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Earthworms: Friend and Foe

December 5, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Most gardeners view the presence of earthworms in their soil as a huge positive, but Dr. Linda K. Blum, a soil scientist in the University of Virginia’s Environmental Sciences Department and a Piedmont Master Gardener, will explain that earthworm activity isn’t all beneficial. For example, earthworms can increase greenhouse gas emissions from soils, disrupt nutrient cycling within the soil, and promote the movement of nutrient pollution from agricultural fields to adjacent waterbodies.

The notion that earthworms are good for the soil goes back to the 19th century and the research of Charles Darwin. He studied earthworms for nearly 40 years in his home garden and estimated that they can move up to 10 tons of soil per acre per year.

Dr. Blum’s talk will include many other surprising facts about the biology, geographic distribution and ecosystem impacts of native and invasive earthworms. (For instance, the largest specimen ever found was 22 feet long.) It will also provide information on how to identify and control the spread of the most recent invader, Amynthas agrestis, the Asian jumping worm.

Register here for this free program.


December 5, 2023
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


The Center at Belvedere
VCE – Piedmont Master Gardeners


The Center at Belvedere
540 Belvedere Boulevard
Charlottesville, VA 22901 United States
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(434) 974-7756
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If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in these activities, please contact our main office at 434-872-4580 during business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.