Earthworms - Knowledgebase Question

Pittsgrove, NJ
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Question by farrier2
April 19, 1998
We recently moved into our home,and one of the reasons for this move here was becuase of the large vegetable garden that existed.Tthe garden is about 60ft x 25ft, the soil is very black and moist even in direct sunlight. I have tilled the ground and removed unwanted weeds. I find that I have an abundance of earthworms. This would be any boy's dream if he were looking for bait. My question is are these worms a problem and what do I do to evict them? Also I was told that the darker the soil the better the growing, is this true? I also am interested in planting lettuce, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and any type of bean or pea; can I do it now ?

Answer from NGA
April 19, 1998
Earthworms are a sign that you have great soil! Don't evict them! The do much of the work of converting organic matter into nutrients in a form available to plants--the more, the merrier! (I was excited to find more earthworms in my clay soil garden this spring--a testament to all that compost I've been adding!)

Often, a dark-colored soil indicates that it is rich in humus, or decomposed organic matter. Humus is almost a magical substance; it helps soil retain moisture while helping it drain better, it holds onto nutrients and makes them available to plants slowly throughout the growing season, it makes soil loose and crumbly, ideal for plant roots. Congratulations!

You can set out cabbage and brussels sprouts, and most garden peas now. Wait until after the last frost date ( late April in your region) to plant beans.

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