Hey folks – sorry it’s been such a quiet week! Busy busy! With the cold weather on it’s way, I’m trying to get my outdoor worm beds in good shape, and my indoor worm populations up. More on all that fairly soon.
Anyway…here is a question from Chris:
I do not raise worms as of yet. I do have compost piles and
as a result I have worms. I was screening some compost and I have a
lot of what I think is worm cocoons. What do I need to do to store the
cocoons if I would like to try and hatch them? I do not want to leave
them with the screened compost because I will be storing it until I
start seedlings for spring. Thanks. I am trying to learn how to raise
worms and your site has really helped.
If the objects you found are straw coloured, look like tiny lemons, and don’t try to crawl away when you hold them in your hand (haha) – there’s a good chance they are worm cocoons.
Storing cocoons is very easy – in fact it is a lot like storing compost. As long as you don’t let them dry out and you provide them with some oxygen they should be viable for quite some time. I’ve actually heard an account of earthworm cocoons being hatched after 30 years!
Getting your cocoons to hatch shouldn’t be hard either. I would concentrate a bunch of cocoons in a small, opaque container with air holes. Before you add them, simply fill the container with unfinished compost material from your compost piles. Make sure it is relatively moist, but not wet. You may also want to try adding a single apple core, or some other small amount of fruit waste. As this decomposes it may stimulate some of the cocoons to hatch and you should find young worms feeding on these materials before too long.
Hope this helps!