Worms!

I live on a fairly modern housing development (probably about 25 years old now). The estate is on the site of an old hospital site which was closed and then sold off in the 1980/1990s.  I moved here about 10 years ago, and have been really into my garden for most of those years.  However, one thing that strikes me when I'm digging is the distinct lack of worms in the soil.  I did read that when they build new estates they take off all the top soil (and no doubt worms with it), and then put the soil back when they've finished, but seemingly what comes back isn't the same as what left with the result the worms don't get returned.  However, I would have thought after all these years there would be a bigger population of worms in the ground then there seemingly is.  Yesterday I dug over a whole border that I want to rejuvenate and I found only one worm in the entire day.  Either they heard me coming or there simply isn't very many at all.  My soil is quite a sandy loam so not sure if this has any bearing on worm population.  I am thinking of ordering some worms from on-line (found somewhere you can buy 100 worms for £21) and wondering if this would be a good investment to try and increase the population in my garden.  Of course, I'd speak to them all individually to tell them to stay and no snake off to my neighbours.....!!

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  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 846
    I've noticed on my allotment that there doesn't appear to be as many worms as I would have expected there to be although if I dig a piece of ground which hasn't been disturbed before there are always worms in that. As for buying worms to add to the garden I wouldn't bother it would be better to add some well rotted manure.
  • B3B3 Posts: 10,532
    I think that sounds like a nice little earner!. I'd undercut and sell them for 20p each. Or maybe by the inch.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 14,714
    Rotted farmyard manure and pure lumps of horse poo will get them going. 
    Dont use any chemical fertilisers such a growmore, it’s been said that it kills worms. I don’t know as I wouldn’t  use it,  only compost goes on the garden and that’s full of worms. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Tim BurrTim Burr Posts: 422
    Helpful to know about manure.  I dumped a couple of bags on the border yesterday to add some extra structure and help with water retention on my sandy loam soil.  I also only ever use blood fish and bonemeal rather than growmore or other chemical based fertilizers. 
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 14,714
    That’s the way to go Tim,  you’ll find worms will go deeper in the dry weather as they need damp ground to survive.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 2,408
    It's a fact little known outside my family that every earthworm in creation is called Michael.  God thinks so highly of earthworms that he named one of his archangels after them.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 14,714
    Michael it is then😀
    they’re  not like slugs and snails then, you get male and female worms?  Are they all called Michael? 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    If you really want to buy some worms go to the local fishing shop you can get reds, lob's and others about £3.00 a pint 200 - 300 worms depending on type, if I have any left after a fishing trip they always end up on the allotment or compost heap.

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 846
    The last time I bought worms from a fishing shop they were £4 for a little pack of about 20 worms nowhere near to a pint.
  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    @barry island where they gold plated ?? at that price they should of been and I would expected to be guaranteed to catch fish.

    I brought some a week ago mixed type and sizes £3.50 for 1.5 pints I would guess about 200-250 worms,

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
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