Originally posted April 15, 2021

Jumping worms (Amynthas spp) are an invasive earthworm probably brought into the country as fishing bait. They go by many names, such as crazy worms, Alabama jumpers, or snake worms. These worms are known to change the soil structure, deplete available nutrients, damage plant roots, and alter water-holding capacity of the soil. This is especially a concern in our forests, where organic matter is limited. It is important to stop the spread of jumping worms. 

  • Thoroughly clean tools, shoes, and vehicles when moving from one site to another.
  • Only purchase compost, mulch, or other organic matter that has been heated to appropriate temperatures and duration to reduce the spread of pathogens, insects, and weeds. Jumping worm egg casings do not survive temperatures over 104°F
  • Remove adult jumping worms.  Place adults in a plastic bag and leave in the sun at least 10 minutes.

Only accept plants...

  • From gardeners that have looked for jumping worms 
  • That don't come from an area known to have jumping worms.
  • If there is no evidence (like soil that resembles coffee grounds) to suspect there are jumping worms at the site that produced these plants/materials.

Use these practices to prevent their spread:

  • Remove soil from all plants before transporting them
    • This limits the spread of weeds and worms by removing most earthworm egg cases or weed seeds.
  • Wash roots
    • Completel
field of pink cosmos

Spring brings thoughts of beautiful, colorful, fragrant blooms that brighten up our landscapes after a long winter.  

But we aren't the only ones on the lookout for flowers. Pollinators are looking for them also. Heirloom flowers provide these pollinators with more of the resources they require. 

pothos growing in aquarium

As the temperatures get colder and gardening work outside slows down, you might be looking for a plant growing project to do inside. I encourage you to try aquarium aquaponics.

There is a natural mutually beneficial relationship between plants and aquatic animals such as fish. The fish are making waste that is high in nitrogen and other nutrients. Nitrogen levels can become toxic to the fish if it is not removed from the water. 

women working in garden

There are many reasons to grow your vegetables, including health benefits, better flavor, and environmental protection. The health benefits are exponential with the combination of nutrients, sunshine, and exercise gained through vegetable gardening.

Studies show that those who garden are more likely to eat more vegetables. Vegetables are a good source of essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin A, potassium, and fiber for example. As you work outside in the sunshine, you are aiding your body in the production of vitamin D. 

Garden journal info graphic

What was that really excellent pepper variety we grew last year? 

What type of tomato was resistant to disease? 

Those are the types of questions we think we will always remember the answer to, but now we are coming into the 2020 garden season; some of those details have slipped our mind. This season you might want to consider a garden journal to keep that type of information where you can use it in the future. 

praying manthis in zinnia

Do you enjoy watching bees buzzing around your flowers, butterflies resting in the sun, or a fat toad sitting in a shady spot? Making your garden wildlife-friendly starts with knowing what will attract birds, insects, and animals to your yard. Wildlife needs water, a food source, shelter, and space. Small changes in your garden habitat can make a big difference to the wildlife you wish to attract.