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xreforgivenx's avatar

How to take care of an earthworm?

Asked by xreforgivenx (102points) December 30th, 2010

I heard that earthworms are good for gardening, but how to you take raise and take care of them? Also, where might I find them? Besides the dirt…

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23 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I believe you can order them and insects beneficial to your garden.
You might start here

Cruiser's avatar

Build it and they will come! Start a mulch pile and keep adding clippings, leaves, fruit/veggie scraps and coffee grounds. My grandma showed me as a kid that dumping the coffee grounds in the flower bed at her lake cabin always guaranteed a healthy crop of worms for our fishing trips out on the lake.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Compost everything you can, and the nutrients in it will make sure you have plenty of worms. Add any organic matter you can to the soil and the native worms will take care of the rest.

xreforgivenx's avatar

so i add composted soil and mix it in the dirt? sorry that about that, i am clueless…

Summum's avatar


You should look up red worms. You can buy these guys with a kit to care for them and they will eat lots of your garbage. They produce a tea substance that you can put on veggies or flowers and insects will not come near it and it is one of the best fertilizers there is. If you create a compost pile in the yard order some red worms for the pile and you wont believe the results. :)

josie's avatar

If you wind up with a surplus, I would like a couple of them to put on a hook.

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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@xreforgivenx You can compost anything that isn’t fats, oils. animal related, etc. Compost takes time to break down, during which it will draw nitrogen from the soil until it’s composted so you don’t want to add it too soon to the garden. You can also mix in peat moss or other organic material to improve the soil structure. What type of soil do you have?

xreforgivenx's avatar

I haven’t bought any soil yet, but which soil is best?

Summum's avatar

Red worms break down compost rapidly and create a soil that is fantastic for planting and is totally fertilized. You don’t have to buy any soil if you purchase red worms mix your compost with your current soil add the worms and in a couple of months your soil will be rich in nutrients.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@xreforgivenx Your probably better off working with your native soil unless you’re using containers. Or are you?

xreforgivenx's avatar

im going to use containers, maybe a large fish tank for the worms to compost the soil?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

For containers you’re best bet is potting soil, regular soil is too heavy. You could buy top soil and mix it with equal amounts of peat moss (cheapest), perlite or vermicularlite to lighten it up.
Drainage is a problem with a fish tank.

Summum's avatar

Look up red worm composting and they sell kits with layers of soil for the worms to process and in the bottom the tea is created. Every month you can take a layer out use the soil and add it again to the bottom of the stack. It really works well.

xreforgivenx's avatar

ok, but how do I know when I fail? (when the worms died)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If the worms died is a good sign of failure. If you’re using containers overwatering is usually the problem, or poor drainage.You can tell if you’re doing it right by the health of your plants.

gailcalled's avatar

My brother-in-law ordered 1000 earthworms as a gift for my sister, the gardener.

They arrived at the local post office and my b-i-l rushed home.

He then laid the worms out, worm by worm, on the raised beds.

Then the birds came by and ate them, worm by worm.

So remember that worms need a light blanket of dirt.

Summum's avatar

This kit I’m talking about is 3 to 4 layers deep. You start by placing garbage and some prepared stuff they give you in one layer and it stacks above the holder container in the bottom. Then you just add some moisture and worms. In about a month you add a new layer then another and then one more. By this time you can take out the lowest layer and use the soil. Remove the worms and put them back on top of the top layer. Prepare the layer again that you removed and place it on the top. There is a valve at the bottom where you can extract the tea for fertilizer and bug repellent.

coffeenut's avatar

Bait shops sell cheap worms… if you fail…go buy more…

note: worms don’t like swimming

xreforgivenx's avatar

ok, thanks guys :]

gailcalled's avatar

@xreforgivenx: Earthworms are part of the natural order of things, unless you are living on the salt flats or the Sahara.

Any kind of slap-dash compost heap will attract them. Then they will be fruitful and multiply.

It doesn’t require much work or thought. Watch your robins in the spring. You should see them tugging the worms out of the soil, either in the garden or the lawn.

Taciturnu's avatar

Lots of good advice here.

You can order worms online, if you like ordering online as much as I do.

woodcutter's avatar

someone told me that if you lay an old mattress on the ground the worms will come to the surface. Haven’t tried it myself though.

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