August 27th, 2010
It has been wet down here in Melbourne, I have been surfing the net and I thought I would share a few interesting things I discovered about our little garden friend – the worm. Some people say that when you cut a worm in half, you will have two worms. Sadly, this is not true. I thought I should share this information with you all, before you head out into the garden and make a terrible mistake with your shovel. This myth comes about from the fact that the dear little earthworm has 3 to 5 hearts, but the little worm needs all its hearts, and unless the cut is made close to the tail, a severed worm will die.
All earthworms are true hermaphrodites, with both male and female parts. Any two compost worms of breeding age can fertilise each other every which way and produce eggs, each of which can contain up to twenty compost worms. They hatch in twenty-one days in good conditions, but if hard times come, and things are looking bad for the worm farm, the little eggs can remain dormant for months or even years until good times come again.
Under ideal conditions, worm populations can double every couple of months.
Compost worms usually won’t survive in the open garden, unless the soil is very well mulched and you do not have any ducks. However, if they are placed under mulch, they can be ‘lured’ from one spot to another by building tunnels or paths of mulch – manure and newspaper for example. Provided there is organic material on the surface, they will travel vast distances to go wherever the food source is richest. They are quite adventurous in that way, brave little worms that they are!
If you invest in a worm farm the worms would like me to tell you that worms don’t like onion, garlic, citrus, and they don’t like fat or oil. Also, to please remember they have very small mouths! If your worms get pale and anaemic-looking they might be living in too acid conditions. A little (very little, just a dash) of lime or wood ash dissolved in water and watered over the top of the farm can help peck them up.
Well, thats all I have to share today. Happy gardening!