Earthworms, also known as Lumbricus terrestris or angleworms, can grow up to 14 inches. The common earthworm is something that all of us in North America are familiar with. Most of us, at a young age, were introduced to these “slimy, gooey” types of worms and learned to either love or loathe them
Angleworms are generally liked by many in the United States with nicknames like:
- Fisherman’s friend
- Gardener’s buddy
- Earth diggers delight
Earthworms of various types have long been associated with healthy, productive, fertile soils.
What Do Worms Do for the Earth?
There are many benefits of earthworms for the gardener. Earthworms are associated with soil quality and soil fertility and are seen in healthy, organic soils. Many people believe that angleworms eat dirt. However, they eat the bacteria and fungi that grow on decomposing matter like a decaying plant. They give off worm casts which are a sort of manure and carbon dioxide filled with nutrients plants love.
There are more than 7,000 earthworm species divided into 23 families and over 700 genera. All of these earthworm populations have some aspects in common as they:
- Naturally till and aerate the soil.
- Accelerate the decomposition (composting) process.
- Help mix soils for more benefit.
- Are excellent “canaries” for monitoring a soil’s health.
Where are Earthworms Found?
Different parts of soil can contain different worm species. Each with different feeding strategies. Generally, these species are categorized into three main ecological groups. The groups are formed according to burrowing and feeding habits, and area of the soil.
All three groups are crucial to the structure of your garden soil and they include:
- Upper soil (Endogeic) species. This group of soil earthworms lives and moves along the upper soil strata. They feed mostly on soil and geophages but their burrows aren’t permanent. These angleworms fill their channels with earthworm castings as they move along the soil.
- Surface soil and litter (Epigeic) species. This group can be found in or close to the surface of the soil among the plant debris. The worms here are small in length and they adapt to different soil conditions on the surface. This means that they thrive regardless of temperature and moisture levels. However, they won’t survive in soils with low organic matter.
- Deep-burrowing (Anecic) species. These earthworms create long-lasting, quasi-permanent burrows. Their burrow systems can go as deep as several meters into the ground. The earthworms here consume surface litter that’s pulled through the burrows. It’s possible in some cases that they block the entrances to their burrows with cast or organic material.
Are Worms a Sign of Good Soil?
Earthworms are great for the health of the soil in your garden because they’re known to:
- Bury and shred decaying plants. Plant and crop residue are buried by worm castings deposited on the surface. Earthworms use these plants as worm food which they transport from the surface into their earthworm burrows.
- Mix and improve the soil. As the earthworms consume organic matter and mineral particles, earthworms poop out castings. Earthworms can move large amounts of soil from the lower strata to the top of the soil. They can also carry organic matter down into deeper soil layers over periods of time.
A large amount of soil progressively passes through earthworms’ guts. It’s believed that they’ll turn over the top six inches of soil within two decades.
- Improve water-holding capacity. By breaking apart organic waste, earthworms loosen the soil and increase soil moisture and water-holding capacity.
- Loosen the soil and make it porous. Earthworms enhance porosity as they move through the soil. Some species make permanent vertical burrows deep into the soil. These tunnels can last long after the earthworm has died. This helps with soil drainage, especially during heavy rainfall.
Simultaneously, the tunnels minimize erosion due to surface water. The horizontal burrowing of other species increases overall drainage as they loosen the soil.
- Provide channels for root growth. The tunnels made by the burrowing earthworms have important nutrients from their castings. This makes it easier for roots to penetrate deep into the soil.
- Increase the soil’s microbial diversity. Earthworms get their nutrition from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. However, there are more microorganisms present in worm castings than in organic matter.
As the matter goes through their intestines, it’s fragmented and inoculated with microorganisms. The increase in microbial activity aids the cycling of nutrients. It transforms them from organic matter to forms readily taken up by plants.
Red wigglers are commonly associated with compost, as they are:
- The most likely to appear in a compost pile or compost bin.
- The ones used most often for vermicomposting (composting with worms).
- Faster than any other organism at the job.
An earthworm has been here!
How to Introduce Earthworms into Your Home Gardens
You could purchase worms (they are sold by the pound in many garden stores) and just manually add them to the garden. This will work for the short term, but will not be very beneficial since worms are needed all season.
Encouraging earthworms naturally is the best way. It’s a case of “if you build it, they will come.” The better your soil for worm habitat, the more angleworms that will live in it. You don’t need to add earthworms, just encourage them to be there and they’ll show up on their own. They’ll improve your soil structure and soil health and make it easier to grow healthy plants.
