Yes, I know one can buy ladybugs, lacewings, earthworms and the like from hundreds of different catalogues and websites, but seeing a tub of them in the store got me to thinking.
I was standing in line at my local Ace Hardware store, looking at the display near the register of ladybugs and earthworms, and thought, “Have we come to this? Our soil is so dead that we have to buy worms and put them in the ground?? Right after that, I thought that even if your soil wasn’t void of all life, if you were starting a compost pile that tub of worms just might come in handy…
After listening to my ranty ramblings, my husband had a little fun with me and I found this in my compost bin!
But seriously, when we use pesticides to kill garden pests, the good guys go away too! When I dig in my garden, in which I don’t ever use pesticides, I’m constantly trying to not decapitate (which end is the head??) all the worms that turn up. I’m always reminded of that movie, Seven Years in Tibet, where they relocate each and every worm discovered during a construction project. I’m afraid I’m not that patient or diligent and once in a while I think I get one. (and no, it’s not true that each piece can continue to live- if you chop a worm in half, it dies)
So, if your soil could use some life, go ahead and purchase a tub or two of worms at our friendly, local hardware store, but make sure you don’t use anything in your garden that could kill them- and if you’re lucky enough to have lots of worms in residence, yay for you…. just watch that shovel!