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How to create a worm friendly environment

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

We sell hundreds of thousands of Alabama Jumpers every year.  People LOVE Alabama Jumpers because they are EXACTLY what customers are looking for when they think of active earthworms to aerate their soil.

The number one question regarding Alabama Jumpers is:  “How do I create a worm friendly environment for the Jumpers”?

Before investing money on worms, you need to make sure you are not adding pesticides and/or synthetic fertilizers to your soil.  If you use those, your soil is likely to be void of most life.  If you have stopped using these poisons in an attempt to let nature restore your soil over time, best to wait until you see a lot of insect activity before buying Alabama Jumpers.  How long you will need  to wait is dependent on a ton of  variables.  The chemicals have you  been applying to your soil, how long, how much, soil type, etc…..

When you are ready to create your worm friendly environment, I suggest gathering a bunch of leaves, and adding them to the top of your soil.  You want to avoid leaves such as pine needles, Eucalyptus (strong smelling), and Oak (Tannins).   It is important that you layer the leaves on top of your soil (As a thick mulch) instead of simply mixing them in.   You want the leaves to break down over time.  If you simply till a bunch of fresh leaves into your soil, the nitrogen in your soil will be tied up breaking down the leaves, robbing your soil (And your plants) of the necessary nitrogen plants need for growth.

Here’s a secret that I’ve only shared with a few.  If you shred your leaves into small pieces (I consider 1/2″ pieces small), they break down INCREDIBLY fast!

You could invest in a leaf shredder, but they are pretty expensive, take up space, tie you to a nearby power supply, or run on gasoline and oil.  But…You may already have a tool to shred your leaves and not even know it.

Here’s my secret.  Most people have leaf blowers.  Our leaf blower happens to be rechargeable, no cord, no gas, and no power cord needed.  Leaf blowers blow, but they also SUCK (via a vacuum kit)!   Some leaf blowers come with the kit (A vacuum tube and bag), others make you buy the vacuum kit separately, but they are not normally that expensive.

I use my Leaf sucker to make our landscape look neat, but more importantly, I add the shredded leaves as a mulch around all my trees.  As it breaks down, it makes the most beautiful moisture retaining Humus (You cannot buy this stuff anywhere), and greatly reduces the need/frequency of watering.

Green thumb?  Nope.  Special products to attract worms?  Nope.  I just know the secret to making Humus (decomposed leaf litter that worms and plants LOVE) quickly.   And now YOU also know the secret!





How to Raise Alabama Jumpers

Friday, October 15th, 2010

I’m often asked exactly what to do with Alabama Jumpers.  Specifically, how to release them into the garden.  Today’s question from Rhonda S.  reminded me that I need to touch on this.

Hey Worm Dude!

I see your orders of Alabama Jumpers come in packages of 1,000 worms.  How do I know how many worms to order? Are they buried under ground with some wet shredded paper?  Would that work?  If so do you bury them 4-6 each hole?  I’m not sure what to do with these.  Do you also fertilize plants as much (say, for example, blooming plants)?
Thank You-Rhonda

Hi Rhonda,

You are confusing composting worms (RedWorms), with aeration worms (Jumpers). 

Redworms are soft bodied and can only live in a top layer of compost.  As soon as the compost breaks down…so do the worms.  Jumpers are true dirt worms.  They have a thicker skin, and are much stronger.  This enables them to “Jump” out of your hand, and also to traverse soil. 

Jumpers are not composters…they do not swarm food like redworms.  They do not live in paper bedding, instead preferring mulch, or leaf litter.  What I’ve done to create an infestation of these awesome worms is laid a thick layer of leaves on top of the soil.  As the leaves break down (Jumpers can only eat organic-dead material), they become food for the jumpers.  The Jumpers will not and cannot harm your plants. 

Releasing the Jumpers is easier than digging a hole.  Simply make sure your area has some leaf litter, a little dampness, and let the jumpers loose.  Unless your soil is like concrete, they will burrow down….aerating your soil in the process to allow water to the roots of your plants. 

As a rule of thumb, I recommend 3 jumpers per sq foot that you want aerated.  Instead of spreading them out, just dump them by the handful in certain places….worms will spread out naturally when there are too many in an area.  

They will fertilize plants, but because they don’t process as much food as redworms, their primary function is aerating your garden.

The Jumpers are on sale right now!    It’s the best time to buy.  Come spring, there is always a waiting list.. 😉