Worms used to scare me as a child, probably as there always seemed to be big squidgy piles of them hiding in our sandpit – not the cuddliest of creatures, we can all agree! And yet surely there’s no other member of our garden wildlife community (apart from bees perhaps) that are as friendly and beneficial to us as these slimy stars.
Quite simply they make the world go round; Charles Darwin was famously a big fan. He called them the most important animal in the history of the world – only right, then, that we should encourage them in more to boost our soil so we can grow great plants. Oh, and they’re also a juicy snack for most of our other garden friends, such as birds, frogs, badgers and hedgehogs.
Our worms are essential soil components, the ultimate recyclers, breaking down organic matter, aerating and enriching the nutrient content, and their presence is a good indicator that your soil is nice and fertile. Stacks of leaves and sticks (or sandpits!) provide hidey corners for worms to live, and keep that messy corner of piled up pots – they’ll love the shelter. Whatever you do, don’t use suffocating Astroturf or too many concrete pavers – leave ‘breathing spaces’ for them to emerge. Perhaps leave out one or two paving slabs as planting pockets. But now spring’s here, the best thing to do is provide good quality soil for them to carry on doing their best work. Chuck veggie peelings on the plot, and to provide them with the ultimate banquet, mulch borders with compost, leaf mould and composted bark.
Four easy ways we can make a BIG DIFFERENCE
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