Earthworms vs. Red Worms - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Garden Friend
Helena, AL
Avatar for lrames8
Question by lrames8
January 16, 1998
I recently ordered 500 redworms with the thought of using them in my compost pile and in my clay-soil gardens. Now I read that redworms do not burrow and live in the soil as earthworms do. Did I waste my money? I would like to know what I should do with these worms when they arrive

Answer from NGA
January 16, 1998
Red worms are also called manure worms and are found in abundance in manure piles where there's lots of decomposing organic matter. Earthworms are hardier souls and live in the soil where they also digest decaying organic matter. The feeding habits are quite similar, and the benefit in the garden is equal. When your compost pile is actively decomposing organic matter, red worms will gravitate toward it, and you'll soon have a large population. They prefer the heat that's generated when organic matter is breaking down, where earthworms are quite happy in cooler soils.

You didn't waste your money. Add the red worms to your compost pile and they'll happily go about their business. When you begin to use the finished compost in yourgarden, you'll be adding red worms and their egg cases, too. As long as there continues to be decomposing vegetable matter in your garden beds, both kinds of worms will be in large supply.

Hope this information helps dispell the rumors you've heard.

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