Good worms, bad worms?

kaumann(Z6 Penna.)August 3, 2007

As a new gardener I was feeling good about seeing lots of worms in my compost and gardens since when I was first gardening here they were very few and far between.

A gardner friend then told me,"Oh,those are Asian worms. They are invasive and not beneficial. They don't work in the soil but live in the duff."


I did notice that some of my worms are skinny and more frisky than the slow fat ones I remember. Also, I like to screen my compost. How do I do that when it's filled with worms?

Can anyone enlighten me?

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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Your friend was pulling your leg.
Don't screen your compost? Why do you want to do that? If it has large pieces of stuff....give it another few months.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 12:15AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

'Red Wrigglers' the common fishing worm, are not a native species and do, indeed, live in the upper most layer of native soils. This would be the organic layer. These are the worms of worm farms and compost piles. They've been accused of changing (to the negative) the ecosystem of native forests. They are native to Europe, however, not Asia.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 2:37PM
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All earthworms are beneficial to the soil. Unfortunately some introduced species are a bit too efficient in their activities and too prolific in their populations and create imbalances in the organic matter of some Northeastern native forests and woodlands, to their detriment.

But in the home garden, all worms are beneficial and indicate a healthy amount of organic matter in the soil. I can contemplate all sorts of good reasons to screen compost and there is really no reason the presence of worms should deter you. The small ones will fall through the screening and larger ones can be tossed back into the pile or relocated to planting beds. It's all good :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: earthworms

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 10:22AM
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