Earthworms can be found almost anywhere where there is moisture and decaying material to eat. There are approximately 2700 kinds of worms in the world. You may find a large number of worms in a specific area. With excellent conditions, lots of organic material and the right amount of moisture there can be approximately 1 million worms in 1 acre of land. Worms are good for the earth, adding nitrogen from their secretions as well as mixing the organic material and the earth to form a nutrient rich earth to grow plants and vegetables in the garden. You always want to have worms eating and processing organic material in your garden. Maintaining moisture is also important to ensure a healthy earthworm population.
What do earthworms eat?
Do worms eat dirt? Earthworms live in the dirt and crawl through organic material and crawl through decomposing material eating as they go. They take moisture from the soil and they get the nutrition they need from the dirt such as foliage that is rotting. An earthworm can eat the amount of its own weight every day. If your soil is too dry, earthworms will die or move to an area with the level of moisture they need. Too much moisture is also not good. Worms can drown if the soil is exposed to too much water. Anytime there is a heavy rain, you may have noticed worms crawling along the surface looking for safe conditions where they will not drown.
Food earthworms should never eat
If earthworms eat citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and lemons it can be deadly for them. Chemicals in these fruits can kill worms. If you want to have a healthy garden with lots of worms in the soil never place any of these kinds of fruit in your compositing bin for later mixing with your soil. Dispose of these fruit remains separately.
One interesting fact about what earthworms eat is that they consume small stones. They use these stones to grind food and help them digest it in their stomachs. They consume food material at the front of the worm, digest it along the length of the worm and expel material at the other end.
How large are earthworms
Earthworms typically measure a few inches in length. If you have dug worms to use as bait for fishing you probably have found worms that are as short as an inch long and perhaps as long as it is 10 inches. This the typical length of worms you would find in most gardens.
The largest worm that was ever documented was found in south Africa. It measured an astounding 22 feet in length! The Australian Gippsland earthworm can grow to 12 feet in length and can weigh as much as 1 1/2 pounds. These are very large worms in deed. Worms hatch from cocoons that are smaller than a grain of rice. Earthworms are also grown in earthworm farms to be sold for bait as well as to customers who need to process large amounts of organic material. In some countries, they are also considered a delicacy for human consumption.