Do you find yourself discussing worms very often? Me neither.
I’m making an exception because those of us in certain parts of the country are fighting an invasive worm that intends to make gardening of all types a real challenge.
Like real maple syrup? I do, but if the researchers can’t figure out a way to stop these critters in New England, the soil now supporting the maple trees and everything else in our part of the country will be unable to provide enough nutrients to sustain them.
If worms disgust you, feel free to stop right here but do remember the topic when you see it in the news down the road. These invasive Asian Jumping Worms definitely fall into the disgusting category. Friends have had them, but I’ve been lucky.
My luck ran out last week when I found them in two beds. In the first bed, I dug up the top 3-4″ of the soil and hauled it away while hand picking them out and making sure they were dead. Yes, disgusting and a lot of work in the very humid weather we are currently having.
If you are wondering why any sane person would go to that much work, let me say just one word – raspberries. They were in my raspberry bed.
They thrive on the top couple of inches of soil, and that is also where they leave their cocoons. Once removed, I had to replace the soil, and to keep from regifting them I purchased new bagged soil and made sure to check before shoveling. The other bed holds Hosta plants so I’m going to experiment with a couple of other options to see if I can impact their presence without replacing all the soil.
Next week, there is a free webinar sponsored by Oregon State Cooperative Extension, and I’ll include a link here. They are recording it, so if you sign up you can go back and check it out at your convenience.
I’m also including some articles if you
would like need to learn more. Bottom line – see worms, check them out.
How will you recognize them? They jump around and move like a snake and have a light colored band around them that holds their eggs which they gift to you multiple times during a gardening season.
They grow to 8″ long, and since they are bisexual, it only takes one worm to start an infestation. The adult worm itself will be terminated by cold weather, however, the eggs overwinter and will hang around to welcome you as you start the next gardening season.
By the way, there are no ‘native’ worms, these guys are just more aggressive and destructive than the ones we are accustomed to. The idea that earth worms are good for aerating soil, forget it, because these guys are eating the soil and leaving droppings that have been stripped of every nutrient a plant needs to grow and survive. Now, that is really disgusting.
A few other links for information: