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EARTHWORMS IN THE GARDEN, OH MY!

Are earthworms good for the garden? To answer the question, we must first understand what an earthworm is. Earthworms are small, segmented creatures found in the soil. They range from pink to red to brown and can grow up to 12 inches long. Earthworms help aerate the soil with their tunneling, which can improve drainage and air circulation and make it easier for plant roots to penetrate the soil. Fresh aeration allows oxygen and other vital nutrients essential for plant growth to reach the roots of plants.

Benefits of Earthworms

  • The castings of the Earthworm help nourish the soil. The castings are full of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which promote plant growth

  • Earthworm burrowing and tunneling activities help to aerate the soil, reducing compaction and making it more difficult for pests to survive.

  • Earthworms consume many of the same pests that attack gardens, such as bacteria and fungi.

Some Drawbacks to Earthworms

  • Earthworms' burrowing can harm plants' roots and stunt their growth. This can also make it difficult for the plant to take in water and nutrients, possibly leading to plant death.

  • Earthworms may overpopulate and eat the organic matter in the soil, leaving plants nothing to feed upon

  • Earthworms are a great source of food for rodents and other pests. You may find some paws in your garden.

So, are earthworms good for the garden or not? Generally, they are beneficial, but the answer may depend on your situation. If you have a healthy garden with few pest problems, earthworms can help improve the soil quality and provide other benefits. However, earthworms may do more harm than good if you have a garden struggling with pests or diseases. As always, it's essential to consult with a gardening expert before adding new creatures to your garden.

(Resource, TreeNewal)



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