First, worms love organically-rich soil with a lot of nutrients and a neutral pH level. Start by doing basic tests on your soil (if you can) or just add a lot of organic matter to it. Till it in well and then add more on top, either as:
- Growing material (cover crops like clover or buckwheat).
- Or as mulch (clipped grass, leaves, straw, and other quality mulches work best).
Occasionally add light water and poke the soil with a compost fork (do not turn it).
After a few weeks, dig a cubic foot of soil and notice how many worms are present. There should be a considerable increase. By the end of the season, and thanks to the earthworms’ hard work you should have:
- Lots of worms per foot.
- Very rich, healthy soil with more organic matter.
Once the soil is healthy, just maintain it and the worms will stay, no matter what you’re growing in it.
As they thrive, they reproduce in a unique way as each is both male and female. According to the Earthworm Society of Britain:
“Earthworms are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs.
When two earthworms are ready to mate they adopt a head-to-tail position, cover themselves in a layer of mucus, and exchange sperm. The saddle produces a mucous tube which detaches and moves forward along the body, collecting on the way the earthworm’s own eggs and the sperm received from its partner.
Fertilization occurs in the mucous tube which is shed from the front end of the earthworm. This dries in the soil to become an egg capsule, from which one or more young earthworms will eventually hatch. Many species can reproduce several times a year.”
How to Maintain a Healthy Environment that Encourages Earthworms
The quality of your soil affects the population size of the earthworms in your garden. You, therefore, need the ideal conditions for the right number of angleworms.
In order for earthworms to appear in your garden and increase in number, ensure that you:
- Till your soil less often. You want to minimize all traffic on your soil, especially in wet conditions. Heavily compacted soil strains earthworm activity as it makes it hard for them to move through. You should also reduce plowing as it reduces the number of night crawlers . Over time, you’ll find more of these earth creatures in zero-tilled areas than in plowed ones.
- Improve drainage. Mounding soil and draining it in wetter areas is a good way to prevent waterlogging. Angleworms need just the right amount of moisture and aerated soil.
- Introduce compost and manure in your garden. Many earthworm species find animal manure / dung appealing for its nutritional benefits. You can ensure that earthworms get enough food by applying these farming practices:
- Green manure crops: These are fodder crops that are turned into the soil. They supply organic matter that benefits the future crop. You can graze, slash, or even pulverize present crops and then leave them on your soil.
- Permanent pasture. This practice supplies organic matter when roots and leaves die and decay. Manure from grazing animals and slashings provides organic matter in a pasture.
- Rotations. You can rotate your pasture with crops to help build up organic matter and angleworm numbers.
- Crop stubble. Stubble is considered a great source of organic matter. Leave it to rot onto the soil instead of burning it. Otherwise, you’ll be destroying your surface organic matter and reducing earthworm numbers. Sow crops into the stubble by using minimal cultivation techniques such as:
- Direct drill
- Aerial sowing
- Minimum tillage
- Don’t remove organic matter on the soil’s surface. To protect soil from extreme temperatures like drought and frost, organic matter is crucial. When it’s covering your soil, it reduces the unwanted effects of climatic extremes by retaining moisture.
In fact, you should add organic mulch to your soil for better moisture and a cooler temperature. Your friendly little creatures can lose 20% of their weight on a daily basis in castings and mucus. Mulch reduces moisture evaporation and decaying organic matter holds it in the soil.
You can use leaf litter, dead roots, straw from dead plants to feed earthworms. These are the main agents in combining soil with dead surface litter. This makes the leaf litter more accessible to decomposition by the microorganisms in the soil.
- Stop using chemicals. Fertilizers, like ammonium sulfate that are highly acidifying, and some fungicides are bad for your crawlers. They reduce earthworm numbers and ruin your soil structure, creating a peaty surface.
The perfect soil needs:
- The right amount of moisture as angleworms are made up of 80% water. It shouldn’t have too much moisture, however, as angleworms breathe through their skin.
- To be loamy and not too sandy. If it’s overly sandy, then it will dry out faster, which takes away moisture.
- A balanced pH level, preferably at 7, although levels between 5 and 8 will do.
- Temperature between 50 and 60 degrees as angleworms are cold-blooded creatures.
- Seasons affect populations. Adult earthworms die in the summer and young ones hatch in the fall.
