WORM MYSTERY DEEPENS
Detailed scientific information on worms is hard for a “layman” to find. When a worm mystery occurs like the one we have discovered here in Manitoba, getting answers or even ideas is a “learn as you go” proposition. Of an estimated total of 4000 different Megadrile (large sized) Earthworm species globally, less than 20 detailed Ecological studies have been made.We have our work cut out for us, but careful observation and records will pay off in the end.
This spring we have noted some interesting new developments in the Earthworm world. First was the remarkable survival of our outdoor colony of Eisenia foetida in the back yard compost. They shouldn’t have made it and this makes an argument for acclimatization of the species. With winter temperatures routinely dipping below -30 c, it shows at the least their incredible tolerance for radical temperature variations. Summer temps can get as high as 35 c.
The next strange event was the discovery of a higher than normal indigenous worm population in and around areas where Vermicompost had been used last year. Reports of this started coming to us last week at the beginning of the gardening season. We like to keep in touch with our customers and organic farmers are a friendly bunch. Thinking that these excited findings could be a fluke, some investigation was in order.
It’s true, our native and quite elusive night-crawlers Lumbricus terrestris are making a comeback. When exploring the soil around our outdoor Vermicomposting locations a high concentration of both night-crawlers and regular Earthworms was in evidence. We have never seen this before. The question is why, is it “that time of year” or have they been attracted by the food source, maybe the healthy soil protozoa are baiting them. Whatever the reason, further study is required.
Please feel free to comment on this post and share your worm discoveries with us. This science discipline has been sadly neglected and it’s us worm farmers united that can shed light on our Earthworm underworld.