Read The Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin or enjoy the story online.
Soil is the foundation for growing healthy plants and living organisms in the soil are an important part of keeping it full of nutrients for plants to thrive. In The Diary of a Worm, we see how worms take part in creating healthy soil. They eat the soil, creating tunnels for oxygen to move through, and then put out additional nutrients in their waste. Other important organisms in soil include bacteria, fungi, and insects. They all work together to aid in a process called decomposition, the natural breaking down of organic material into soil.
You can be part of the decomposition process as well! Composting is a way people can help speed up soil decomposition. By combining household waste (vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, shredded newspaper) with plant material from your yard (dry leaves and twigs) to create your own compost pile (see more information below).
Go outside and find some worms! Dig up some soil (with permission) and find the different organisms that live in it. Draw pictures of what you find and decide if your soil would be good for growing plants.
Learn About Soil Testing
A great garden starts with healthy soil! You can even send the soil from your yard to the Auburn University Soil Testing Laboratory for analysis. Learn more.
When you start your own compost pile, you’re not only creating healthy soil, you’re reducing the amount of trash that goes into our landfills, too! Learn more.
PBS Kids has a great step-by-step guide to making your own composter out of a soda bottle. Learn how.