Learn How to Take Care of Your Garden and Grow More
Knowing how to increase the number of earthworms in your soil is only part of gardening like a pro. There’s a lot more that goes into it and you need to ideally find all the crucial information in one place.
Luckily, the Gardening Channel is that place. It’s a website with everything you need to know about gardening. Here you can find advice, techniques, and knowledge about:
- Different plants to liven and beautify your garden.
- Various fruits and vegetables you can grow at home.
- Proven organic gardening methods.
- Pests, diseases, and other threats to your green corner.
- How to take care of your soil.
- Nutritional information for a healthier lifestyle.
- Reviews on helpful gardening products.
- And so much more…
Become a gardening expert today by exploring the world of the Gardening Channel.
Fran Poitras says
As suggested above, I have left leaves in areas of my yard to encourage earth worms to grow and they do. However the leaves kill the grass and then I spend the summer trying to grow the grass back and it leaves ugly spots in my lawn till the new grass grows back. Isn’t there a happy medium to growing worms and not killing my grass?
Grant Pierce says
Buy yourself a worm bin or make one
Francois Deslauriers says
Put shredded leaves on your garden beds your veggies Will grow better
Mary Sweet says
That is true my husband runs over the leaves to shred them up and i place them in my rased garden and flower beds
Derryn a elphick says
Are worms bad for growth of plants ? Eating damaging ? Thankyou
No they’re the best things to ever happen to plants you probably have mole crickets or grub’s which are very damaging her
Skip the grass. The worms are more important. ?. I only use grass in my pathways through the garden. ❤️ Plant some annuals in that spot if it bugs you!
What I do is rake the leaves up, and take them to an area on my property where I ether compost them, or start a new garden bed.
For some reason my worm really enjoy pizza box they same to multiple.
Use full information
Worms, for some reason, love cardboard.
Jim Miller says
Worms like the glue.
Nice information I need more details pls forward
this is good for organic farming
Have never seen an earthworm in my gardens. I’m at 10,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Clay & rocks for soil. Built gardens 3′ off the ground with concrete for one & 2×4 frame wrapped in steel for the other. One is 6′ x 24′ & the other is 12’x 40′. They are covered with black screen to cut the UV rays by 20% & filled with purchased top soil, compost & peat. Grow clover in the winter. Turn under when the soil can be worked about May. Add more compost & plant after Mom’s Day. Grows very good vegetables. Especially cold weather crops. Very short growing season. Heat loving plants go in the greenhouse. Can anyone tell me why I’ve never seen a worm here????
Couann Benner says
the topsoil you bought could have been steam cleaned to kill all infectious material which would kill all life form in the soil. Does your compost not have some worms in it ? As your veggies grow well there must be some worms in there ….maybe they are very small or deep in the soil. We have similar soil and for the last 5 years been putting coffee ground, ground seaweed, compost etc and there are a few tiny worms but last year we had our hen litter and sheep manure on the go and suddenly there is worms worth speaking of so I would suggest getting some manure or bags of chicken shit and dig in or put in compost.
Dorothy Ann Steiner says
that’s what I do too ….coffee grounds, egg shells, and chicken poop
Mark Butcher says
Make a special place some feet from your garden. Make it the worm place. Make two special areas that access each other and have walls. Use this place to put only the things that worms are attracted to. You may even buy a small or medium amount of worms and introduce them once the space is set up.
Once your worm place/or home is well populated you can transfer a few worms from their new home to the garden., Put the worm home close enough to the garden edge that if they dislike the garden they can return home. But composting some food scrapes, and things they love should keep them happy in the garden. They may even migrate into the garden once you introduce the things they love into a corner of the garden. BTW, this can take years if done naturrally. I’d buy into a few things to speed it up .. Once their solidified they can breed and increase really fast, (If they don;t like the garden something is not worm friendy in the garden. if u like your gardens output on food, and the worms fail , I’d consider makeing a small to medium garden that’s worm friendly. Then u can observe if the non worm farming is as good. You’ll likley find the worm friedly garden produces more, better, faster, larger product for it’s size. Then you can decide what to do for the future. Every two years I put leaaves about 6″ to 1 ft deep ito my soil in Feb, March. Also in the winter months. The mystery is I don’t check to see the worms. I know their there. From time to time I’ll see a few. The other thing I hae sucess with is driving PVC pipe down into the earth near my beds. The pipe is large in circumfrance, and gives room to pour in goodies for the worms. I also use a cap on the upper pipe end. I blend in a old blender food scrapes that are nicley rotting, and have the natural fungi growing on it. Worms don’t eat food, they eat the rotting fungi. No meat, and u can google what to and not to put into the blender. Just pour it ito the pipe and cap it off. This will produce 1000’s of worms rather than methods that brinng only 100s .. Dig worm area once, place leaves, any rotting food/scrapes, or get a bit jsut to start off. It’s great to sprinkle some meal in also, barley, corn, whatever’s cheapest, recover with grass u lifted. amd then cover with cardboard and or newspaper. all black n white, no colored ink. weigh down the paper products, and drive in your pvc so its in good, but can be removed and relocated latter. feed thru the pcv and use ur scraps, or the occasional contribution when others have more than they need. Wait one year. Study the above ground worm farm u want, and in a year dig upa corner of the worm area. You should have more worms than you know what to do with. Worms are not cheap, so ow u can sell them online, fish, garden, and continue to raise more and more until u hit your max comfort level. Hope some or all of this helps. Mark B.
