I am interested in knowing where I can purchase earth worms for my garden in the Toronto area. Soil is part clay, sandy. I mixed in some peat moss and topsoil to help but worms seem to be scant.
Earthworms improve soil quality by increasing air flow, adding nutrients, enhancing the ability of the soil to hold moisture and encouraging proliferation of beneficial bacteria.
The best way to attract earthworms is by amending your soil, as you have started to do. It is also important to limit activities in the area that would compact the soil (e.g., animals, children running in the area).
Here are links on how to achieve a healthy soil:
- Ask a Master Gardener – Worm Castings
- Ask a Master Gardener – Improving your soil organically for successful gardening
- Colorado State University Extension, Master Garderner. CMG Garden notes #218: Earthworms — this article discusses the types of earthworms and how each contributes to improving soil.
We are not permitted to recommend sources to purchase worms or gardening products. However, if you wish to go ahead and search for earthworms, simply do a Google search using terms like “where to buy earthworms garden Toronto”, and you’ll see that red worms (also called red wigglers – a type of earthworm) are offered for sale on many sites. You may also want to consider contacting nurseries/garden centres for their recommendations. Landscape Ontario has an excellent search function, where you can find many of these centres on-line.
Here’s a link to a good overview of red wigglers: SF Gate. Will red worms do well in gardens?
Finally, note too that if you do go ahead and purchase worms, non-native worm species can be invasive and harmful to the ecosystem. For example, they can alter physical and chemical properties of soil, making it difficult for native plant species to grow. See:
- Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program. Invasive earthworms.
- University of New Hampshire Extension. Invasive in the spotlight: jumping worms
All the best in attracting beneficial worms to your garden!