Earthworm Party Favors

Welcome back, blog friends. I hope you had a good Christmas. Worm-oriented gifts seemed to be the theme this year: My friend Sue made me an anatomically correct clay earthworm that’s sitting on my desk right now. The real worms had a rough holiday: the lid blew off one of the worm bins and I haven’t found it yet. I’m hoping it’s stuck behind a shrub in the backyard somewhere. Meanwhile, the worms haven’t seemed too eager to go exploring. They’re still working on the remnants of our Christmas Day dinner; that’ll keep them happy for a few more days.

As promised, I’ll continue with the Earthworm Hospitality Guide. Here is Part Two: Party Favors.

A good hostess knows how to put together treats that will delight her guests and leave them with happy memories of her home. Some guests enjoy toys or games, cookies or chocolates, trinkets or keepsakes, but for earthworms, there is no more delightful treat than a good thick layer of mulch. Spread three to six inches of aged manure, compost, planting mix, or shredded bark on the ground, and the worms will simply flock to your garden, attracted by the delicious bits of organic matter and the protection offered by that spongy surface layer. You’ll also suppress weeds, help the soil hold moisture, and protect fragile young plant roots during winter freezes and summer droughts. Over time, your industrious guests will take their party favors home, carrying that mulch belowground and doing the hard work of tilling your garden, without you lifting so much as a finger.

Tune in tomorrow for Part Three: The Buffet.