Do you know about the benefits of Earthworms for soil improvement? What kinds of worms are good for your soil improvement? What are the good earthworms for soil? If you are looking for the answers, this article will help you.
Earthworms move and shake the soil world. Earthworms do not have teeth but each day, they eat half their body weight. The weight of Lumbricus terrestris, an adult night crawler worm, may reach 0.39 ounces. Each year, the night crawler worms consume, digest, and recycle four and a half pounds of soil. Let’s find out what kinds of worms are good for your soil nutrient.
Good earthworms for soil improvement
What kinds of worms are good for your soil nutrient? The type of soil defines the number of earthworms per acre. Good earthworms can be a hundred or hundreds of thousands per acre. For a farmer, this means that the soil will be moved. The result of worm castings is beneficial for the soil. This way plants can absorb and utilize the nutrients better.
Good earthworms aerate the soil by creating tunnels. During the spring and fall, they are really active and live in different layers. In the top 12 inches of soil, you can find shallow-dwelling earthworms. Random pathways will be made by them as they feed. Deeper dwelling earthworms can be found in lower levels of soil.
The most beneficial earthworms to the topsoil are shallow dwelling worms. They make the movement of air and water possible. The worms’ movement through the soil is necessary for areas of compaction or overuse like heavily-farmed land and land which are developed by urbanization.
Night crawler worms are known to be surface feeders. Night crawler worms come out of their burrows at night to feed. Besides, some snacks are stored by them. Bits of leaves and plant debris will be pulled down by night crawler worms into their burrows. These leaves and plant debris decompose before being ingested.
Bad effects of earthworms on soil
What are the bad effects of earthworms on soil? night crawlers are not considered native to North America. Their origin is Europe, however, they can be found all over North America and Western Asia. Many other types of earthworms are native to the US. 6,000 species of earthworms have been identified by now. Earthworms are generally known to be beneficial for the soil, but some bad effects of earthworms on soil can be mentioned too.
After the retreatment of glaciers, an ecosystem has been created that cannot benefit from earthworms. Some invasive species of earthworms from the suborder Lumricina, have bad effects on temperate forests. These forests should have thick layers of slowly decomposing duff. But the organic matter of the soil will be consumed and broken by invasive species of earthworms. These invasive species of earthworms will increase the cycling and leaching of nutrients. What are the bad effects of earthworms on soil? The fact is that native forest plants are used to thick layers of slowly decaying organic matter. So when worms break the thick layer quickly, the young plants cannot get adapted easily.
This change is not good for some trees, like sugar maples, some forest-floor plants like trout lilies, trilliums, and also some ferns. Earthworms also attack Japanese barberry.
The disappearance of forest duff leads to the disappearance of small creatures and insects that need the duff layer to survive. When the population of insects decreases, the population of other small creatures like frogs and salamanders will get limited too.
Earthworm tunnels are good for farmland and gardens that have compacted soil. On the other hand, the burrows in the forests will pass the water more quickly which leads to negative impacts.