Earth Worm Friendly Garden
by Debbie Teashon
Did you know that worm poop (vermicastings) is 50% higher in organic matter than soil that has not been ingested by worms? Not only is the organic percentage higher, the composition of the soil is improved. Bacteria in the intestines of worms release nutrients from chemical bonds in soil so that they are readily available for plant use. Vermicastings are 10 times higher in potash, 7 times higher in phosphate, 5 times higher in nitrogen, 3 times higher in magnesium, and 1 ½ times higher in calcium.
A sign of healthy soil is a sizable worm population. Rototilling the soil destroys worm habitat, while slicing and dicing the worms into small pieces that can't regenerate. Using chemical fertilizers drastically reduces worm populations, as the salts are irritating to them, causing the worms to abandon the fertilized area.
Earthworms will do the rototilling for you, while breaking down the bonds that keep nutrients locked away from the plants. In addition, worms break down leaf litter and other debris, spreading it throughout the garden. They open the soil for water drainage and air movement, while increasing the soil's water holding abilities. Making your garden earthworm friendly brings many benefits for you, and provides healthy soil for your plants.