0
points
Do I need to add earthworms to new raised bed?

General    United Kingdom

Is it necessary to add worms to raised beds? I built the bed by layering cardboard an newspaper over a piece of lawn before I layered on the soil due to weed problems in my garden. It was a pretty thick layer which I assume will decompose given time but will worms find their way through quickly or should I buy some to supplement in the meantime? Thanks


Posted by: Greg Coyle (3 points) Greg Coyle
Posted: May 15, 2013




Answers

2
points
Lots of info here, let me first say I do raise worms for a living, I dont know everything, but I do know there is tons of miss information out there.
Depending on where you live, as to what type of worm is in your yard, manure pile, field, golf club, keep in mind the same area may have several types in the same location. there is literally thousands of types.
even the "red worm" has many, many different species, depending on who you talk to, as to what kind it is.
when you buy red worms from one person, they will be different from another, all say "red worm" and in fact, to that person, they are........
Worms can be any species and "wild" or "domesticated" some don't domesticate well, so they are not raised as bait or vermiculture.....the worms in your yard-----no mater what kind, are "wild"
the ones you buy online or in a store are domesticated, with the exception of the Canadian night crawler, and those are generally picked from golf course's in cold climates. ever put a wild bird in a cage, or let a domestic bird go. neither will do well.....same with worms. they will, co-exist in raised beds, I add my castings to my beds, and as the eggs hatch it helps them become more "wild" in a sense. If you put some meal or coffee/tea grounds in your beds, and cover that spot with a piece of black plastic, worms will come to it. "wild" worms, no mater what speicise do not breed well in captivity, have been raising and selling worms since 1975........no expert, just some of what I have learn t.....


Posted by: Herron Farms (3 points) Herron Farms
Posted: January 1, 2014


David Hughes commented,
Thanks a lot. Great to get the insight from someone with so much experience. It would be great to have a how to guide with images and more information on best practices.

over 5 years ago.



1
point
It is not necessary at all, but it would be best if you did supplement. When I do raised beds I actually dig up the existing soil a bit to incorporate the natural earth early AND supplement for the first season. Worms are not that expensive, and the benefit of having them supplemented greatly supersedes waiting for them to come up.


Posted by: K.L. (5 points) K.L.
Posted: May 15, 2013




1
point
The worms that you can buy are usually redworms, which you'll find in finished compost or in the mulch layer of a garden. The worms that work the soil, making tunnels and creating good soil structure, are earthworms, which are not generally (ever?) for sale.

So, no, it's not necessary to add worms to raised beds, even if you could find any for sale.


Posted by: Tanya in the Garden (128 points) Tanya in the Garden
Posted: May 16, 2013


Greg Coyle commented,
I can buy earthworms from fishing tackle shops close to where I live for not very much money. I'm in the UK though, maybe they are not so readily available in the States?
about 6 years ago.

Tanya in the Garden commented,
I googled and found most sources online sell various redworms (Eisenia spp.), but very few sell earthworms, such as Lumbricus terrestris. So they are for sale, but not recommended. The release into the wild of L. terrestris and other nonnative fishing worms has been implicated in the decline of northern hardwood forests in the U.S. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasive...
about 6 years ago.

Susan League, UF/IFAS Sumter Program Assistant commented,
Great information, Tanya. There is also an article in Scientific American about this topic http://www.scientificamerican.com/art...
about 6 years ago.

Greg Coyle commented,
Thanks for the information, I'm not in the US though. I'm in the UK where Lumbricus worms are our native worms and I can buy them readily
about 6 years ago.



1
point
Worms will find their way through the cardboard, no problem. No need to buy worms.


Posted by: Bradley Cahill (1 point) Bradley Cahill
Posted: May 16, 2013




0
points
I usually pick up stray worms that end up on the pavement after rain and put them in my pots and raised beds. It's for free and the worms get a new home.


Posted by: Nica (1 point) Nica
Posted: May 16, 2013




You need to log in if you'd like to add an answer or comment.