Miss A has always liked creepy crawlies, and doesn’t think twice at picking up worms, snails and sometimes slugs. Thankfully none have every travelled into the house in pockets that I have been aware of.
Instead of just picking up worms, we saw the opportunity to take part in Riverford’s big worm dig which helps enable children to understand why worms are important animals, and also taking part to collate information for the Natural History Museum.
We sent off for a pack which arrived yesterday, so we set out into the garden to start digging for our worms.
Did you know that to grow good veg, we need good soil. Worms work the soil which loosens up the structure and releases nutrients. This in turn helps air, water and nutrients to circulate, so our veg can grow healthy and strong.
Being the good Mummy that I am, I read the booklet before we started, and gathered the equipment we needed for our investigations.
First of all we had to dig an approximate area of 25x25cm and around 10cm deep. This was to be preferably in the shade, so we chose a patch of garden that has never grown very well that is also in the shade. We also dug a smaller patch which was in the sun to compare.
It hasn’t rained for a few days so this will impact on how many worms are around.
We spread the earth we had dug out onto a bin bag. This means I can put it all back in place when we were finished. We found a few worms in our first haul from the shade, and then we used the book to identify them.
We had managed to find some Little Dwellers and some deep burrowers. Mainly we think they were adult worms, but we were without a magnifying lens to be 100% sure.
There were a LOT of babies during the next part of our experiment.
Using the mustard powder provided in the pack, we mixed it with water and poured over a separate undug area. Being careful not to saturate the area, we waited to see what would happen.
The mustard solution encourages deep dwelling earthworms to the surface. It took a couple of minutes but the worms did start appearing. It was quite magical listening to Miss A shout “there’s one”. The worms started out being tiny, but a couple of larger ones popped out to say hello too.
We carried on the experiment by looking under flower pots, and bricks in the garden
We’ve had great fun in the garden today looking for worms. It’s been educational without Miss A realising it which has been a bonus.