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Worms, Worms, Worms

May 30th, 2013

Back in Ohio, the earthworm population in our garden was just starting to grow thanks to our organic gardening methods and our use of leaf mulch each fall.  Each year, I would still purchase Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoons to increase the worm populations. Last year I had a container that never got planted, they made the trip with us in a box with the rest of our fridge contents.
worm cacoons 2
I planted them on Tuesday. This is a great way to jump start the worm population in your garden if you’re bringing it back from the dead and increasing soil fertility.

Other things you can do to help increase the worm populations:

  • mulch with leaf litter each fall
  • don’t till or work the soil
  • avoid chemical fertilizers and herbicides at all costs
  • trench compost your kitchen scraps

worm cacoons 1
We seem to have a decent worm population here, though the chickens eat their share of them. No doubt the more we start mulching with chopped leaves and the longer the soil goes without too much tilling/working, the more robust the earthworm population will be. They are such valuable assets in the garden, well worth the effort to encourage them!

Do you notice lots of worms in your garden?

Worms in the Garden = Good Soil Health

June 29th, 2009

When we bought our house and first started gardening we didn’t see any worms. That was our first clue that the previous owners had used too many chemical pesticides and fertilizers. We weren’t really in to gardening the first 3-4 years but we always added good mulch and manure to the garden beds, because we knew it was good for the soil. Seven years later we’re starting to finally reap the rewards of our efforts.
I’ve been working in the front flowerbeds and every time I dig I find worms, which means my soil is much healthier (at least in the parts of the garden I’ve been working on for 7 years). Worms are so important to the health and vitality of your soil. They help increase the amounts of air and water in the soil, they help with the decomposition of organic matter and they leave behind fertilizer in the form of castings. They’re kind of like little tillers in your garden. I’m super happy to be seeing them in such quantity.

What about you, are you happy to have worms in the garden? Or do you have lots of work to do to get them to move in?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.