Worm Poo is Your Friend


Darwin called these creatures the “ploughs of the earth”. Without worms we simply wouldn’t have soil. Or food.

The Wormy Truth:

1. Every acre of soil can contain a million worms. You’re lucky if you have this many.
2. Nightcrawlers—the burrowing worms—pull leaves downward into the soil as they eat them, aerating soil and leaving fertile castings—the worm poo we love.
3. Red Wigglers—the surface living worms—live on partially decomposed organics; they’re the ones used in home worm composters (vermicompost, if you want to get fancy). They can eat half their body weight in food every day. I bought a vermicomposter last year during the garbage strike, and all my tea bags and banana peels go there, instead of my city bin. Why should the city get all the good stuff?
4. Humus creation—the most important natural chemical in soil—is one of the best upsides of worms. Humus lets plants absorb existing soil nutrients and helps them withstand drought. You can pour gallons fertilizer onto soil—not that I’m recommending that!—but if there’s no humus, nothing will happen.

Best way to add more worms to your garden is to mulch with anything organic, leaves, compost, grass clippings, even cardboard. Make sure no bare soil is showing. It’s all food for the worms, who do the garden work for you while you sleep.

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