earthworm stampthe plough is one of man’s most ancient and valuable inventions,  but long before he existed, the land was in fact regularly aerated and ploughed, and still continues to be, by earthworms – Darwin

There are about 800 earthworm species on earth and they are found almost everywhere, except in extremely cold areas. In South Africa there are about 200 earthworm species of which 6 contribute to ‘ploughing’ our garden soil.


The silent heroes of your garden.

  • Earthworms are referred to as ‘the intestines of the soil’ as they literally eat their way through soil. An earthworm consumes it’s own weight in soil daily – that’s about 9kg/m2 a year.
  • Soil and organic matter mix with bacteria, fungi and other soil organisms in the earthworm’s digestive system.
  • Earthworms’ castings contain nutrients in a soluble combination which is easily absorbed by roots of plants.
  • Castings are 6 times richer in nitrogen, 10 times richer in potassium, 7 times richer in phosphates, 3 times richer in magnesium, 2 times richer in calcium than the original soil.
  • Earthworms secrete calcium carbonate which improves the pH of the soil.
  • Plants use earthworm tunnels to expand their root systems.
  • Earthworm tunnels are lined with rich castings to stabilize them and this is a great nutrient source for roots.
  • Earthworms encourage beneficial soil micro organism to grow – they increase soil porosity, allowing oxygen and water into the soil.
  • Earthworms discourage disease causing organisms like bacteria and nematodes in soil.

Protecting Earthworms in your garden.

Earthworms are very sensitive to salts. Avoid synthetic fertilizers as these are salt-based and in their concentrated form they kill our silent heroes as well as many other soil organisms. Continued use of synthetic fertilizer turns the soil salty or acidic and will discourage earthworms.

Frequent tilling and spraying of pesticides will also kill or discourage earthworms and soil organisms and you will lose all natural fertility in your soil.

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