Ask Dan the Garden Man: Worm Questions

Well, I’ve had loads of mail from the yr1 kids asking me about the garden and the chooks and the worms. I’ll post the answers as I get time.

WORMS

Worms are our friends in the garden

We have a big worm farm in the school garden. The worms live in an old fridge that keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Here are some questions that I’ve gotten about the worms in the garden.

Dear Dan, I like what you have done, great work on the garden. What type of worms are the worms? Love Sophie

– The worms in the worm farm and known as Red wrigglers or Tiger worms. Their species name is Eisenia fetida.

This species is from Europe and only eats organic matter like rotting fruits and veggies. This makes it the perfect worm to eat our scraps in the wormfarm. The worms that live in the soil in the garden are earthworms and eat soil, dead leaves and microbes.

To Dan, I think you have been a good guy. Take care of the Earthworms for me and the rest of the school. How come earthworms have to stay in the soil? From Hannah

– When they are out of the soil they dry out. Also, earthworms have developed to avoid the light because that is where they might get eaten by a bird. The soil is also where their food normally is. They also have to stay in the soil because by living and moving through the soil the worms make tunnels underground which areates the soil and makes it easier for plants to grow. These tunnels are coated with worm castings which are also great for plants to grow.

Dear Dan the Garden Man, Why do earthworms have bristles? From Jett.

– The earthworms bristles are used by the worm to move in the soil. The worm stretches out and then anchors itself with the bristles. Then when it contracts the worm is moved along to where it used its bristles to anchor in the soil.

Dan the Garden Man, have fun doing the garden and feeding the hens and chickns. How far can worms dig? From Lilly.

– There are many different kinds of worms and they all can dig to different depths in the soil. Below the soil is a hard clay or bedrock which worms can’t live in. The thickness of this topsoil depends on the place. Here in Australia it is usually about 30cm down but in other parts of the world it can be as deep as 2m.

Dear Dan the Garden Man, How did you make the worm House? From Dominic.

– I made the worm house from an old fridge from the Tip. I took out the part that makes the fridge cold because it was broken and sealed it up so it did not leak. Then I installed a tap at the bottom so we could drain the worm wiz to feed to the veggies and so the worms didn’t drown. At the bottom of the worm farm I put gravel and then bricks and then filled it with old newspaper and food scraps. The newspaper is made from trees so it is an ideal home for the worms and they turn it into worm poo which is great for veggies too.

Thanks for all your questions guys. Next I’ll be answering the questions that I got about the chickens. Take care of the garden while I’m on Holiday.

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