Re: [tomato] Worms

Thomas Giannou (
Thu, 20 Jan 2000 08:35:11 -0800

Pete and Byron,

Earthworms also like to eat grass clippings.  I treated my lawn with
mycorrhiza fungi and the clipping volume dropped considerably (80%).   We
have a customer who mows half an acre with a power push mower.  He was
getting 20 catcher bags of grass each time he mowed.  Now he gets 4.  I
throw the grass clippings in around all my garden plants... which are also
treated with mycorrhiza fungi.   It doesn't take very long and they are
gone.  These appeal a lot more to the worms for some reason... probably
something to do with nutrition.

When I put mycorrhiza on my brothers lawn, he later had a couple of piles of
grass in his garden.  One was from grass not treated with mycorrhiza and the
other was grass that was treated.   The pile with the grass that was treated
with mycorrhiza was peppered with worm holes and in a couple of months was
gone.  The worms didn't seem interested in the grass from the turf that was
not treated with mycorrhiza.  The only reason I've noticed this is that I've
been feeding worms in a five gallon bucket that contains my three year old
pepper plant.  I bring it in during the winter and get a couple of crops off
it before it is okay to take it back outside.   One of these days I am going
to figure out how to do that with a tomato plant.... or die trying perhaps.

In all of the turf grass and garden applications I've applied VAM fungi
inoculant to, I've always observed a significant increase in worm activity
at the surface and also beneath the surface.   At one site where we were
testing how VAM fungi disrupted the habitat of Fairy Rings I dug down deep
into the clay beneath about 18 inches of black loam.  I noticed that the
only turf grass roots that were down in that clay soil were the ones that
grew down worm tunnels.   When I have taken core samples from turf grasses
treated with VAM fungi, I noticed a lot of hyphae growing down from the
roots into the soil.  The hyphae is so thin that it can easily grow between
grains of sand.  I believe the worms are eating the hyphae as do some
mycologist acquaintances.  As they go after the fungi, the roots grow deeper
and get into water that is normally out of reach.   They also help spread
that fungi around to other plants... acting like a kind of sub-soil vector
of beneficial organisms.

There are quite a few resources on the internet that are interesting reading
about worms and how they help plants etc....  some have other resources
listed that you can track down...  below are a few url's to look at.

Best Regards,
Thomas Giannou
Spokane, Washington

----- Original Message -----
From: "Byron Bromley" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2000 5:30 AM
Subject: [tomato] Worms

> Pete
> On thing that no one else has pointed out, Worms also like a very slightly
> acidic soil, pH between 6.0 and 7.0. There has to be organic material for
> them to work on and some moisture.
> Mirical gro and other high nitrogen/phosphate fertilizers burns them and
> they will move on.
> Even excessive coffee grounds are too acidic.
> Byron