Earthworms A Gardners Gold Mine
Have you ever wonder why many gardens are teeming with earthworms? I remember as a child I would often come across earthworms in our garden especially on rainy days when the grounds were saturated with water. The presence of earthworms in garden areas is not to take up space, earthworms are hard at work doing their part in helping to bring balance to our ecosystem which I believe is so awesome.
The presence of these tiny engineers make such a huge impact when it comes to garden plants, the presence of earthworms in our gardens is an added benefit. The use of earthworms as far as harvesting them has become so popular because it has been discovered the vital role they play.
What makes the presence of earthworms so crucial is their excrement or casting which is considered to be good organic to sustain the lives of garden plants.
A strange but funny story
I want to share a strange but funny story with you although you may not find it as funny as I do but you will agree with me that this story is strange no lie I am telling you the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
The five-star resort where I was employed as a landscape and interior plantscape technician was filled with laughter at times. My then co-worker I just could not understand, she was afraid of worms and would run when she came in contact with them but when it came to snakes she would kill them.
I often wonder how strange, though our snakes are not poisonous how could a person run from a harmless worm but when it came to snakes which are bigger and longer with teeth where you could get bitten was no problem.
I remember at one time both I and her were on a golf cart, my then manager said to her one day while both me and here was sitting on the cart that a caterpillar was on her back, she starting screaming threw her self halfway in my seat with tears in her eyes take it off which I did again with such surprise. To this day I don’t understand why she is afraid of worms and caterpillars and not snakes anyway thought I might share that with you now on to the topic at hand which is attracting earthworms to your garden.
Attracting earthworms to your garden
If your garden is lacking the presence of earthworms or you may have a few but would love to have more of them present to double the pleasure then continue reading as we discuss ways in which we can attract earthworms to our gardens.
1. Plant leaves have so many uses in the landscape and gardens, some of these reasons include. Leaves once decompose will enrich your garden soil adding nutrients, leaves once decayed will help to balance the soil ph, plant leaves have the ability to absorb and hold moisture for plant use.
A good amount of plant leaves spread over an area can help to hold weeds down, but the presence of plant leaves in a garden area will also attract earthworms. Earthworms feed on fungi, plant parts that are decaying, single-cell animals, and leaves which we know are a part of garden plants.
2. The use of weed killers should be avoided, in fact in my opinion weed killers should not be used at all especially where an eatable garden is involved. Weeds killers are harmful to earthworms and should be avoided. Hand weeding makes a better choice though it may require more work. The key to cutting down on the number of weeds you may have to remove from your garden is to use a two-three inch layer of mulch also try to spend as much time as possible scouting for weeds the more you can stay on top of this the easier it will be to control weeds.
3. The use of organic mulches is a great way to retain moisture, earthworms are attracted to moisture and will certainly find your garden inviting.
4. Creating a compost pile and adding this to your garden is a sure way to get the attention of earthworms so build a compost pile to have an abundance of worms at your fingertips.
5. Manure is naturally organic and is used in organic gardening, organic matter such as horse, chicken, or cow manure will work wonders. When placing manure ensure it is dry first because fresh manure will burn the roots of garden plants.
6. The use of water in a garden will attract earthworms, but though plants require water this should be monitored. Garden plants should only get their required amount and no more, so if you can find a place in your garden away from your plants that can be kept damp will help in attracting earthworms.
Tilling the soil
7. I found this one to be very interesting but tilling the soil can have a negative impact on earthworms, it is advised that the garden soil should remain undisturbed to protect earthworms.
8. Once your garden is a habitat or meets the requirements for earthworms you can go ahead and purchase them this way it will speed up the process of earthworms being introduced in your garden. Remember once the condition is right you can purchase and place earthworms.
Collecting fallen leaves
9. It’s suggested that collecting and burying fallen leaves in the soil will provide food for worms which is an added benefit.
The soil texture
10. Worms do have their preference of soil and would rather have a loamy soil that can retain moisture so ensure you are using a loamy soil when seeking to attract and keep worms in your garden.
Some fun facts about earthworms
1. On a rainy day, earthworms come to the soil surface to avoid drowning during heavy downpours.
2. I read an article many years ago which states that earthworms come to the soil surface when the ground is saturated with water because this abundance of water pushes or removes oxygen from the soil.
3. There are said to be 2,700 species of worms.
4. It is said that an earthworm is both a male and a female.
5. Earthworms don’t have lungs but breathe through their skin.
6. It is believed that an earthworm’s skin produces a lubricant that helps them to burrow in the soil.
7. The excrement of earthworms is known as casting which is nutrient-rich for the proper growth of garden plants.
8. Earthworms are said to be a sign of good garden soil.
9. Earthworms are said to have five hearts.
10. Earthworms are covered with tiny hairs.
11. Earthworms are used as bait to catch fish.
12. Earthworms are cold-blooded.
13. Earthworms are said to be 90% water.
The final word
Earthworms are so beneficial to our gardens and landscapes, these tiny engineers are hard at work ensuring that our garden plants are being well taken care of by enriching the soil. The next time you take a trip in your garden and see and earthworms remember they bring balance to the ecosystem that benefits not only our garden plants but also us.