Submitted by Jeff Buster on Tue, 03/06/2007 - 20:33.



What's going on - this lawn looks like it has measles – how come there are some areas where the snow has melted, and other areas where the snow hasn’t melted?   I took this shot yesterday AM.   Salt has nothing to do with the melted areas...


Norm, you’re right in your comment below, Worms it is.    The worms in the NEO clay top soils are real WORKHORSES.   They move tons of soil around nightly.  And they live on organics – So that raises the question WHAT HAVE YOU FED YOUR WORMS TODAY? 


All those leaves that fell last fall will soon be gone, dragged one by one down into the worms’ middens .   Look at the photo on the LH  above – the lawn looks like a praire dog colony – except the “dogs” are worms.  There is a worm casting pile in every direction -  evenly spaced about a foot apart.  That adds up to thousands of worms in your average lawn.  Look at the photo on the RH side – see the woody stick like things in the center?  Those stick-like things are the central skeletal parts  of last fall’s oak leaves.   The worms – while there is snow on the ground and the  temperature is below freezing at night – come to the surface, discharge the soil/organic mix they ingest, and then physically drag leaves stem first down into the midden pile.   Go out yourself and look around in the leaves – you will see what I’m talking about.   


 But there are problems:


1.                  In Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, and many, many communities the fallen leaves which feed worms are removed – un-aware citizens PAY gardeners to use gas powered blowers to remove every single leaf – the ground is stripped right down to the dirt.  (and when it rains hard the dirt is put into solution by the agitation of the rain drops – all this erosion goes into Lake Erie.  Million of tons of soil annually)    The leaves are piled  on the curb – where residents then pay tax money to have the leaves hauled away. 

2.                  Result –  Worm populations are reduced because there is less food for them. This means fewer worms and fewer worm holes in the clay.  I have excavated in  lawns and followed the quarter inch diameter worm holes down 3 feet – and the holes were still going. 

3.                  Fewer worms results in fewer holes meaning less porous soil surfaces and thus increased runoff  of precipitation.

4.                  More runoff means more flood infrastructure – pipes, culverts, storage, treatment needs to be built -  requiring spending of millions of dollars of precious tax money -  when worms will handle the water for free.


Now if I were Cleveland’s sustainability guy, Andrew Watterson, I would conduct an education program on worms in NEO schools for a year.   Simultaneously I would  meet with the NEO municipal eco-reps and  encourage the communities upstream from Cleveland to stop providing free leaf pick up.  If those upstream communities refused to cooperate,  I would consider legal action against the upstream communities to recover the costs of the added infrastructure that Cleveland has build and will have to build to handle the additional runoff caused by the failure of the upstream communities to feed their worms.  You think I’m kidding?   WORMS SAVE TAX DOLLARS!


So do you think NEORSD – our regional sewer and storm water management authority – who are about to raise our sewer rates to the moon - has any thing about cultivating (and not starving them out) worms on its web site?  NADA.  Do you think there is anything about disconnecting your downspout from the sewer – as Susan Miller has been encouraging in the “water cycle” discussion on REALNEO?  NADA. 


Worms are already living that underground Utopian lifestyle Sudhir recommends - let's work in harmony with them!










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You got me... signs of life, perhaps

I assume that you know, so there is some cool explanation. Seems a sign of life that generates energy and so heat. Is it the apparent - this is the core of the grass root system and that makes heat - or is it some other form of life? Worms!?!? That would help drainage.

Disrupt IT


thats why one of the leading vermi-tech nonprofits in the country is here in town.  i have bout 2k worms in my kitchen.

my lawn has the worm spots too

I noticed it today while on the phone to the soil conservation folks looking for testing options for East Cleveland playgrounds! Those wigglers are working like mad out there.


That is too cool, Jeff. Only on REALNEO, only because of REALNEOANS, does this community learn such cool things .
My dad has a zeroscape approach to lawncare so lots of leaves get left on the lawn. I always wondered why the lawn has lots of dirt bumps and I now suspect this is from the worm casting piles. This would drive the typical putting-green suburban property owner to insanity, but I now see this is a sign of a healthy ecosystem.

So what do tons of chemicals spread on the typical neon green Shaker lawn do to the life beneath... beyond the bentgrass? Happy worms? Dead worms?

I love your recommendations to tax the putters and their golf-course communities for destroying the environment and costing all others in so many ways. Push it!

Disrupt IT

worms at the office

In California, they have worms at the office. This brings new meaning to the phrase, I'm going to eat your lunch! What's the name of the vermi-tech nonprofit here in town?

Ms. Miller.   My good

Ms. Miller.   My good friends over in Collinwood run
"The #1 Earthworm information website in the world!".

These boys know what is up.  They are who I call when I have a worm composting problem. ....  and they are on track to revolutionize vermitech.

Plz activ8 wormdigest link

Zebra, I pasted the link, but Google doesn't like to have that active html!

Worm Digest Link

Try, I believe that the www was lost.

Very cool worm site, but what about?

ZM - eye opening as always. This is interesting but it makes my wonder how we have the #1 Earthworm Information Site in the World. The site has lots of cool info about worms but very little about the site - what about?

Disrupt IT

What about it you ask.  The

What about it you ask.  The link to wormdigest was in response to a request for the vermitech nonprofit here in NE Ohio.   Thar she blows!  Thats all


Well, then here is a collaboration made in Northeast Ohio!

Might I suggest we send a link to this discussion to Ms. Mills and suggest she invite the wormdigest folk (their WHOIS listing indicates that that would be Mr. or Ms. "Earth Worm") to be an active partner in their festivities?

People often tell me and Martha that they have these impermeable clay yards, and that if they disconnected their downspouts, water would simply stand around their property and flow into their basements. "Not if you helped your lawn to be porous", we reply. "Well, how am I supposed to do that", they ask. We say, "well don't blow or rake every last leaf off your grass, for one and make sure you have a healthy worm population for another."

All last summer, my husband would stop by the bait store on Detroit and come home with a box of worms to add to our small plot and some to join the party in our compost bin. Now most wives would be seeking the dozen long stemmed roses or the diamond tennis bracelet, but not me. I was thrilled time and again when I saw him letting the little buggers go on an area of lawn (our garden beds were already havin’ their wormy heyday). Every wanna-be gardener needs worms and kids love them. What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by exalting the mighty worm!

mago garden:I am planning

mago garden:I am planning flower garden in front of my house and veggie garden in back of my house.Please give me some idea about what type of flower plants I should plant which require less caring compared to others.