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How to Raise Alabama Jumpers

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.. 😉



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