Worms - are they really that important? We find out!
Put down your shovels and spades and listen up as the most important workers of the soil are worms! Scientific research has shown that a realistic population of earthworms in the soil has a positive effect on plant growth with an an increase in crop production of 10 to 20 per cent compared to a soil with no worms. These wiggly warriors also improve a plant’s ability to fight disease and bug attacks.
However, during the growing season, particularly in vegetable gardens, the worms will have been badly disturbed and even damaged by the practice of digging over the plot. As a result of this, the earth is becoming more and more depleted, to the point where gardeners might struggle to find any of these creatures in the soil at all. If you think that this might be the case in your garden don’t despair - it’s possible yet important to replace them. As we head into the autumn and winter, the busy harvesting period begins to slow down, which means you should think about introducing some earthworms into the ground now. This can be done as we start to prepare next year’s flower beds, incorporating lots of organic matter such as compost, old manure, and now, of course, those all important garden helpers.
These worms are going to be the ones that, over the next few months, will be working hard to break down and incorporate this new organic matter into the soil as well as creating a network of tunnels to allow oxygen and moisture deep into the soil. And, just like all other animals, what goes in must, ultimately, come out, and for worms is often referred to as “Black Gold”. This is for good reason as it is jam-packed with beneficial (to the plants) micro organisms - bacteria, fungi and a host of other benefits. This is the worms working hard to prepare your plot!
Even Charles Darwin, the author of the The Origin Of Species recognised the importance of worms:
“I was thus led to conclude that all the vegetable mould over the whole country has passed many times through, and will again pass many times through, the intestinal canals of worms. Hence the term “animal mould” would be in some respects more than that commonly used of “vegetable mould”
- Charles Darwin
That is why worms are so important they make the soil (vegetable mould)!
This is a promotional blog post provided by Worms Direct