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Arizona Jumpers as soil "fixer" in clay soil

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Arizona Jumpers as soil "fixer" in clay soil Empty Arizona Jumpers as soil "fixer" in clay soil

Post  asilcox on 7/6/2012, 4:01 pm

Has anyone purchased and introduced Arizona Jumper worms to break up and improve their soil? Did it work?

I am looking to help the soil where I would like to plant some trees this fall (or next fall), but the soil is hard-packed clay.

Thanks!
asilcox
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Post  J_in_HamiltonON on 7/6/2012, 11:31 pm

I don't know anything about the worms you asked about, but thought I might suggest considering plants that might also break up the soil. This spring while researching grass types and options I read that alfalfa has deep taproots great for breaking up hardpan soil.
"Commonly used as a biennial nitrogen fixing greencrop legume. Alfalfa’s long tap root is good for breaking up the hardpan below the topsoil improving soil aeration and drainage. Produces heavy top growth which can be cut when it flowers. Usually sown in the spring with a nurse crop of oats and plowed down the following summer or fall."
http://www.damseeds.ca/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=1849
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Post  Triciasgarden on 7/6/2012, 11:57 pm

I can't see where worms could make a quick difference, but over a very very long period of time they possibly could. I would not personally add a worm into my soil that didn't start in my area. Whatever tree you get, it has to learn to grow in your soil and it isn't feasible to amend your whole yard. I amended the soil when I planted a few trees and they didn't make it because they didn't want to stretch out their roots past that area. The ones where I didn't amend the soil have thrived. I have heavy clay soil and what I do is: Dig a hole twice as wide and deeper than the root ball. Break up the soil as well as you can. Double check the height of the crown of the root ball (where the trunk meets the soil in the pot). Do not bury the crown below the soil line. When you buy your trees, make sure the roots are not growing in a circle or you will have to trim the roots. Otherwise they will just continue to grow in a circle and the tree will die. Water the hole. Place your tree in the hole and check from all angles that it is straight and check as you fill the hole back in and at the end. Add some soil and water, add more soil and water, etc. At the end water the top. I think then you water about once a month for the first year. After that you can back off on it to a few times a year.
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Post  asilcox on 7/9/2012, 9:52 am

J in Hamilton,
That's a good idea, thanks!

Triciasgarden,
That is what I have done with the trees that I have planted, so far - I don't hope for immediate results, but perhaps with some compost dressings, deep-rooted plants like alfalfa, and clay-helping worms, I can get the soil to a happy consistency as the trees slowly grow. I am not overly concerned about adding worms, since my understanding is that almost all of the worms north of the Mason Dixon line are non-native (even our beloved red wigglers are from Europe, I think), and Arizona Jumpers are found in my area (just not, so far, in my yard). Maybe I should do more research, first, though...since I am a beginner - I wouldn't want to inadvertantly mess things up!
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