African Nightcrawler Cocoons

Fresh African Nightcrawler cocoons right from our breeding stock. You get between 2 and 7 worms per cocoon. These only ship once every two weeks when they are fresh and most viable. As spring 2018 starts to get underway these are sold on a first come (order) first serve basis.

Cocoons are shipped UNWASHED and in their natural state. The ones pictured above have been cleaned for demonstration purpose only.

Size of worm cocoons

The cocoons are opaque, oval-shaped to a small point at each end, and very small – not much bigger than 1/8″ in diameter. Because the cocoons are moist, the soil particles will stick to them, making them look like the particles of dirt. They will be difficult to see. Worm cocoons can be spread over the land at any time of year. However, the best time to introduce worm cocoons outside is during the spring, summer, or autumn when night time temperatures are above freezing and after the ground has been tilled or cultivated.

Note: Worms are very adaptive to different soil types. They thrive best in soils that receive annual applications of organic matter such as grass clippings, compost, or manure. If your soil is depleted, till in organic matter before applying the worm cocoons. The organic matter will serve as food and help retain moisture – an important requirement for both plants and worms.

Managing Cocoons

Scatter the worm cocoons and medium over the top of the soil in an 8′ x 10′ area. If possible, generally rake them into the tope 2 – 3 inches of soil. Water the soil thoroughly and keep it moist. Worms require moisture to breathe. If the soil dries out during the first month, you could lose some of your hatched worms.

Worm cocoons hatch with 2-3 weeks when the soil temperature reaches 70 degrees. Baby worms are small and whitish-pinkish when they leave the cocoon. Each cocoon egg produces 2-7 worms. Within 2-3 days, they begin to change color to eventually match their soil surroundings. Worms in a clay soil will be gray in color; worms in rich organic soil will be reddish purple. In a short 3 months, they will reach maturity and will begin to reproduce a second generation of cocoons. Worms burrow deep into the earth below the frost level. If your area of experiences severe winters without snow cover, the worms may have a difficult time finding unfrozen soil. Mulch your soil with straw, grass clippings, or leaves, or grow a green manure-like clover to help keep the soil from freezing. Apply the mulch in the autumn before frost penetrates the soil.

Managing the Earthworm Population

The successful management of worms depends on different factors. The heavy applications of inorganic fertilizers may cause immediate reductions in earthworm abundance. Furthermore, earthworms are not favored by tillage, and in general the greater the density and frequency of disturbance, the lower the population density or biomass of the earthworms. That is, earthworms are dependent on moderate soil moisture content, and cultivation tends to have a negative effect on earthworms by decreasing soil moisture. However, earthworm abundance increased in plots that received disk cultivation, or no-till treatment. Adding organic matter to the soil helps increase the worm populations.

The End Result

The goal is healthy, productive, living soil. From the egg to mature worm and back to next generation egg, the cycle naturally revitalizes the soil and sustains agriculture. Healthy plants grow in healthy soil. The incredible worm plays a major role in establishing a flourishing bio- system that is in harmony with nature.

***DISCLAIMER: Cocoons are to be used in compost piles and garden beds only! Even then there is no guarantee they will hatch based on many environmental factors outside our control. The cocoons we sell come directly from our breeder worms and are what we use every week to continue our operation. We use them outside in our own garden and compost piles with great success. By purchasing this product, it is with the understanding that we cannot guarantee your success with cocoons. They are sold 'as is' with no guarantees of any kind.***

Cocoons are shipped every other Monday or Tuesday depending on holidays and weather. All orders must be paid for and processed by harvest Saturday to ensure prompt shipping. As we freshly harvest cocoons every other weekend the shipping times will range from a few days to over a week depending on when they are ordered and the time until our next harvest. During our peak season cocoons are shipped out on a first come first serve basis, if we run out before reaching your order it will be processed in the order in which it was received. As cocoons are living organisms we do everything within our power to ensure safe travel to their destination. This includes holding orders during the periods of bad weather (hot and cold). Please make sure that somebody is at your address to receive the delivery. It takes 2-4 week before most people can see their new baby worms, the material the cocoons are shipped in is called ‘hatch material’ and it includes cocoons, castings, unconsumed matter and small remnants of our composting process. This material is loaded with viable cocoons that are hidden to the naked and untrained eye. We are not responsible for handling, treatment and conditions out of our control after delivery of cocoons. As we enter into the higher temperatures of summer and colder temperatures of winter, we are not always able to safely ship the cocoons due to their perishable nature. The extended forecast is not always reliable and can change quite a bit from day to day. The temperature not only needs to be favorable where you live but along the route the cocoons will be shipped from as well. Therefore, the exact ship date of your cocoons will depend upon the reasonable delivery conditions. It is our discretion when we will ship the cocoons. If you cannot wait until the conditions are right, please let us know so we may issue a prompt refund.

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