Backyard Buddies
Earthworms

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Earthworms

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There are over 1000 species of native worms in Australia and approximately 80 introduced species that are beneficial as well.

Earthworms are excellent buddies to have in your garden. They return nutrients to the soil from organic matter such as fallen leaves, vegetable peelings, fruit scraps, hair clippings, and even old paper. These nutrients are important for plants and will greatly enrich the soil in your backyard.

They are not all small and brown - some Australian native worms are enormous. The Guinness Book of Records records the 'Gippsland Giant' growing to 3 metres. A species found in north-eastern New South Wales often grows longer than 150 cm and is as thick as a garden hose. But you are unlikely to find one of these monsters in your backyard.

Earthworms can eat up to half their bodyweight in organic material every day. By tunnelling and burrowing underground, earthworms aerate your soil, making it less compact and easier for water to penetrate and get to plant roots.

Worms have good reason for staying under the ground - not only do they need to stay moist, but they are the favourite food of many birds.

Avoid using chemicals or pesticides in your garden as they can enter the soil and cause your worms to become sick. If you have recently wormed your pet, collect any droppings from the garden and put them in the bin, as these chemicals can kill earthworms.

By putting your organic waste like fruit and veggie peelings, scraps, and even shredded paper in a compost or worm farm, you're reducing the amount of rubbish you send to landfill.

Be a Backyard Buddy

Earthworms love:

But they don't like:

Be a Buddy to Earthworms

Try to:

Avoid:

Don't be surprised if :

A few more Earthworms facts

 

 

Related Factsheets:

Earthworms

Worms have both male and female organs, but they still need another worm in order to reproduce. They lay eggs which hatch after about three weeks. Earthworms don’t have lungs, and instead breathe through their skin! Worms are made up almost entirely of water, and so they love to be in d..

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