Worms are one of nature’s hardest workers yet they are often overlooked. Earthworms provide a range of benefits to your garden and not only provide essential nutrients for your lawn, but help aerate it too.
A sign of a healthy lawn is a garden with plenty of worms. Worms love to eat rotting organic material, and excrete faeces known as castings that are rich in nitrogen and phosphate which is a brilliant natural fertiliser.
Worms also have another positive effect. They burrow their way through the soil by eating organic material. This creates small holes in the soil allowing oxygen and water to reach the roots of the grass or plants which stimulates growth.
If your garden lacks worms then it is likely to be a sign of poor health. An unhealthy lawn will be at risk of disease, and is likely to be unable to defend itself against weeds and moss.
In order to attract worms into your garden you need to create a suitable environment for them to live. They prefer dark, damp conditions as their skin is highly sensitive to light, and they will actively seek these conditions out.
There are a number of ways to create the ideal conditions to attract worms to your garden.
1. By adding rotting organic material like manure or compost to your garden you are providing the ideal food for worms. They will actively seek this food out and come from a far for it. Not only that, but the manure/compost will add their own nutrients and moisture too into the lawn!
2. Water your lawn thoroughly to ensure that it is moist. By watering deeply it will attract more worms deeper into the soil. By only gently watering the soil/lawn you are limiting the area in which worms can live. You are also limiting root growth or the grass/plants. By thoroughly watering the lawn a couple of times a week you encourage plants to root deeply and get more ‘natural’ water. This reduces the amount and frequency in which you need to water them yourself. Make sure you water the lawn evenly to ensure that worms like your entire garden.
3. Because worms are highly sensitive to changes in soil conditions, by adding pesticides you into the soil you run the risk of worms absorbing the pesticides via their delicate skin which burns them and could kill them.
4. Collect dried, fallen leaves from your garden and bury them into the soil. This provides great food for worms – and it’s free!
5. Put your grass clippings to good use. By adding a layer of grass clippings on top of the soil, it helps provide worms a shield against natural predators like birds and protects them from the sunlight. The grass clippings will also break down and add moisture and nutrients to the soil promoting healthy plant and grass growth.