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Do I want earthworms in my containers?

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Do I want earthworms in my containers?

Postby evepet » May 02, 2009 10:54 am

I've been reading a little more about worm castings, thinking that they'd be good to mix in with last year's planter soil in order to 'revitalize' it.

The info on one particular product is found at::
http://www.cleanairgardening.com/ladybu ... tings.html

The description of this particular product talks about "This worm compost may contain hundreds of unborn Night Crawlers. Use it in potted plants, vegetable gardens, the front lawn, or other areas where your plants need immediate and long term fertilizer treatment".

For some reason I never considered that I might actually want live earthworms in the containers? Is this a good idea??
'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it.' W.C. Fields
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Re: Do I want earthworms in my containers?

Postby Smitty » May 02, 2009 11:39 am

no clue but will be interested to hear the answer.
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Re: Do I want earthworms in my containers?

Postby Eeyore » May 02, 2009 10:18 pm

I can't imagine wanting "hundreds" but I don't think one or two would hurt, although I don't think I'd want to be bringing those containers in in the fall....
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Re: Do I want earthworms in my containers?

Postby davefrombc » May 03, 2009 5:48 pm

If you get worms in your planter soil from the compost they'll help keep the soil aerated as they continue to work their way through the soil and their wastes in their casting will continue to benefit your plants.
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Re: Do I want earthworms in my containers?

Postby shergardens » May 03, 2009 9:58 pm

A few years ago I added some very nice general garden dirt to my container mix as I had ran out of potting soil. Along with the garden soil which was mainly a mix of sandy loam and generous amounts of compost there were worms in it as well which I never thought about as a problem. Whether it was the combo of potting soil and the loam or the worms I am not sure but the earth in the pots become hard as rocks with lots of castings on the top of the soil. The plants themselves seemed OK but keeping them watered towards the end was difficult as the water would not soak in. I suspect the worms ate most of the organic matter which caused the rock hardness. Anyway I now only use a high quality potting mix for my baskets and pots just in case.
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Re: Do I want earthworms in my containers?

Postby evepet » May 04, 2009 3:24 pm

Thanks to everyone who responded.

The comments offered here seem similiar to what I've found in other research I've been doing on this topic. Some gardeners really like some worm castings in the container soil and think it's very helpful. However, I've also found comments on how the castings are very fine and contribute to having the soil become more compacted, which makes it harder for the soil to drain efficiently.

So I'm still confused. :?
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Re: Do I want earthworms in my containers?

Postby davefrombc » May 04, 2009 5:27 pm

The worm castings are very fine; but they release nutrients in a form the plants can use. Plant soil will compact over time if it contains garden loam/clay whether there are worms in it or not, and that is normally taken care of when repotting because of plant growth or natura soil depletion over time. The way I look at it , healthy worms in the soil means the soil remains sweet and healthy for the plant.. That being said , I do not purposely add worms to the soil , but I do not try to eliminate any that might find their way in .
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