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Oct 24, 2010 06:49 PM

Building a new garden - where can I buy earthworms?

I am in the planning stage for a new fruit garden, approx. 50x15 ft, located right next to our house. We are replacing an old, crumbling retaining wall along the edge of our property & the entire garden area has been excavated and backfilled. The soil was very rocky so they are backfilling the area with loam trucked in from a local source. I also splurged on 30 yards of organic compost for the top layer. As soon as they finish construction, i'm going to broadcast hairy vetch seeds and hopefully get that green manure established before it gets really cold (we're in Zone 6).

Anyway, I am thinking that there will not be a lot of worm activity in the loam & compost. I vaguely recall seeing worm capsules or some such thing on the internet, but I forget who was selling them. I don't think the worms sold for composting will work b/c they perfer a diet of scraps. Anyone know where I can buy some regular old earthworms? Is it too late in the season to try? And do I even need to bother with this, or will the worms somehow find their own way into my new garden?


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  1. it probably is too late, but google it as any seed provider usu. can get you beneficial insects as well, in the mean time, get that compost pile going!

    1. You might try a local bait shop, and ask if they will sell in bulk. My daughter bought 100 worms for a science project about composting a couple of years ago. We put them in the garden at the conclusion.

      1 Reply
      1. re: p.j.

        Thought that I'd post an update...I ended up buying vermipods from Territorial Seed Co. I called the bait shop down the road but they only had night crawlers. I read somewhere online that night crawlers can cause problems with hard, bumpy lawns. Our lawn is already full of night crawlers, and indeed the earth is hard and bumpy - I'm sure there are other problems in that law besides the night crawlers! But it seemed prudent to avoid them.

        The vermipods came last week and since it was warm, I ran out and planted them. And then it was 22F the next morning. I hope the little wigglers survived!

        The whole project ended up taking much longer than I'd hoped (of course) and the hairy vetch had barely sprouted before the really hard freezes began. Then there was 3+ feet of snow on the ground (we're outside of Boston), the last of which was finally melted by last weekend's rain. I do see a few sprouts perking up so maybe some of 'em survived. At any rate, I'll reseed with something else in a few weeks just to get a jump on supressing weeds and grass until I can get the whole thing planted.

      2. Some hardware stores that have good garden departments carry them. Here in Southern California, Orchard Supply Hardware has them most of the year.