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We have been fielding calls of late from gardeners looking for worms, Earthworms that is not Red Composting worms.  When they are getting the garden ready for spring the wise producer does a worm count.  When you turn the soil in your plot you should be able to easily find some worms in every shovel full.  If you notice worms are harder and harder to locate or can’t find any at all, it’s time to amend your soil.  Worms need food and in older really well worked gardens they may have composted all there is to compost and moved to greener pastures so to speak.  They could have been inadvertently poisoned or the soil structure has changed, become more sandy for example.  Not to worry, you can lure them back.  The first step to increasing the worm count in your plot is to add organic matter.  You can use any assortment of compost or manure even plain old grass clippings and leaves.  The next step is to employ mulch, generously,  Earthworms live in the first foot or so of soil but still need decaying organic matter to eat, by providing a steady supply of rotting leaf mulch you can ensure they stay around for the long haul.  If you use chemical fertilizers, stop now, once you have the worms back, producing vermicast to fertilize your plants you won’t need it anyway.  Chemical fertilizers may work in the short-term, in the long-term however they basically kill the soil by  destroying the micro-organisms that worms and plants need to survive.

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