I'm researching putting a worm tube in my fruit-tree orchard as per this article but before I do so I'm trying to find out what radius the red wrigglers (the worm type I plan on using) will travel from the tube to calculate if nearby trees will receive any benefit from it.

Does anybody know the radius from the tube that red wrigglers will travel and spread their castings? (I'm guessing that the real question that I'm trying to get an answer to is: "Where does the worm tube need to be (proximity) for a fruit-tree to derive benefit from it?")

  • 1
    Unless your garden/orchard is dead beyond all imagining, I can't see why you'd add worms at all - this is a worm feeding device - as such, put it out, let the worms you have now feed and breed - they are already suited to your area and soil type, and odds are excellent that they are already present. Red wigglers are described as "a compost worm, rarely found in soil" so they seem like a terrible choice if you want nutrients spread out to your soil...good for vermicomposting, not particularly good for the garden directly.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 19, 2015 at 17:18
  • @Ecnerwal - Worms just are, eh? All I've ever found is that as long as there is leaf content and kitchen waste in the compost heap, you'll have a healthy mix of common earthworms, yellow banded anglers (what red worms are called around here) and night crawlers (really big common earthworms). Never had to import any, always exporting them with the finish compost. Apr 19, 2015 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


What you're doing is a high tech form of potholing. Using a post hole digger, go down 18", fill with kitchen compost and cover. The post hole digger means you just place them any old place near the plant's root system as nutrient packages for the worms in the soil which will live mostly in the material, converting it to worm castings.

It's not how far the worms will travel, but how close the tree roots will grow to your vermicompost. Worms don't travel very far while they're eating (observed compost heap worm populations), only leaving after they've depleted the nutrients in your underground food package you've given them.

So, I'd say, within the dripline so the tree roots are in close proximity. Don't worry it too much, if it's close enough, the tree roots will sniff it out and grow well enough to mainline the contents. And at least one per tree.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.