Earthworms in your flower pots?


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I am a container gardener. My plants can not have a permanent home, but I've learned over the years that this can actually be a good thing and it makes it easier to protect them from various threats from weather to people.

Lately I have been thinking about large containers and soil density and it occurred to me this morning that large containers could benefit from having earthworms. The soil would always be aerated and you wouldn't have to repot so often, provided you started with a large enough container.

Any thoughts?
 
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Chanell, I have a container garden too. I have found that as long as you use vermicompost and compost there will be earth worms in all your containers. The vermicompost also contains earthworm eggs which hatch in the right conditions. I just repotted my plant today and there were at least about 20 in one container.. but repotting needs to be done when the plants get too big for the post or and needs to be divided or shifted to a bigger container. The soil will remain hard or harden if you do not use perlite/foam balls to your potting mixture. If you add perlite or foam bits to your soil composition it is much more lighter and airy.. This is my observation.
 
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It sounds too scary to me. I understand having earthworms can be beneficial but I couldn't sleep if I knew they're inside my house. Maybe it's silly but they terrify me:p . I'm glad my little roses don't need them:)
 
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@Claudine, you crack me up! They aren't going to leave the pots, lol. They don't want to be out any more than you want them to be! I think you should try and make friends with worms, you could have a great symbiotic relationship!

@Maddie, I never knew that worms leave eggs in the vermicompost. How do you avoid not damaging the worms when it's time to re-pot?

What I would like to do is have a tall container that gives my plant plenty of room to grow and maybe do the lasagna layering and let the earthworms work their way up through the container.
 
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I know they won't leave the container but still, just the thought of them somewhere nearby scares me:eek:
On one hand, maybe my roses would grow more beautifully...on the other hand, they're already the most beautiful:D . Also, you have to have a quite big container to keep earthworms in it, right? I only have space for flowerpots.
 
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Claudine, I think even one earthworm in your flower pot would be helpful, though if you wanted to be nice, you could give it a companion :) If I'm not mistaken, Maddie's worms are in flower pots.

I would eventually like to have a worm bin instead of a regular compost bin, because it wouldn't requite turning, etc., but I think the a worm or two in a pot is good for the plant and should help with drainage.
 
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If it's so beneficial maybe I should think about it... but I'm pretty sure I'll never be courageous enough to do it. It's one thing to already have earthworms hidden in the flowerpot - catching them would be even more scary:eek:
 
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You don't have to catch them, Claudine, you can get them from a gardening center. I'm not sure about where you live, but they aren't expensive here. Does your apartment have a balcony? You could give them an outdoor home if it made you feel more comfortable.
 
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You don't have to catch them, Claudine. You can get them from a garden center. It shouldn't be expensive, and you could even keep them outdoors if it made you feel better. They should have some kind of home besides the flower pots because they will multiply.
 
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I agree with Claudine. I am scared of all bugs so worms would not work for me unless I absolutely had to have them for the plants health. I did notice last year when dumping out the soil from my plants that bugs crawl in through the water holes but I didn't notice and worms.
 
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@Maddie, I never knew that worms leave eggs in the vermicompost. How do you avoid not damaging the worms when it's time to re-pot?

What I would like to do is have a tall container that gives my plant plenty of room to grow and maybe do the lasagna layering and let the earthworms work their way up through the container.
Chanell, it may not be possible not to hurt the worms at times.. but they survive.. some information on the internet say that they survive as long as their reproductive organs are not cut off or damaged.. there is contradictory information though.. .. but they reproduce quickly enough.
A bigger container would help, I guess.
 
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I agree with Claudine. I am scared of all bugs so worms would not work for me unless I absolutely had to have them for the plants health. I did notice last year when dumping out the soil from my plants that bugs crawl in through the water holes but I didn't notice and worms.
Maddie, I guess if I put them in smaller pots I could just dump the soil out carefully so as not to damage the plants or the worms. Large containers would be more difficult, but I suppose I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

I agree with Claudine. I am scared of all bugs so worms would not work for me unless I absolutely had to have them for the plants health. I did notice last year when dumping out the soil from my plants that bugs crawl in through the water holes but I didn't notice and worms.
Worms aren't bugs, lol! Insects getting into your plant containers can be a real pain depending on what they are. I had a rose cutting that was doing fine and now it seems to be infested with some annoying pest of an insect.
 

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I don't know.:rolleyes:

What am I going to do with you lot on our Garden Forums annual fishing trip if you can't handle worms:D

Chanell, are these bugs green by any chance? You can spray them with dilute soapy water as you are in the USA:D In the EU, we have to squash them or buy something expensive to spray with:D
 
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You don't have to catch them, Claudine. You can get them from a garden center. It shouldn't be expensive, and you could even keep them outdoors if it made you feel better. They should have some kind of home besides the flower pots because they will multiply.
I have a balcony but if I moved my plants there I'd no longer have my roses in my room and it's not possible since I can't imagine not seeing them in the morning, they're the first thing I see when I open my eyes:D . I miss them terribly during winter:(
 
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Maddie, I guess if I put them in smaller pots I could just dump the soil out carefully so as not to damage the plants or the worms. Large containers would be more difficult, but I suppose I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

Worms aren't bugs, lol! Insects getting into your plant containers can be a real pain depending on what they are. I had a rose cutting that was doing fine and now it seems to be infested with some annoying pest of an insect.
Either way when you loosen the soil or need to add more compost you tend to dig up the soil don't you? Well you can decide that later.. but yes do use a diluted dish wash spray on your rose cutting.. You will easily get rid of those pest soon enough.. place it in a sunny spot to help the plant a bit more. If you could get some neem oil that would also help.
 
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@Claudine, I understand. Do you have additional plants on your balcony?

@Zigs, I think they are little white-ish bugs. I just put the cloche back down over them hoping lack of oxygen would take care of the problem since the rose stem seemed to already be done for. I still have some of that garlic, pepper soap solution. I suppose I could try that...

@Maddie, I usually don't loosen the soil, or even add more compost. I've only recently started using compost and feeding plants. I used to just let them do their thing, but now that I am starting to collect food plants I am trying to be more conscientious with their care.

If I get more than 5 flowers on the blueberry bush this year, I guess that will let me know I'm doing something right, other than just keeping the plants alive.

I gave the outdoor plants coffee water last week and I have some banana water ready this week. Earthworms are still a ways off yet :)
 
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Good going Chanell, with all that you are adding just add a handful of vermicompost and you will have earthworms in no time.. your plants will thank you for them :)
 
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@Claudine, I understand. Do you have additional plants on your balcony?
No. My mother took over the balcony and she keeps her plants there - mostly geraniums. She loves gardening too but we like different kinds of plants and have different ideas of a perfect garden. She wouldn't mind if I kept some of my plants there but I just prefer to have them in my room (I wish my room was bigger, lol:p ).
 
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@Maddie, I'll have to check with the guy I get my compost from and see if he has any.

@Claudine, That's too bad about the balcony, but at least you can still enjoy the view of your mom's plants without all the work :)
 
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I don't get what all the fuss is about. I like earthworms. I think they're kind of cute, in a harmless ,pink ,wiggly way. I was moving one of my outdoor plants to a bigger pot and an earthworm fell out of the dirt. I was like "Yay, free worm."
I picked him up and put him back in the plant and went on with my day.
 

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