Let’s produce an environment suitable for earthworms.
1 quart (litre) jar
2 cups (500 ml) of soil
1 cup (250 ml) humus (partially decayed leaves and roots)
Earthworms (from a bait shop or dig your own)
Dark construction paper
Pour the soil into the jar. Moisten the soil with the water. Sprinkle the humus over the soil. Put the worms into the jar. Add the apple peelings. Wrap the paper around the jar and secure with a rubber band. Place the jar in a cool place. Remove the paper and observe the jar every day for one week.
This Is What Happens:
The worms start wiggling and burrow into the soil. Tunnels are seen in the soil after a few days. The apple peelings disappear and casts appear on the surface of the soil.
Science Behind It:
Earthworms are very beneficial because they loosen and enrich the soil. On the average, there are 50,000 worms per acre of soil and they eat about 18 wagonloads of soil every year. They do not have a jaw or teeth, but a muscle draws soil particles into their mouths. The worm extracts food from the soil and the remaining part of the soil passes through the worm’s body unchanged. Casts containing the undigested soil are deposited on the surface of the soil.
It is important to keep the soil moist because it is through their moist skins that earthworms absorb the oxygen found in the air spaces throughout the soil.