Dig your soil out if ground level and buy large bags of miralcle grow soil about 9 bucks for 40 or 50 lbs.. I know them bags are heavy… This is great soil ,, Enrich with 1.50 bags of compost annually and botta bing botta boom Veggies , flowers .. water , and love and rotation and you will see mators and omg much more !! Love from Iowa with 7 hrs sun light and great results.. I love Google LOL
James Miller says
Worms in North America were mostly killed by glaciers. Any we have here are European imports. At 10,000 feet for sure they would have been killed by glaciers.
The only way they can be in your garden is if there were some close enough to smell food and burrow in. There probably aren’t any in your part of the world close enough to smell food and burrow in.
If you want them you would have to import some for fishing or start a worm farm. You would have to make sure compost worms didn’t freeze over the winter. Other kinds, used for fishing will burrow far enough down to avoid winter frost.
Since they weren’t there naturally, if you introduce them you will be introducing an invasive species. Your best option is a red wiggler worm farm, keep them from escaping and use the poop as a tea
I have tried red wriggler tea and it tastes awful, earl grey is much better.
Watch Back to Eden Film on YouTube and then search for “Back to Eden Garden Full Tour” and watch those, too. You’ll never go back to the old way of gardening!
just keep amending your clay soil every year a couple times a year, and eventually you will get worms. took me 6 years, amending with compost, bags of miracle grow garden soil, cow manure, and chicken poop. the 6th year when i went to turn the beds over in the spring before planting, which is always super hard work because it’s so heavy and clay-like…that year it wasn’t even difficult and every single time i put my fork in to turn, i got so many worms that i had to be super careful not to hurt them. there was no need to turn it over after that. it was already aerated and loose.
I put all the leftover fruit, vegetables and eggshells in the soil. Just dig a hole and throw it in. After a few month’s I found huge worms in the soil and everything is growing like a crazy hahaha….
Jim Miller says
Worms were killed in North America by Glaciers.
Any we have were brought over by European settlers.
Since you are in the Rockies it is unlikely that you have any there naturally. In order for worms to smell and come for food there would have to be some within say 50′ of your compost bin.
In the Rockies they are unlikely to have lived in those temps and are unlikely to come.
You could get some when visiting friends or order some.
Take care not to kill them by providing some warmth in winter.
Michael Martinez says
Yes, every time I’ve gone backpacking at those elevations in the Rockies (Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, NM), I’ve not been able to find any worms when digging for them for fishing bait. It seems they don’t exist in those environments.
This is very interesting, I have noticed how rich in worms my soil is in my garden, I also keep a few hens in the garden which is why I think the worms are so many. But last night after a heavy down pour of rain my lawn was alive and I mean alive with worms all over my garden. I guess that’s one of the bonus’ of keeping chickens.
i just got chickens (6). i’ve been letting them out in the back yard for the past week. I heard that their poo ? was too hot (nitrogen rich) and that it an kill plants. has that not been your experience?
Carol Tibbs says
you have to let the manure age a little before putting it in your garden, keep it in a place maybe 3 months or so before putting it in.
I love adding saved coffee grounds and egg shells … Seems the worms love coffee like me. I add my grounds in the fall when I clean up and turn the soil for good aireation !! Then I save thru the winter and do all this again when I turn my Garden for planting. Yes I have worms 🙂
Michael Dziak says
Built 8 raised beds, added shredded maple tree leaves (use my bagger lawn mower to shread) grass clippings from my yard and my neighbors (my yard is small and the neighbor likes the free service) ashes and burnt wood chunks from my high efficiency wood stove (winter heating season, ) dump it in my beds and turn in the spring only, and the worms come to my garden in multitude. I keep adding grass clippings for mulch to keep weeds down every week. Works like a charm.
