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Earthworms 101: How They Help Build The Soil

worms dig dirtIf you want to get your hands on a healthy garden, you may want to pay attention.

It is a great experience, and can be quite fulfilling.  As anyone who has gardened in the past knows, it is also, at times, a strenuous and at times, a task that requires some basic knowledge and understanding of what is actually going on with your garden, and that none of it is just pure magic.  There are tons of things you can learn, and many different techniques that lots of gardeners use to make the best soil conditions that they can, but there are some basic fundamentals here that we want to make sure we do not overlook.  There are many different organisms and living creatures in the soil that we garden in, and since we are all nuts about worms here, lets talk about those!

When earthworms are in the soil, they burrow around and feed on the microorganisms and different organic matter that is in the soil.  Typically, as the earthworms feed, and eat all of the organic stuff in the soil, they excrete microorganisms that are stabilized in the soil and happen to keep soil a bit “fluffy” if you will and help with less compaction of the soil.  This worm excrement helps to store nitrogen in the soil, as well as carbon.  The mucus from their bodies also contains nutrients that are good for the soil, and therefore good for the plants growing in the soil.

If you need more earthworms, that is pretty easy.  First off, they obviously need something to eat, and if they eat organic matter, then that would be a good place to start.  My dad always liked to till in grass clippings into the soil, to attract worms.  I didn’t know it when I was a kid, but it turns out that was a pretty good idea.

Another thing you can do is keep the moisture of the soil at a fairly steady state.  Obviously, it cannot be too dry or too wet, but more important is that it stays at least somewhat constant. And last, do not let me hear about tons and tons of pesticides and chemicals and fertilizers.  This can really do a number on earthworms.

Let us know if any of this helped you out, and good luck getting more earthworms in YOUR soil!

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