunnel, it would hurt my skin and make me think twice about doing it again.

3/ There may be very little undecomposed organic matter in the soil.
Okay the soil may be black and healthy looking but is there leaves, compost or rotted farm yard manure through it.
These are what the worms eat, I suggest adding these types of organic matter if your soil contains none of them. digging them in or mulcing around the plants with them.
Even a mulching with bark or not removing the falling leaves of existing plants will slowly add organic matter to the soil.

The creation of a compost heap will also encourage the return of earthworms.

It may take a while but the earthworms will return.

To steal and alter a line from the movie Field of dreams "If you mulch it, they will come"

If you are looking for wormery stock you should be able to pick some up here..... Wormery stock



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Barnowl
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 19 May 2007
Posts: 4
Location: County Cork

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I first dug this garden 10 years ago I found a total lack of earthworms; I also found a couple of flatworms. I was told this was awful, the flatworms eat the earthworms, the soil structure will never be good.
In the years since I have spread various dungs and compost and now the soil structure is wonderful as is the fertility but I still have no earthworms.
I never dig (except to lift crops) and I do not walk on the soil both of which I feel play a big part in keeping the soil friable.
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medieval knievel
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 03 Sep 2007
Posts: 1008

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i had a similar issue; a previously paved area which was heavily compacted and hadn't seen the light in (i think) a century. i dug in a load of organic matter, but also introduced a load of earthworms from my front garden, and now i've got a healthy worm population.
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