If you have ever spoken with someone who gardens regularly, you may have already learned that earthworms are a great friend of the gardener. In fact, they may very well be one of the most critical factors for a garden’s success. Many people consider earthworms the very first nature gardeners.
If you have ever been on a farm in the springtime, you have seen farmers plowing the soil. The soil was broke up by the plow, which allows water and air to penetrate to the seeds that are planted. It also helps the water to penetrate to the roots of the plant later. When earthworms are in a garden, a are like tiny plows. They create tunnels as they move around in the soil of the garden. The tunnels they create are similar to the filing, allowing water and air to penetrate to the plants roots. Without that water and air, the plants would be unable to grow well. If the soil is compacted and dry, plants have a hard time surviving.
Almost every type of soil has earthworms. In fact, the more earthworms you find in the soil, the better it is. There are four basic types of worms you will find in your garden: red worms, manure worms, parting worms, and night crawlers.
Earthworms live in the soil and eat organic matter such as grass clippings, dead leaves, and dirt. After they digest their meal, the excrement they produce further enriches the soil. This excrement is called castings. The castings are rich in magnesium, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus, all which help the soil. These nutrients are important to help the plants stay healthy and grow.
If you are interested in bringing more important to your garden, you can do so by simply adding more organic matter. Simple ways to add organic matter are through grass clippings and mulch leaves. This organic matter will encourage more earthworms to live in your garden to continue to enrich the soil, thanks to their tunnels and castings.