The earthworm cocoons I ordered from Gardens Alive arrived today in a cardboard box about the size of a new box of checks. I opened it up and found this: one of those small plastic take-out containers that might hold ketchup or soy sauce. There are fifty Lumbricus rubellus cocoons in here, each coated in (I have learned from reading the directions) a paper coating.
The instructions give you two options: plant them in the ground like seeds, or hatch them indoors. Hatching them indoors involves several steps–first they must be soaked overnight, then there are damp paper towels and plastic bags involved, and eventually they hatch and are ready to be released into the soil.
I am curious about the hatch rates of these cocoons, so I want to hatch them in a closed environment, but I want to simulate regular garden soil as much as possible. So I’ll hatch them in a plastic bin filled with organic bagged potting soil. (I didn’t want to use ordinary garden soil because it might already contain worm cocoons.)
More on this enterprise tomorrow…