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Welcome To Our Lab

The University of Florida Landscape Nematology Lab is the premier laboratory dedicated to diagnosis and management of plant-parasitic nematodes affecting turfgrasses and ornamental plants. Our goal is to provide the turfgrass and ornamental industries the information and technologies they need to minimize the harmful effects of nematodes in an effective, safe, and environmentally responsible manner.

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    Earthworms and Vermicomposting

    While earthworms are not nematodes, Dr. Crow has some extension responsibilities on this topic. Earthworms occur naturally throughout Florida and serve a variety of ecological functions. Worms are also harvested from the wild or grown commercially for fish bait, and are used for vermicomposting, using worms to compost organic waste. Dr. Crow is a hobby vermicomposter, it started out as a 4-H project for his kids, but over time has become "Dad's" thing. Vermicomposting can be done commercially to aid in waste disposal, particularly for treating animal manure, or it can be done with household waste. While ready-built home vermicomposting units can be purchased, they can also be made using a variety of scrap materials. Dr. Crow’s home vermicomposting unit is made of old concrete blocks and scrap plywood.

    The worms can break down a variety of waste products including kitchen scraps (vegetables, coffee grounds, etc.), shredded paper, cardboard, yard waste (Grass clippings, corn stalks, etc.), and animal waste if available. The high-quality compost produced works great as an amendment to the garden or for spreading around fruit trees. An additional benefit is having a ready source of fish bait close at hand. For more information on earthworms in Florida, see Dr. Crow's Featured Creature article on the topic. For detailed information about vermicomposting see the North Carolina State University vermicomposting webpage.

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