Answer: While over-fertilization can make soil inhabitants leave, an annual application of a 10-10-10 fertilizer should not drive the earthworms away. Plant roots don't really care whether the fertilizer is processed or natural and the use of either should not encourage pests. Mulching is recommended, to maintain soil moisture content, suppress weeds and slow evaporation. If you're concerned about attracting pests and diseases, keep the mulch from contacting the stems of your plants. Cane borers are the larvae of a beetle and typically enter the canes near the growing tip, not near the base of the plant. Enjoy your edible garden!
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