Worms and Soil Fertility
Earthworms are living waste disposal units and are efficient at processing organic waste and producing a “black gold” -- vermicompost. In the process worms increase crop yields and enhance soil health and fertility by:
- Improving soil structure (porosity, aeration, drainage), so allowing plants to absorb nutrients
- Providing plant growth stimulators in their castings which stimulate plant
- growth and health
- Combating both acid and alkali conditions in the soil
- Improving moisture holding capacity of soils which increases water
- absorption and retention
- Increasing microbial diversity and populations so there are more beneficial bacteria, fungi and other microbes in the soil which may suppress soil-borne plant diseases and nematode populations
- Releasing many minerals and nutrients for growing plants
- Providing most, if not all, nutrients required for healthy plant growth
Earthworm castings, vermicompost, vermilaechate and worm wee are organic fertilizers and soil conditioners of unrivalled quality, and cannot be overapplied.
Earthworms could greatly benefit agriculture and farmers of all kinds by revitalising soil and reducing fertiliser costs. Worms can increase the yield in orchards, tree plantations and grass pastures.