| "Holy Moly, what a savings account.|
I have 1,200 earthworms tucked away!"
The man answered, "Millions."
The Michigander followed my advice to buy red wiggler earthworms from Uncle Jim's and scatter them on the surface of the soil, last year and this spring. He attributes lush growth in the yard to the work of the earthworms, who never stop, multiply on their own - all for a small, one-time fee.
My neighbor thinks it is too cold for red wigglers and we have hardly any winter. Michigan has real winters and the red wigglers are thriving there. The genius of earthworm engineering allows the egg capsules to wait out bad weather, cold or dry, and hatch later. If all the adults died, which is unlikely, the eggs will hatch when the time is right. Four to six baby worms emerge and reach adulthood in about two months.
I found this quotation intriguing:
Insects are undoubtedly mole nutritive staples, but they're not actually their first priority. Large earthworms are actually what moles generally like to eat the most. Moles consider earthworms to be so valuable they regularly stash them away for later consumption. If they have an earthworm surplus, they tuck them away inside designated safekeeping units. One researcher found a unit consisting of more than 1,200 earthworms. The unit also housed several grubs.
The mole who stores a vast collection of earthworms and grubs is also distributing a large collection of useful nitrogen and other organic chemicals for plants. If he eats them all, they become part of the soil eventually. Otherwise, the earthworms are going to give off some egg capsules before they become food or fertilizer.
|The base of the Crepe Myrtle show off its|
dried, pruned flowers (John 15).
When I find rotten wood on our Sassy-walks,
the new additions go on top.
The places cleansed of earthworms will repopulate quickly enough. Depending on how rich and well watered the soil is, the earthworm population can only reach a certain population density. Our mole cleaned the entire area under the Crepe Myrtle bush - an object of awe and wonder in our neighborhood. I keep renewing the organic food under the plant and doubtless a hearty earthworm population has returned in force.
|I cut all the blooms from the lower half|
and placed them underneath for added mulch.
The lower half has already re-bloomed completely.
We had soil, rabbit manure, and earthworms under rabbit cages, and that meant teeming balls of earthworms, all well fed on high nitrogen waste. That population was much denser because of the food, moisture, and soil. We kept some in each kiddie pool when we emptied the container of earthworm packed soil. At some point the worms could not keep up with the rabbits' output, so thousands of packed wiggling earthworms were put into the garden. With new fresh soil, the population exploded again and again. The garden in Midland was quite rich from Rabbit-Gro (TM). The Silver Queen corn patch, started on top of a deep compost pit, was especially productive and healthy.