My soil is dead, no worms for miles around. If I build it will they come? Or do I need to go find some “seed” worms?
I’ve made a big compost bin, but no worms yet.
If your garden soil is good for growing you should have some earth worms.. If it is a new space it takes time to build them up.. I rarely look for mine, I work with the soil and the soil gets better every year.. I been using the same area for years also.. If we need worms we get them out of the compost bin..
Gardening isn’t as hard as some like to make it.. I’ve lived in the north and in the mid-east, gardening is more of what you want and what you do with your soil.. You have to do a little each year. Down here I spread lime most every year and compost and fertilize. When up north I didn’t do near as much.. Gardening is more of watch, read, and change to what the garden needs..
SUDHAKAR CHAVALI says
Introduce Cow dung to your farm either in liquid form or solid form. Do it regularly for 1 year (15 days interval). Definitely you will see the change and worms will get attracted.
My Pappy had a worm farm in Alabama 🙂 He would use peanut shells from his garden above the soil.
Di Tornai says
Adding coffee grounds and leaf mould on a regular basis to my garden has been very beneficial in providing the environment for worms to prosper.
I’m saddened to see people digging their garden, or even worse, rotovating it! All those wonderful creatures being mascerated.
Just watch out for that dreaded Crazy Snake Worm! They are very invasive, feed off the roots of perennials and are wreaking havoc in our forests. ? http://blog.uvm.edu/jgorres/amynthas/
I add compost, coffee grinds, lawn clippings, garden waste, and dry leaves to the garden after we harvest it in the fall. I get that all rototilled in and then do the same thing in the spring, minus the leaves.
I know some have issues with rototilling but for me it buries the stink and keeps pests away. Important in city.
Haven’t seen many worms but the soil is beautiful.
You killed a lot of worms with your tiller.
I leave my grass/leaves on top of the garden in fall and they are gone by spring. Many worms tilled in those leaves for me.
The video and oral feedback was quite interesting. I have tried to develop a worm farm and purchased composting worms for my bin , however over a period of time the worms appeared to thin out or try to crawl out. Regardless of me adding adequate food on a weekly basis the worms did not appear to like the flavour or content of what was added. Now my worm farm is no more but acts as a stand for nursery seedlings
The concept of possibly half burying a worm tube has far greater appeal as the worms can come and go and help maintain an even temperature for the worms. If tropical rains fall the surrounding soil drains the excess water whilst in a compost stacked stand excess water drowns the worms so they want to escape.
I had a wonderful garden at 8500 feet in the rockies. I went to a friend’s garden in Boulder and “borrowed” some of her worms. They do need more cover in the winter. I covered the beds with chicken ánd goat manure (as well as bedding from the barns) in the fall. In the spring i added compost and planted. It is a big challenge because we could have frost in the middle of the summer, so having a quick way to cover and/or protect more tender veggies is important. We used plexiglas mini greenhouses. Most of the summer the tops of the mini greenhouses would be off, but if there was a possibility of frost, it was easy to go out and put a top over the plants. We grew tomatoes and peppers that way. I admire you for doing this. Best of luck.
Barbara McNutt says
We had great worms in the garden and lawn until my son sprayed the lawn with flea killer (we had a very bad infestation. What I am asking is, how long until the worms come back? There are practically no worms in the lawn, I don’t see any of them wiggle onto the patio after rains. Is there a pesticide killer out there?
Great Ideas Good Thinking
Hi we live on the central coast and have had a lot of rain here .i had pulled a ton of weeds before the rain began and hadn’t put the weeds into our green waste can well its sunny today and i went out and began pickin up all the pulled wet weeds from the patio an omg i have never seen so many earthworms in one spot!Now what should i do with these pink beauties?
Scott Perry says
We have soil in our garden with good organic matter levels but few if any earth worms. It’s been this way for years. What could be the problem?
Laurel Muys says
I live in Brisbane Australia, had no earth worms but bought one thousand teeny tiny earth worm eggs from an earth worm supplier. I had to dig the soil first, spread the worm eggs on the surface and cover them with a few inches of mulch, plus keep the area moist. Worms love to be in damp soil, otherwise they will go very deep or die. They love autumn leaves shredded with the lawn mower.
