There is a lot of debate over whether or not to add worms to your organic garden. Some people swear by them, while others refuse to let them anywhere near their plants. So, what’s the truth? Do worms help your garden grow? The answer is yes – worms play an essential role in the health of your garden! But how helpful can they be? This article will discuss the many benefits of worms to your garden so that you can decide for yourself whether or not to add them to your garden.
The Benefits Worms Bring
Worms are curious little creatures, without a doubt. And they can be quite helpful to humans, especially in your garden. Just by existing in your space, they can bring all sorts of benefits; here are some of the best ones:
Aerate The Soil
As any gardener knows, healthy soil is essential for growing robust plants. Not only does soil provide nutrients and support for roots, but it also helps to regulate moisture levels and prevent weed growth. Unfortunately, soil can also become compacted over time, making it difficult for water and air to circulate, damaging plant life, and making it harder for new seedlings to take root.
One way to combat compaction is to add worms to your garden. As they burrow through the soil, they create small channels that allow air and water to flow more freely, which benefits the plants already growing in your garden and makes it easier for new plants to take root and grow.
Eat Organic Matter
Worms typically eat decomposing leaves, dead roots, and other organic matter found in the soil’s top layer. They use their strong muscles to burrow through the soil and their sharp teeth to grind the organic matter. This process helps to provide vital nutrients for plants. As if that first benefit isn’t helpful enough, worms consume organic matter, which they then excrete as nutrient-rich castings.
As they consume this material, they also help to aerate the soil and improve its texture. In addition, worm castings are an excellent source of nutrients for plants. As a result, worms play a vital role in keeping gardens healthy and productive.
Did you know that worms can also help improve the drainage in your garden? It’s true! As you already know, worms help aerate the soil, which means water can move through more easily because they create tunnels as they travel through the soil, and these tunnels help provide a space for water to flow.
In addition, worms help to mix different soil layers, which also aids drainage. As a result, having worms in your garden can help ensure that your plants have the moisture they need.
Break Down Compost Faster
Worms are pests, but in reality, they can be a gardener’s best friend. In addition to their many other benefits, worms can help to break down compost faster. As worms consume organic matter, they excrete a nutrient-rich substance called vermicast. Vermicast contains all plants’ essential nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Furthermore, the high level of vermicast microbial activity helps speed up the composting process. As a result, worms can be a valuable asset in any compost pile.
Increase Plant Productivity
Many gardeners are familiar with the beneficial role that worms can play in aerating the soil and improving drainage. However, worms can also have a positive impact on plant productivity. As they consume organic matter, worms release nutrients that plants can use for growth. In addition, their burrowing activities help to loosen compacted soil, making it easier for roots to spread and access water and minerals.
As a result, a healthy population of worms can be a valuable asset in any garden. By promoting better aeration and nutrient availability, worms can help to increase plant productivity and encourage healthy growth.
Tips For Adding Worms To Your Garden
If these benefits have convinced you to add worms to your garden, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The following tips will help you get started:
Choose The Right Type Of Worms
With so many different worms available, how do you know which ones are right for your garden? One of the most important factors to consider is the size of your garden. If you have a small space, you’ll want to choose worms that won’t require a lot of food. Red wiggler worms are a good option, as they are relatively small and easy to care for.
However, if you have a larger garden, you may want to go with earthworms, as they will be able to eat more and provide more nutrients for your plants. Another thing to consider is the type of soil in your garden. If you have dense, clay soil, you’ll want worms that can help break it up and make it more porous.
Composting worms or nightcrawlers are good choices for this type of soil. However, if you have sandy soil, you’ll want worms that can help hold onto moisture and prevent it from drying out. Tiger worms or redworms are probably your best choice.
Create The Right Environment
As you know, a garden with plenty of worms is likely more productive than one without them. So, how can you encourage worms to make your garden their home? Start by creating the right environment. The ideal condition for worms is moist, loose soil rich in organic matter. You can add organic matter to your soil by composting kitchen scraps and other plant waste. You can also improve drainage by adding sand or grit to heavy soils.
Another critical aspect of building an environment for worms to thrive in is the pH balance of your soil. Most worms prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between six and seven. You can test the pH of your soil with an at-home testing kit or by sending a sample to your local Cooperative Extension office.
If you find that your soil is too alkaline, you can lower the pH by adding sulfur or pine needles. Conversely, if your soil is too acidic, you can raise the pH by adding lime.
Start Reaping The Benefits Worms Bring Your Garden!
As you can see, worms can be valuable in any garden. Promoting better aeration and nutrient availability can help increase plant productivity and encourage healthy growth. If you’re thinking about adding worms to your garden, remember to choose the right type of worm for your soil and create an environment conducive to their needs.
With some care, you can soon have a healthy population of worms to help your garden thrive. If you are unsure where to get worms, speak with your local gardening center. They should be able to provide you with the worms you need to get started.