Many people see worms and make sounds of disgust. However, worms are essential, not only for anglers, to lure in a big catch, but also in the garden. Earthworms play a vital role in the subterranean ecosystem, aerating soil, breaking down plant matter, and improving water drainage. If your soil is of poor quality, you can most likely improve it by adding earthworms. Understand how to use worms and how they improve your soil quality so that you can maximise the productivity of your garden.
Using Worms to Improve Drainage in Soil
Healthy worms are very active and spend a great deal of time burrowing through the earth, leaving tunnels in their wake. These tunnels have a multitude of benefits. Worm tunnels aerate the soil and act as drainage channels for water. By adding more worms to your soil, you greatly increase the soil's drainage and water filtration power, so you get far less standing water and less runoff. This helps your crops, grass, and other plants, as the soil remains moist. Moreover, reduced runoff water means significantly less erosion, keeping your soil in the beds, where it belongs. Many gardeners measure the health of their soil by the number of worms the soil contains per area unit. The more worms in the soil, the better its drainage and aeration, which boosts plant production. For example, an acre of land can host 500,000 earthworms that, between them, shift 5,000 tonnes of soil every year.
Using Worms to Improve the Nutrients in Soil
Worm tunnels act as channels for nutrients as well as water, so they carry large quantities of nutrients throughout the soil. Additionally, worms help to break down organic matter, such as fallen leaves and crop stubble. Breaking down these components with the help of microorganisms that live in the soil releases high quantities of nutrients. This boosts your soil quality and your plant productivity, as the nutrient-rich soil provides ample amounts of food for your growing plants.
Caring for Your Garden Worms
Worms need very little in the way of care and maintenance. Make sure there is plenty of organic matter in or on the soil. This includes grass clippings, vegetable peelings, dead leaves, and crop stubble. Worms feed on the organic matter and also recycle it for you, turning it into useful nutrients. Avoid excessive walking or driving over the soil when it is very wet, as this compacts the soil so tightly that the worms struggle to push through and become less productive.