Invasive Jumping Worms at CNI
Late last season (2021) it was brought to our attention that some of our plants contained invasive Asian jumping worms. We do not know how jumping worms got into our nursery, but as the worms are present in the Rosaryville State Park it is not surprising that they are on the premises.
It is important to note these earthworms were not introduced to our nursery through College Park Compost or Rels pinefines. The compost we purchase has been heated above 55 degrees through the composting process over three to four years at the City of College Park’s facility.
We are taking this very seriously. Our staff and volunteers have attended multiple conferences and lectures about the evolving and expanding research on Asian jumping worms to make sure everyone working at our nursery is educated on this issue.
Our plan of action since this was brought to our attention last fall has been to minimize the presence of any earthworms in our nursery by making sure we use clean pots, clean soil, and clean compost, and monitor our plants for any signs of the worms.
We have begun repotting any plants that were stored on the ground at our nursery. All potentially contaminated soil is disposed of, the pots and roots are washed, and each plant is repotted into clean soil. All repotted, clean plants will be stored off of bare ground to ensure jumping worms do not get into the pots.
Our nursery currently has over 20,000 plants in our inventory. The decontamination of every plant means this year is going to look very different at Chesapeake Natives. Sales for the time being will be only online. All plants listed on the store have been repotted in clean soil. This means our inventory will be somewhat limited this spring. As we work to decontaminate our inventory we will add more species to our store. Like last year, our store will be updated every week. We hope to begin on site sales again this summer but opening our nursery to the public will all depend on our decontamination progress.
While we can not 100% guarantee that this method will mean no worms or egg casings leave our nursery, we are confident that these steps will drastically reduce the chances of spread.
Thank you all for your support as we navigate this roadblock. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us anytime at email@example.com