Silly Questions

october17(5chgo)August 6, 2009

Last year I covered my three raised beds with a thick layer of chopped leaves - mostly maple.

This spring, when I dug holes to plant, the soil was chock full of worms. I hated the digging because I felt like I was chopping up the worms and killing them!

Then, I thought, well, since there are so many worms there, maybe I don't need to work the soil. But, my plants are not doing that well.

So my question is, when worms are cut in half, do they die? Do I have to kill them to work my soil?

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Some might die but for most the the part with the clitellum (band in the middle) will live on and grow back. If you were chopping them up on a daily basis I'd say stop, all that work for no benefit.

Since those worms are there naturally I wouldn't worry about bisecting a few now and then. Those are likely Anecic worms or worms that live in the soil and come to the surface to eat. They go back down and poop in the soil distributing organic material so they are nice to have. Even if you removed all of the ones you find and squish them I'd bet you'd find more move in eventually, provided there is decaying organic material there for them to chew on.

Go ahead and work the soil in your beds, I don't think you are doing them (in a wider general sense) any harm. A few that you chop up might disagree but hey, who's the big dog in your ecosystem?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 9:36AM
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I just saw the biggest worm! It had to be 9 or 10" long and 1/2" thick!

No wonder there are more robins this year than I've ever seen before.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 9:19AM
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