Spring Salute to Earthworms

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Earthworms:

1. There are about 2,700 varieties of earthworm

2. Worms are hermaphroditic: they have both sets of sexual organs and line up head-to-tail to mate.

3. The largest earthworm on record was found in South Africa and measure 22 feet in length.

4. Earthworms prefer a healthy, vegan diet.

5. Baby worms hatch from a cocoon that is smaller than a grain of rice.

If you want to make some earthworm friends, get yourself a worm bin and start composting. One pound of worms (about 1,000) can eat up to half a pound of food per day. Just throw your veggie scraps, shredded office paper, coffee grounds, eggshells, dryer lint, and plain grains into your bin and let them turn it into fertilizer. Here’s how.

For more tips and new ideas about using worms to make your garden grown, listen to the Wiggly Wigglers podcast.

And for the ultimate guide to all things earthworm, check out Amy Stewart‘s book The Earth Moved: On The Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms. She covers everything from Darwin’s studies on earthworms to their vital role in maintaining our planet’s health–these little guys do the dirty work, behind the scenes (or under our feet, as the case may be).

-Susannah

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2 Comments On This Post:

November 13, 2010
9:28 pm
Carol Brendler says...

Hi! I have checked with experts in the field and no one can corroborate the 22-foot earthworm story. So I’m afraid that, reliably, the longest earthworm on record is the Giant Gippsland of Australia at about 10 feet long. Carol Brendler, WINNIE FINN, WORM FARMER (FSG, 2009)

November 14, 2010
1:31 pm
admin says...

Hi Carol, Did you check in with the author to find where she got her info.? If you’d like to, you can reach her directly: amy@amystewart.com. Your book looks great, by the way!

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