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Humble earthworm
Monday, 10 March 2014 12:42

There are many different types of earthworms but it is important to know that these earthworms are vital, each in their own way for building up and improving our soils. In the recent past excessive dependence on artificial fertilisers, abetted by monoculture has not only contributed in the earthworms decline but has also left many hectares of land becoming progressively more sterile. The earthworm works compost, leaves and mulch into the ground and not only drains, aerates and turns the soil but also produces a vast selection of microbes that exert a multitude of beneficial stimuli on both soil and plants. The average gardener is well aware that a healthy garden will support a large earthworm population which can be encouraged by applications of mulch and compost. Mulching with winter leaves and homemade compost steadily builds up the organic matter in the soil. This will benefit the earthworm but also helps to regulate the soil temperature and water retention. Another great idea is to obtain and tend a ‘wormery’ many people have been astounded by the results they have obtained. A wormery requires a special type of earthworm that doesn’t need soil to assist with digesting material. Wormeries come in various shapes and sizes, it is also possible to make one yourself from plants which will be available locally. Garden cuttings, grass, manure and kitchen wastes are all possible input materials for a wormery. If every garden or farm could sustain a wormery which is very easily maintainable, this will help to replenish in a natural way much of what is taken up out of the soil by the plants. If you do invest in one of these you will be joining an increasing number of people that support their own eco systems. You will be truly surprised at the benefits.alt

 

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