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| Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Life Cycle of Earthworms | Worms

Earthworms live for approximately 4 - 8 years and start their mating cycle around one year of age. A single earthworm will lay alongside another earthworm and they will transfer sperm to one another. The sperm will fertilize the eggs located in the mucous sheath produced by the clittelum, which is the "band" that is visible on the earthworm's body. As the worm slides along the mucous sheath slides off of the earthworm's body. The sheath seals itself into a cocoon where the young earthworm embryos form. The earthworm will hatch from the cocoon when conditions such as temperature and soil moistness are favorable. Earthworms grow more active during cool wet periods, at which time they make more burrows or tunnels. They also eat more and mate during this time. You can attract more earthworms to your garden beds by adding organic amendments to your garden soil. By mulching your garden beds you will also attract more earthworms to the cool moist soil under the mulch.

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Organic Gardening