Where Can Worms Live?

by Stephen
(CA)

I live @ 3000 ft. near Yosemite in a forested community. Are red worms, or some other variety, for that matter, OK to be introduced right into the garden soil?

Can earthworms be planted in a compost heap?

Comments for Where Can Worms Live?

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Jan 26, 2012
Soil Worm vs. Compost Worm
by: Sierra Worm Compost

Hi Stephen,
Thanks for your question. Eisenia fetida (breed of composting worm) are not soil worms. Rather, they eat decaying vegetation and manures. They can be found outside under a manure pile or leaf litter in a damp dark area, but not in the soil per se.

If you have enough "food", by way of kitchen scraps or compost for them in your garden bed, they could do well as long as you have a 2-3" layer of mulch over the waste that you put down. They live in the top 2-4" of the bed and do not burrow like soil worms; however, they won't live long if there is only clay soil.


On the flip side, soil worms will not survive in a compost pile. They may drag a piece of a leaf down their hole, but they are not as aggressive feeders of decomposing matter as the Reds. Soil worms burrow horizontally and vertically, bringing up soil from the bottom to the top, thus aerating the soil providing pathways for air and water.

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