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Why Worms Are Key To A Healthy Plot

11th May 2018

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Worms are a hugely important organism to have on your plot as they help decompose organic matter and aerate your soil. These little creatures are vital for keeping a healthy ecosystem and growing great veg, too!

Soil quality is an important factor when it comes to successfully cultivating plants, whether in your garden, allotment or in containers. However, lots of plots unfortunately have unfavourable earth, so improving the soil is often needed for crops to flourish and produce delicious yields. Improvement of the growing medium can be achieved by incorporating composts, fertilisers, sand, grit and organic matter into the soil. Adding the latter will begin the process of enrichment by largely increasing the hugely beneficial and essential micro-organisms needed for successful plant growth, however the creatures that are often overlooked are worms!

Worms are hugely important to the health of your soil because they feed on and digest organic matter and as it passes through their gut it is invaded by a myriad of beneficial bacteria. This is then excreted as worm casts. As the invertebrates themselves make their way through the soil they create burrows, which allow air and water to penetrate the soil. Importantly, they also leave behind a trail of mucous and worm casts containing a magical mix of beneficial bacteria, fungi and micro-organisms that are essential for healthy earth, which helps vegetables to prosper, too!

If your soil only has a low number of worms present then the quality may be reduced. Lots of gardeners add worms to their soil, and originally this would have been in the form of buying loose worms, then digging holes to put the creatures in. This process can actually be bad for the worms as it submits them to a shock as they do not like being handled and the soil is unfamiliar to them.

Worms Direct have created a new product named ‘Worm Colonies’ that overcomes many of the problems faced when planting loose worms, as well as having the advantage of not needing to handle the invertebrates. Once planted, Worm Colonies give the creatures the best possible chance of survival. Populations of different worms are established in a bedding that the invertebrates are familiar with and happy to live in, all housed in a biodegradable pot. As this container degrades, the worms become acclimatised to the existing soil and conditions, allowing them to migrate without being subjected to a sudden change of environment.

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