What Types of Soil Can Earthworms Prefer?

What Types of Soil Can Earthworms Prefer?

Creepy, crawly worms make excellent fish bait, but do not dig them all up for fishing. Earthworms also accentuate your garden soil. These valuable worms help create the rich, fertile ground required to develop healthy plants. Earthworms love healthy dirt, so if you find them on your garden, take it like a indication that flowers and vegetables will grow nicely in your lawn.

Soil Characteristics

Earthworms naturally thrive in land that is beneficial to their health. These animals prefer cool, moist dirt. Based on Nanette Londeree of this Marin Rose Society, earthworms are made up of approximately 80 percent water by weight and lose about 15 percent of that water daily, so they need moist soil. Earthworms breathe through their skin, which means they prefer loose, loamy soil. These worms also need soil full of organic material and nitrogen. You can add a layer of yard clippings over the ground to provide cool shade and nitrogen which will attract earthworms.

Types of Earthworms

Earthworms can be deep-burrowing or shallow-burrowing. Night crawlers are the deep-burrowing kind. This kind of worm produces permanent, vertical burrows of 6 ft or more, dug deep into the ground. The shallow-dwelling earthworms include fishworms, redworms along with grayworms. These 3- to 5-inch-long worms reside in the top 12 inches or so of the dirt and do not produce permanent burrows. However, they don’t burrow through topsoil and eat residue and minerals on the way.

Benefits of Earthworms

Earthworms benefit the garden by mixing the ground as they move and also bringing down organic matter in the topsoil. They also increase the amount of air and water in the ground and break down organic matter, like grass and leaves, so plants can utilize them. While the worms feed and work though the dirt, they leave behind casting as waste. This natural fertilizer includes nitrate, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium and potassium.

Getting Earthworms in the Garden

To attract these valuable worms to your garden, you can amend the soil with compost to allow them to eat. It is best to apply a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost or other organic material, like leaves, to the garden soil and mix it together with the top couple inches. Water the area to keep it moist, but not soggy. You can also purchase worms or dig worms from a different part of the lawn and add them into the garden area.

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