Garden and Nature in Words

A worm in the Hand…

A long and cold Melbourne Winter has made for limited fun outdoors these past couple of months, although on Sunny (but still cold!), days like today, the makings of a Spring are there to find.

And so I thought it a good time of year to see what was happening just hidden from view, and look for a remarkable creature. You see, the true hero of the soil is the earthworm.

If used this quote before and here it is again -

It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures. - Charles Darwin, 1881

So in tribute to our lowly overlords, here are some that find my home in theirs.

vermicast and worms happy

the result of feeding worm coffee grounds

Some were found under rocks, within the folds of aged leaf mold, or working through a pile of coffee compost.

a red worm from the ground

A translucent species I have not come across until now… With these ones you can see material move through the intestinal tract.

translucent earthworms

This one has wrinkly skin!

compost worm crawling

a clear worm crawling

I find it a peaceful experience, therapeutic perhaps, to have these small animals crawling over my hand. Not knowing if they are aware of my holding them or not, there is the slightest chance they can see me, and find it in their own way to smile back.
+Shane Genziuk

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6 thoughts on “A worm in the Hand…

  1. What will come of it? I tried to provide vermicast but just got fruit flies and my wife got mad at me. I do a little vermicomposting in secret with some jars hidden from my wife, but I want to compost outdoors in Phoenix year round and live in a two bedroom apartment. What can I do?

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    • Hi Kirk – Cover the top of the vermicast pile with a thick layer of damp newspaper, or even an old tshirt. That will reduce the problem with flies. Might not eliminate them but make it a little easier on you and the wife.

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  2. In the shady garden spots I have earth worms & I am a member of 3 vermicompost sites, other then this one. But out in my big garden, it is a little warm for the earth worms, I have not seen them any ways. But when putting out fresh, not yet fully composted coffee waste, I get Green Fruit Beetle grubs. They look like Japanese beetle & JB grubs, but they do NOT eat roots or leave of plants. The grubs eat compost & the adults eat split & rotten fruits, as the name implies. They are great composter & the hot sun has not hurt them. I am not saying they are the new earth worm or any thing against earth worms. But for some reason that is beyond my reasoning the earth worms have never been spotted in my large very sunny garden(full sun 8-11 hours a day). The grubs do the work then move on. I have goose berry,black berry,dew berry, raspberry,strawberry,blueberry plants, 11
    different grapes, apple,pears,apricot, 4 different figs,plum tree,pineapple Guava,pineapple plants, pomegranates,lemon, & nut trees & have had not problems with the adult Green Fruit Beetle.
    Again I have nothing against the earth worm & think they are great, just want to tell what has happen in my hot, sunny garden.

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    • You are indeed an expert on vermicomposting and welcome your comments here. And can safely add that I am jealous of how many fruit trees you have growing!
      Am finding similar results with my earthworms, in that if there is too much heat (and it seems heat generated from the sun and not from the compost stack), then the worms will keep away by burrowing down below the pile. But they then come back up to the stack during the night.

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