How to Attract and Keep Earthworms in Your Garden

Earthworms are essential to a healthy garden. They are but one type of organism in the soil that turn waste into black gold or rich soil. They also tunnel through the soil and bring oxygen to the roots of any plants in the garden.

They loosen the soil so that roots have an easier time growing through it. They eat organic matter and their output is called castings, which are very rich and full of nutrients considered a natural fertilizer.

Attracting worms to the garden only makes your garden grow bigger and better. There are several ways to make worms at home in your garden.


Every time you till the garden, you are digging up precious tunnels and castings made by worms. Tilling is essential, however, and the only way you are going to add organic matter to the garden is by tilling it in.

Try to do this in early spring right after the soil thaws before it gets warm or in late fall, almost to winter when it starts to get cold.

Worms do not do well in cold and will burrow deep into the garden. Tilling when it is still cold will avoid tilling at the worm level. Once it warms up, the worms will appreciate all the aerated soil and organic matter you put in as they will start tunneling back up to the top of the garden.

Buying and Adding Worms.

You can purchase either worms or worm eggs that you place in the garden. Just bury the eggs under the surface or let the worms loose in the garden.

They will quickly tunnel down and make the garden their home as long as the garden isn’t a soggy mess and there is a great deal of organic matter for them to eat.

Use Cornmeal.

Once the weather starts to warm up in spring, sprinkle about 1 or 2 pounds of cornmeal over 18 square feet of garden. You just need to cover the soil surface and then mix it into the top 3 inches of soil with a shovel, not a tiller.

Water so the area remains a bit moist. You don’t want it to dry because earthworms like moist soil and you don’t want it too wet because you will drown the worms. The worms will be attracted by the cornmeal because it is something for them to eat.

Add more cornmeal every two weeks until you see more worms in the garden. Just dig up a small area with a trowel and count how many worms you find.

Keep Garden Moist.

Your plants need water and so do your worms. Keeping the garden evenly moist keeps worms in the garden. They will burrow down 6 or more inches to find moisture in dry periods and may go looking for moist conditions out of the garden if you don’t provide moisture in the garden.

Add Compost to the Garden.

Compost should always be added to the garden early spring. A three inch layer should be dug down about 6 inches. You can add compost to the top of your garden any time, just be sure to water it down so it won’t burn existing plants.

You can also make compost tea by soaking compost in large buckets of water and adding them to garden every two or three weeks. This can keep worms very happy.


Keep chemicals out of the garden. Insecticides will kill insects and also kill worms. Try to keep your garden as chemical free as possible.

Worms are very beneficial to any type of garden including flower, herb and vegetable gardens. They are essential in producing rich earth that helps plants grow and thrive. Attracting worms to the garden will only make your garden grow better.