The Worm: A Cute, Tickly, Slimy, Slithery Beneficial

Me and Audriana, my little one, dug a fire pit this past weekend (next week’s post), and man did she love digging for worms!  She was hooked after she dug her first worm, calling it so cute, and “tickly”.  All I could do was laugh as she ran to show her mommy who then called it slimy, and slithery.  Audriana didn’t like her mommy’s description of her new cute friend, so I used the opportunity to explain to mommy (Audriana really) how good worms are for the garden.  So I figured I’d write a post on these cute, tickly, slithery, slimy creatures…

What Worms Do For the Garden

Worms are beneficial in every garden and flowerbed because its burrowing habits help to enrich the soil.  A worm digs as it ingests dirt for the decayed leaves and other organic materials it contains.  As they digest the organic matter they also excrete mineral rich dirt called “castings” that is super beneficial to plants.  Worms also loosen compact soil and improve drainage as they churn through their breakfast, lunch, and dinner which allows for better water retention and aeration. With worms in the soil, roots grow more quickly, plants are healthier, and gardeners enjoy better harvests and richer flower blooms.

Attracting Worms to Your Garden

Any experienced gardener hopes to have a large community of worms in the garden.  There are many ways to make your garden more attractive to worms.  First, your soil needs to contain quality “worm food”.  By working manure and composted organic materials into your soil you’ll provide plenty of worm food.  Second, Cover your garden soil with a layer of mulch in late fall or early spring.  Worms are sensitive to sudden freezes, and this thick layer of mulch over the soil will help protect them. Third, and probably most important, do not use artificial chemicals such as, fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides in your gardens.  Worms are sensitive to the salts in these products and will shy away from them!

“Got Worms”

And finally, if you don’t have many worms and you don’t want to wait for your adjusted soil to attract them, then just go buy some.  You can purchase worms and introduce them to your soil, but be warned if you don’t make the location attractive they won’t stick around!!  You can also vermiculture which is simply the raising and production of worms and their by-products.

Keep in mind this is simply the “short form” I gave my little one on worms.  However, if you want bigger harvests, and larger blooms you’ll definitely want to attract these cute, tickly, slimy, slithery creatures to gardens. 

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Thanks to:
Animal Planet
Agway Image

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