Benefits of Earthworm
Earthworm plays a vital role in maintaining our soil quality and also it helps for plant growth. Here are a few listed things to know about the benefits of earthworm:
- Helps in composting organically
- Improve soil structure
- Improves productivity
- Better drainage and aeration
- Enhanced soil fertility
- Helps in root penetration
- Worms help water flow through the soil
The major key role of Earthworm in ecosystems
- Earthworms help to decompose and recycle the organic material along with bacteria and fungi.
- Increasing nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen and bringing them into closer contact with plant roots.
- Improving soil structure
- It is good food for predators( Birds)and also food for endangered and endemic land snails.
How earthworm benefits to humans
- Increasing pastoral productivity: Once lumbricid earthworms become established, pastoral productivity increases by 25–30%. This is equivalent to 2.5 stock units per hectare. Earthworms remove the surface thatch material that can block water from entering the soil, as the thatch can cause it (and soluble nutrients) to run off.
- Facilitating and accelerating mine restoration: By increasing soil fertility, recycling waste products, and providing food resources for predators, earthworms help to restore functioning ecosystems both above and below the ground.
Benefits of Earthworms in the Garden
- Earthworms burrow through the soil creating space for air to reach plant roots.
- They create tunnels that allow irrigation water and rainwater to penetrate the soil.
- It helps to break up hardpan soil to the good one.
- Earthworms leave behind excrement or castings containing from 5 to 11 times the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium they have ingested.
- When earthworms die their protein-rich bodies return nitrogen fertilizer to the soil. Its digestive juices help to enrich the soil.
What Earthworms Do
- Earthworms eat dead leaves and grass, rotting plants, animal manure, semi-rotted compost, and bits of soil; organic matter is ground in their gizzards, mixed with digestive juices and enzymes in the stomach then returned to the soil.
- It helps to remove surface debris and fungal spores from the garden; they clean the garden of unwanted organic materials.
- Earthworms eat their own weight in organic matter and soil each day. A pound of earthworms eats a pound of organic matter and soil each day.
- This may help to turn soil into humus improving soil structure. Their coil-like castings are stable when both wet and dry thus improving soil structure.
- It reproduces quickly and increases its population exponentially; one breeding earthworm can produce 96 new baby worms in six months.
How to Encourage Earthworms in Your Garden
If there are few earthworms in your garden it could mean that the soil is compacted or low in organic material. Add chopped leaves, grass clippings, semi-decomposed compost, and animal manure to your garden; these will allow worms to thrive. If your garden has few or no earthworms, the best way to transfer worms into your garden is to dig up large chunks of soil or turves (section of matted grass) rich in worms and worm burrows and set them whole in your garden so that new earthworm colonies can get started.
You can use these recycling abilities on your kitchen scraps. Red wigglers and redworms are the organisms of choice for worm composting, also known as vermicomposting, which is done in a bin. Earthworms aren’t a good choice – they are diggers and will try to get out. Placid red wigglers will turn your kitchen scraps into compost quickly and also provide compost tea for plants that need extra babying. Line a bin with newspaper or shredded organic material and layer in good quality compost. Add finely cut kitchen scraps, add worms, and cover with a light dusting of soil. Keep the compost slightly moist and put a lid on with air holes punched in for the worms. As they compost the scraps, scrape finished product to one side and add more. This small set up provides similar earthworm benefits, but on a small scale.
Also Read Benefits of Stevia Rebaudiana
Role of Earthworms in Nutrient Availability to Soil
Earthworms influence the supply of nutrients through their tissues with the help of their burrowing activities. They produce aggregates and pores in the soil or on the soil surface, thus affecting its physical properties, nutrient cycling, and plant growth.
Benefits of Earthworm Casting
Earthworm castings or excrement are rich in nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium the key minerals needed for plant growth.