A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – Sept 11, 2023 – Brad Herrick on Jumping Worms

The question “What do I do about the Asian jumping worms that are destroying my soil?” has outpaced what was the most common thing I was asked year in and out for decades as a garden writer—the relatively simple challenge of “How do I prune my hydrangeas?” Now gardeners from an ever-widening area of the country are voicing this far more troubling worry, about an invasive species that seems to be on a mission of Manifest Destiny.

Photo: Eric Hamilton / UW–Madison Communications

Today’s guest, ecologist Brad Herrick from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, has been studying jumping worms for a decade, and is here to share the latest insights. 

Brad Herrick is the ecologist and research program manager at the UW-Madison Arboretum, where the staff first noticed the destructive handiwork of Asian jumping worms in 2013. He’s been studying them ever since. 


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