Do Earthworms Improve Soil Fertility?

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Having a good and fertile soil is very important for your gardening activities. It will help you to grow healthy plants that are resistant to pest and diseases and eventually will give you a very good and high yield.

There are many things to consider in having a good and fertile soil. One of the things you need to consider in having a fertile soil is the contribution of earthworms to soil fertility. The answer for the question above “Do Earthworms Improve Soil fertility?” is yes.

The earthworms not only improving the soil fertility but it can also be as an indicator whether the soil is fertile or not. Simple conclusion can be made, soils that have earthworms in them are fertile soils as worms will only live in a soil that have a lot of organic matters and the soil with good pH.

This article will be discussing on how and what do earthworms contribute or do to improve your soil fertility.

Improve the Air Circulation and Reduce the Soil Compactness

Earthworms have enormous impact on the soil, one of the impacts that earthworms give to the soil is that they aerate the soil and reduce the compactness of the soil.

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The impact is achieved through the movements of the worms within the soil. When the worms move around within the soil it will create passages holes or tunnels to all over their routes. The holes created by the earthworms will improve the air circulation in the soil and will also reduce the compactness of the soil. The less compact soil will be rich in oxygen and that is good for the growth the roots of the plants that significant for overall plants growth.

The less compact soil will also allow water to penetrate into the soil easily and will also help to conserve the water within the soil for plants intake. The water infiltration rate is increasing for about 10 times greater from the effect of earthworms activities in the soil compare to the normal water infiltration.

This will eventually give the plants root a very good condition for healthy growth that leads to better yield.

Breaking the Large Organic Materials.

worm 3Another contribution of earthworms in the soil is that they will help to break all the large organic materials within the soils or organic material that you put into the soil into to the state where the nutrients from the organic matters are easily available to the plants.

When the large organic matters were broken down it will return back to the soil with beneficial nutrients that is important to plants growth. This is important factors in supplying nutrients to your soil as plants cannot absorbs the nutrients within the organic materials without being broken down initially.

The breaking down works will be done by earthworms concurrently with other microorganisms such as bacteria and fungus and therefore will prepare a lot of readily available nutrients to the plants.

Increase Microorganism Activity

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Worm Compost Bin

Earthworms’ activity in the soil can also increase the beneficial microorganisms’ activity in the soils. Beneficial microorganisms are very important in soil for decomposing of the organic materials that will eventually supply the nutrients to the plants as been explained in the above paragraph.

Beneficial microorganisms can also reduce the attack of some of some pests and plant diseases to your plants.

The microorganisms’ activity is increased through the abundance of oxygen and humidity available in the soil by the earthworms’ activity.

Supplying Fertilizer to the Plants

Earthworms can also directly supply fertilizer to the plants through its excretion called casting that really rich in nutrients. As we all know the earthworms feed on organic material such as the decompose leaves and woods therefore when they excrete the cast, their castings are fully rich with nutrients that are already available for the plants intake.

From the researches that have been done, scientists have found that the soils that have been digested by the earthworms are 5 times more rich in Nitrogen (N) compare to the normal soil that is undigested.

Improve the Soil Structure

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Worm Composting Bin

Besides of giving nutrients to the plants the earthworms are also manage to improve the soil structure.

This is done by the earthworms through their burrowing activity in the soil. The burrowing activity in the soil will alter the soil structure that will open the small spaces in the soil that are known as pores.

The improved soil structure will helps the plants roots to penetrate deeper into the soil.

Improve The Soil pH

Another goods aspect of having the worms in your gardening soil is that the earthworms can help you to improve your soil pH.

Researches have been made and shows that soils that gone through the earthworms’ guts will come out with neutral pH.

Therefore the more earthworms you have in your soil, they will really help you to stabilize the pH of your soils.

Removing the Surface Debris and Fungal Spores.

worms 6When you have earthworms in your garden soils they can also help to remove all the unwanted materials on the surface of your soils such as grass clipping and fungal spores that are not good for your soil fertility.

People who want a good green of lawn or pastoral area really need to look into this matter. Surface debris could block all the nutrients and water of your lawn and pastoral area from penetrating into the soils and therefore will be less available to your plants.

There are also researches that have been done and show that the earthworms’ activities could increase the pastoral productivity by 25 to 30 percent.

Conclusion

That is all for now regarding how earthworms can help in improving your soil fertility.

For the conclusion, once again the answer for the question above is “yes, earthworms really help in improving your soil fertility”. Therefore it is crucial for you to have earthworms in your gardening soil.worm 5

If you found that you do not have earthworms in your soil, please do not be worried as they can be bought and introduced to your soil.

Please also bear in mind that the earthworms need some criteria to enable them to live within your soil. Examples of the criteria that you need to look into are your soil pH and the quantity of organic matter. They also do not like chemical pesticides.

It will need another article if we want to discuss on the how to attract earthworms to your soils which i will be doing soon. For now let’s just enough about the benefits of earthworms to soil fertility.

Please leave a comment below should you have any comments or suggestions regarding this topic.

4 thoughts on “Do Earthworms Improve Soil Fertility?

  1. Hi. thank you for such an interesting post. I have a little garden and in spring I use to gardening it. When I mix the earth I usually find some worms, but not much.
    Anyway I thought that worms were not good to the plants and seeds! A thought that they could harm the plants and eat the root…
    Well, I was so wrong…
    Is it enough to have some few worms or do I need much more?
    Thank you so much
    Alex

    • Hi Alex,

      You will need much more than a few worms in order to have optimum results from their activity.

      Thank you for reading the article.

  2. I always knew that worms were important for the soil but I did not realize what a critical role they play. I noticed you have pictures of boxed worms. Can you actually buy more worms in a box? Wherever would you get such a thing and how do they keep them alive?

    • Hi,

      Thank you for reading my artilce, Yes you can actually buy the worms and you can even buy it online at Amazon.com. Just click on the pictures given should you would like to buy the worm.

      Regarding how make they stay alive, I am not sure about that as I do not have any experience in manufacturing and packaging the earthworms for gardening purposes.

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