Avid gardeners know that earthworms are providing essential nutrients to the garden. Such small earthworms are garden tillers that sift the dirt and naturally distribute minerals to the soil. Adding organic matter to the garden is a crucial action to draw worms to the garden. Compost and manure from around the house or yard is the best way to help worms thrive in your garden. To have worms come knocking in your garden soil, you must know how to take care of them and how to increase earthworms in the soil. In this article, we’re going to discuss that, so read on to learn more.
Best Ways To Increase Earthworms In Garden Soil
The best way to encourage worms in your garden is to improve the condition of your soil. It’s a case of ‘if you create it, they’ll come,’ because the more worms that reside in your garden, the healthier the soil for worm habitat. You don’t need to add worms, just know how to increase earthworms in the soil, and they’re going to show up on their own.
- Regular Liming. Earthworms had little preference for toxic soils, so it’s best to use lime to increase pH and calcium in garden soil. Worms need a continuous supply of calcium, so you must spread the lime that is missing in soils.
- Reduce fertilizer. Highly acidic fertilizers and some agrichemicals, especially fungicides, can decrease the number of worms.
- Soil Moisture. Moisture is vital for worms to thrive in the garden. Land vegetation such as grass or stubble increases the evaporation of moisture. Solid matter rotting retains moisture in the ground. Some earthworm organisms dig down deep into the soil in the middle of summer and stay dormant until moisture increases to the soil.
- Improve Drainage. The worms need oxygen to live, so a sufficiently aerated soil is necessary. It is why anaerobic and highly waterlogged soils do not have worms.
- Increase Soil Organic. Earthworms thrive on dirt and plant matter that is dead or rotting, including grass, leaf litter, dead plants, etc. They are the primary agents for combining dead matter with compost, allowing the carbon more available for compost microbes to decompose.
How To Increase Earthworms In Soil: Compost or Manure
Compost is a perfect source of food for earthworms. Decaying organic matter draws earthworms and nightcrawlers. We’re going to break down how to increase earthworms in the soil and allow you to take the steps in your backyard garden.
How To Apply Compost or Manure In the Soil:
- Place the manure or other organic content softly through the soil’s upper surface for several centimeters. Do not invade or damage the ground because it would destroy the vitality of the soil.
- Place organic mulch on the compost or manure to hold the soil fertile and cover burrows from the earthworm.
How To Increase Earthworms In Soil: Reduce Tilling
There are a few reasons to eliminate tilling in the garden to promote a stable worm community.
- Individual worms will endure the act of tilling. The process of turning metal items over the ground will destroy the worms in which gardeners would not like to do so.
- Tilling takes the earthworms to the surface where they can dry out and be exposed to predators, including birds.
- Tilling dries the dirt from the surface and disturbs the normal temperatures under the ground.
- The higher the tilling, the more shocked and hurt the earthworms are.
You should encourage earthworms and nightcrawlers to survive and grow undisturbed. They would be the ones who aerate the soil, render it more resilient, disperse nutrients, and bring good microbes into the land. Worms are likely to do much more than mere tilling.
Soil Benefits from Earthworms
- Shreds decaying plants. Worm casts slowly cover decaying and residues of plants and crops on the soil. Even the earthworms draw food from the top into their burrows.
- Improves soil. When the earthworms eat organic substance and mineral compounds, earthworms casts decaying matters. Earthworms can transfer vast volumes of soil to the surface from the lower strata and even bring organic material down into deeper soil deposits over time. A significant amount of dirt gradually moves into the guts of earthworms, and they are expected to place nutrients over the top six inches of soil.
- Improve water capacity. Through tearing organic matter down when they move and feed, earthworms release the soil and increasing the potential to retain water.
- Makes the soil porous. Earthworms increase porosity as they travel through the soil. Some animals create permanent tunnels deep within the ground. Such tunnels, particularly under heavy rainfall, will continue long after the earthworm has died, which may help with soil drain. These tubes are mitigating the loss of surface water, and burrowing through the top of layers of soil.
- Provides Root Growth. The holes created by the burrowing earthworms are filled with minerals that are readily accessible from their castings, making it possible for roots to dig deep into the soil.
- Increases Soil’s Microbial Diversity. Earthworms derive their nutrients from microorganisms such as microbes and fungi. But worm castings (worm poops), there are other microorganisms than those in the organic materials they eat. When foreign matter moves into their intestines, it becomes dispersed, and microbes are injected. Improved microbial behavior promotes the processing and transfer of nutrients from decomposition into forms readily picked up by plants.
How To Take Care of Worms In The Garden
Gardeners want only to carry worms into their gardens, but they also need to create a favorable environment so they can stay around. When worms start to thrive, the garden will do likewise.
Such sought after garden visitors are not calling for anything. You don’t need to purchase worm food; it’s already right at home, you just need to know how to increase earthworms in the soil.
- Feed worms with fresh fruit and vegetable scraps.
- Continue a few weeks to add coffee beans, cornmeal, compost, or manure.
- Apply more fine grit (better for the gizzards of worms), including very finely ground eggshells.
- Supplement the worms with low salt plant-based products.
- Feed the worms with dried lint or natural fabrics such as cotton or linen
The unique role of earthworms in nature is to till the soil and distribute nutrients and minerals to the ground. Now that you know how to take care of worms in your garden, welcome these little angels to every garden. Making sure how to increase earthworms in the soil provides blessings to your plants; they will shower any garden. Get more tips on earthworms.