Question From: D. Divis - Ithaca, Nebraska, United States
Q: I have heavy clay soil. I've been trying to get trees to grow and most survive but none seem to thrive. I've been releasing worms into the soil (a dozen or two under each tree, shrub, etc.) several times over the last year. I'd like to put down some granular fertilizer as recommended on this site, but I'm afraid that it may kill off the worms I've been trying to get established. Is this a valid concern? Can I use fertilizer without harming the worms?
A: Doug, you can us any of the Espoma Tone (Tree tone) fertilizers at the rate recommended on the bag and they will not harm the earth worms or beneficials in your soil. Clay soil is usually full of nutrients so trees need little fertilizer. Also professionals do not recommend fertilizing trees when planting. Mulching the trees with shredded leaves and compost will help improve the soil. Worms will multiply naturally, so you will no longer need to add them. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy