One thing about worms is that they are particular about where they live. If you can create an area that appeals to them, they will multiply readily. I’ve watched it happen.
I’m not into growing worms artificially indoors in a bin, and it’s not necessary. Keep them outside in their element, but also keep them enclosed so they can be found. Once you have bunches, move them elsewhere to improve another area of soil.
Grow Box Worm House
Now that I have a few grow boxes set up in the yard (similar to the Earth Boxes on this Amazon page – this is an affiliate link), I don’t use them all for planting. This one is currently my worm house. It’s also where I mix soil for small pots when I plant seeds.
Important to know…
This type of box has wheels, which allows it to sit up off the ground. You need some way to keep pots and boxes elevated so fire ants won’t set up house in your bed! I had a large pot – shown to the right in the photo below – which became filled with ants because they came up from underground directly into the pot. Now my pots always sit on a saucer, cardboard, bricks, or something so the ants are deterred.
To get started with any grow box or raised bed, you need dirt. We bought bags of dirt from Home Depot to begin, but now buy our dirt, compost and mulch from The Yard Shop in Edgewater.
The dirt needs good stuff added so plants will grow, but this also feeds worms. It can take a while to make your dirt worm ready. Worms eat organic matter and each morning I would put my coffee grounds into my gardens. Eggshells were saved and crushed, and banana peels or old bananas were added to the dirt in my grow boxes. I did not have a compost area at the time so anything leftover from fruit and veggies went into my grow boxes. (Not onions – worms don’t like them.)
Plants were also added, along with organic fertilizer. Worms like roots. This is one reason you should cut off old plants and not pull them out, removing their roots. Have you ever dug up a patch of grass and discovered worms among the grass roots?
Adding Worms From the Surroundings
Adding worms to the dirt means going out and finding worms. It’s not that easy here because there are few worms to be found in a Florida lawn. I dug at the edge of the yard where natural growth and unbothered, wild plantings were growing. I found a few worms near an old tree stump that was decaying and moved them to the boxes.
Truthfully, I only found a few worms. Each time I came across an earthworm, I collected it for the boxes. I had no idea if they would live.
Oh Ya… We Have Worms!
When I finally had more grow boxes and other homemade boxes for my plants, I began to transplant.
While my plants were growing, apparently the worms were too! It was impossible to tell because until then, I had not dug in the grow box dirt.
Happily I saw loads of worms of all sizes. This box is stuffed full of wonderful earthworms. I’ve been moving them to other places for fresh, yummy dirt to enjoy.
Keep the Dirt Covered
I noticed that if I set a pot or saucer on top of the dirt, when I lifted it there would be worms ducking back down into the soil. The covering makes the soil cooler, which is important.
Creating Good Soil
It takes a while to have good garden soil. You may buy dirt, compost and organic things to mix together for dirt, but only nature can create the best, real soil. Eventually our diligent attempts can create good dirt, but it does take time. Manmade is never the same, or as good, as what Mother Nature has created over time. If we are careful, we can come close enough to grow some food to eat while providing a healthy environment where all kinds of life can flourish.