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
Dead organic matter like fallen leaves, vegetable peelings, and fruit scraps, which they pull underground and eat.
Mulch & groundcover which keeps the soil underneath cool and moist.
Night time when they emerge from the soil to grab leaves and scraps to pull underground and eat. They stay underground during the day so they don't
dry out and to avoid predators.
Tunnelling to get around underground. This also aerates your soil.
But they don't like:
Strong flavours such as citrus, pineapple, chilli, onion, garlic or shallots.
Meat, chicken or fish as earthworms are vegetarians.
Chemicals, oil or pesticides, which make them sick.
Be a Buddy to Earthworms
Make a compost heap in your garden.
Cover up any worms you unearth when digging in the garden. They don't like to be exposed.
Mulch your garden beds, grow groundcover, or let leaf litter be your mulch. This will provide plenty of worm food and keep the soil moist.
Collect any veggie peelings, fruit scraps, old shredded papers and put them in the garden for worms to eat.
Start a worm farm and make worm juice (liquid fertilizer) which is great for your plants. In good conditions worms breed every 7-10 days, eggs take
about 21 days to hatch, and in 2-3 months the new worms are ready to breed. The population will double every 2-3 months and will eat all your scraps
and organic material.
Using chemicals, pesticides or insecticides in your garden.
Overwatering your garden as worms like damp but not extremely wet soil.
Putting meat, dairy, sugary products, spicy vegetables, or citrus scraps in the garden as worms don't like to eat them and they can attract other insects
Don't be surprised if :
You see really, really long worms.
Earthworms squirt out lots of liquid if you pick them up.
You see earthworms in puddles after heavy rains.
A few more Earthworms facts
Worms have both male and female organs, but they still need another worm in order to reproduce. Worms 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 damp soil during the day where it is cool and moist, so they don't dry out or
become too hot.
Worms don't have eyes but they do have light-sensitive tissues near their heads to detect light.
Earthworms don't have teeth. Tiny stones in their gut help grind up what they eat.
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..