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Worms

ccsffs2013ccsffs2013 Caithness Posts: 6
edited January 2019 in Wildlife gardening
Hi folks. We moved into our house 2yrs ago. It has a mature garden with lots of bulbs, bushes and some trees. We have a lot of leaves fall into our garden from Ash, sycamore and beech. The lawn is fairly compacted and can be boggy in places but the beds drain well and the plants seem to do well.
So far I haven't found a single lobworm or earth worm. 
We currently have 3 compost bins which are maintaining a host of tiger worms and the garden itself seems to support slugs, snails, beetles etc but no worms.

Will buying some worms be throwing my money away or is it likely to just need a kick start?
We plan to do veg beds this year and will be lacing them with a handful of blood bone and meal. 

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,633
    No worm casts on your lawn?


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • ccsffs2013ccsffs2013 Caithness Posts: 6
    No none at all. Locally there are worms, you'll see them on the paths after its been very wet but I've not seen many casts on playing fields or where I walk the dog. 
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,633
    I could understand there being few on a playing field. Playing fields are kept close cut, the excess grass is removed, leaves (worm food) aren’t allowed to lie for long and there is a fair amount of traffic and disturbance.

    But you say that there is plenty leaf mould in your garden. So plenty of food for the worms there.

    You haven’t been spraying the grass with any insecticides (to get rid of crane flies, for example) have you? Or been using Jeyes fluid on paths etc? Worms are very sensitive to chemical changes.

    If not, I have no idea. But if worms aren’t occurring naturally, I think you are wasting your money on buying them in. They’ll just go elsewhere.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • ccsffs2013ccsffs2013 Caithness Posts: 6
    No, no chemicals in the two years we've been here. Neighbours don't either that I've seen. 
    My thinking was the worms aren't here for a reason and adding some will just mean they die or go away. 
    I'll see what happens when we get the veggies going and have some more variety in the organic material being dug in. 
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,374
    Maybe you have the flatworms that eat earthworms.  Check under pots that have been standing on patios or soil.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • ccsffs2013ccsffs2013 Caithness Posts: 6
    Don't seem to be any, the compost worms are doing OK. 
    Did find a lot of centipedes which I believe eat worms but again, the compost worms seem to have survived.
    Slugs and snails of all variety do well too. As do woodlice. Just a bit weird not a red or lob worm to be discovered. 
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,012
    I don't have that many worms in my soil either, even in the raised veg beds which get the best treatment in terms of added compost.  Things seem to grow ok though...
    Just wondering if the pH of the soil makes a difference.  Mine is very acid.
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • ccsffs2013ccsffs2013 Caithness Posts: 6
    I don't have that many worms in my soil either, even in the raised veg beds which get the best treatment in terms of added compost.  Things seem to grow ok though...
    Just wondering if the pH of the soil makes a difference.  Mine is very acid.
    Ours will be acidic, north Scotland but should be the same, or at least no worse than neighbouring soil that releases worms when it's wet. I'll see how our veg does this year and if its dismal I'll send off some samples for testing. 
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,270
    It could be too wet, we have worms only in the dryer areas, as most of our land has the water table only just under the surface, since in winter the top 4-5 cm will freeze and under that is saturated worms cannot survive
  • ccsffs2013ccsffs2013 Caithness Posts: 6
    Skandi said:
    It could be too wet, we have worms only in the dryer areas, as most of our land has the water table only just under the surface, since in winter the top 4-5 cm will freeze and under that is saturated worms cannot survive
    Yes that could be another factor. The flower beds appear well drained but the lawns a different matter and I did wonder if the total volume was overly wet. But next door seems OK and I expected worms in the bed that borders her garden. 
    I'm going to be dealing with the lawn in the spring so hopefully improve matters. 
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