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September 17, 2023



It used to be a normal thing for those going fishing to collect their own worms and put them in the bottom of an empty tin can (or hire a kid to collect worms), so I would not assume that professionally-tinned worms are the case every time a can of worms happens in literature, but yes, there is also significant attestation that you absolutely do not want someone to put the can of worms in the picnic basket for easier transit; just because worms are quiet and not crawling all over the place right now doesn't mean they'll stay that way...


KC - why wouldn't they just dig free worms out of the mud on the riverbank?


1. takes time that could be spent fishing, 2. is dirty, 3. compacted soil is a pain, 4. you don't especially want to interrupt your fishing every single time you need a worm, and 5. not every riverbank has a lot of convenient worms.

I think this last one is probably the big reason the kids are reported as collecting worms from the garden/yard/under-good-rocks-and-logs before going fishing, because otherwise I cannot imagine why a kid (who is generally a boy, who has impulse-control problems on average also reported in these books...) would *wait* to go fishing and collect worms first, instead of running straight to the river/creek and then digging worms on an as-needed basis once there.

Worms are, if I understand it correctly, generally densest in loamy soil rich in rotting material (fooooood), and gardens are also a lot easier to dig into than sun-baked clayey soil (and sand/pebble soil: not much in the way of nutrition for wormses).

That said, vermiculture people would probably have more educated answers for you...


KC - our wormses are trying very hard to take our clay and turn it to loam.


Good wormses! At least, assuming you want green growing things around? (most things seem to do better with loamy soil than with clay soil, says someone who moved to a state with clay soil and would like loam [and a functioning, non-malicious state government] again...)


KC - I grew up in the Loamiest part of the county and none of the plants I dreamed of work in this clay soil.


I had a list of Things To Plant When We Finally Bought A House and then we moved here and bought a house and... womp, womp.

But, if none of my Dream Plants worked out with the climate/soil, at least there are irises and daffodils and dianthus to be happy plants. And we have tomatoes and long beans. Also on the plus side: a housing market where we could buy our house for less than the cost of a down-payment on a similar house in Seattle. But yeah; not my favorite gardening location.


KC - Lucky! I can't grow an iris to save my life. And Seattle is legendary for their gardens. Not fair to compare anywhere to Seatlle.

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