I live in a senior development. This past summer, about 4 1/2 months ago they put in fresh top soil and mulch. We don’t have but a few shrubs here no other flowering plants or trees next to the buildings. Now my patio (which is in between the soil and mulch) has lots of dried dead small worms literally stuck to the concrete . Can I stop this from happening?
If earthworms are trying to get onto the cement, it usually means that there is some kind of overwatering situation and they come to the surface for oxygen. It can happen if it rains for many days too.
Chris Wilborn says
Try adding log Ash ( Not Charcoal) . I did that last Fall and my worm population has Jumped up .
Be careful about what herbicides you use. There is a very popular one, Preen, that stops seeds from germinating, so it’s used by many to prevent weed growth. However, it also kills worms. It does not say this on the label.
I found this to be true when I used Preen on my flower beds. I had so-so results from using Preen. It reduced the number of weeds in the flower beds but did not eliminate them. I have some annuals that I like to plant seeds in place in the spring and use of Preen the previous season seemed to reduce the germination rate as well as a reduction in the worm population. Another caution – when using grass clippings for mulch or in your compost, be careful that they do not come from lawns that have been treated with a weed & feed product. Those clippings appear to hold enough of the weed prevention chemicals to adversely affect your garden – reduce germination rates, reduce worm population and reduce the health of individual plants. When these chemicals have been introduced into your garden it can take two to three years for your garden to recuperate from their effect.
Very informative indeed, thank you for your inputs. I only have small pots in my veranda to plant my favorite veggies. I love tending even minimal pot garden for the sake of health when you keep in touch with soil. My happiness is just shallow but I love to see worms in my garden pot.
Terry Edwin Walker says
We drink a lot of coffee so we save our 3 lb. plastic container’s. I use them in the garden 2 ways.
1. I drill 1/8 ” holes in the bottom and the bottom 2/3 of the container’s . Them bury them in the garden almost to the top i leave about 1 1/2 ” showing. These are for watering deep in the ground. i usually plant my plants around them so the roots keep from drying out.
2. I drill 3/4 ” holes in the bottom and in the bottom 1/2 of the container Then bury them the same way about 6 feet apart. These are my worm feeders. I put every thing in them that you would put in your compose pile. When I prune my plant ‘s I just pull off the top and drop it in the feeder.
I also use my coffee grounds and I grind up my egg shells with a blender that I picked up at a yard sale. I also grind up my Banana peels with a little water use it in the garden.
This is just a thought and it works for me. Enjoy.
David Whittaker says
This site is quite amazing, very helpful information. We are trying to rebuild our lawn after replacing our septic weeping bed due to our property being developed in a sand and gravel pit. The sand settled over the years and completely blocked all the weeping bed tiles. In the process we decided to hall the sand away, laid the new weeping bed pipes and brought in a clay based subsoil, then topped up with 6″ of topsoil that came from a new subdivision reclaimed from a farm on the edge of our local town. So our surprise, this soil would not support the germination of grass seed, after buying to 25 KG of certified lawn seed mix, we were told to try and top dress our lawn with “Triple Mix” soil from a local gardening centre. We purchased another bag of grass seed mix and it started to germinate. Since then, three years of soil sampling, lawn was very alkaline, when we started the rebuilding of the new topsoil, 8.1 and now down to 7.6 after spreading all the neighborhood leaves we could collect in the fall and 90% organic magnesium fertilizer purchased from our greenhouse. We understand that it may take another 1 – 2 years of applying the magnesium as it takes quite awhile to absorb into the soil and settle down into the topsoil for the roots of the grass to make use it. We have top dressed the lawn with “Triple Mix” three summers now and thinking that we may top dress a couple more times this fall to speed up the process before mulching in the leaves from our neighborhood again this year. Each time we applied the “Triple Mix” we got quite a response to the growth and color of the grass. If anyone has some advice on how to speed up the recovery of our lawn soil, please let us know? We have been controlling the weeds by digging them out, there have been many. This is our best year so far with reduced weed growth, previously, the weed infestation was flourishing in the alkaline soil for the past three years. We almost wish we could get a local farm to come and spread a light layer of aged cattle manure, but unrealistic as this would not go over well in our subdivision. We thought of buying more earth worms, after reading all the information on this gardening channel, the worms would not survive as there is very low amount of soil bacteria. Thank you all for the amazingly useful comments and information. We are still learning and glad we found this site. Central West Ontario, Canada.