|The 'lowly' Earthworm...I don't think so...|
|EARTHWORMS - The Benefits |
Improve the physical structure of the soil
- improve water filtration rates and absorption rates helping the soil to drain better. Less runoff equals less watering and less erosion.
- the tunneling activity improves soil aeration, porosity, and permeability.
- increase moisture absorption and moisture available to plants. Castings absorb water faster than soil, castings hold more water than equivalent amounts of soil. Bhawalker Earthworm Research Institute
- castings have the ability to absorb moisture from the air and hold it in a manner that plants can use. Bhawalker Earthworm Research Institute
- 25 earthworms per square foot of soil equal 1 million earthworms per acre. Studies in England have shown that in healthy soil forty tons of castings per acre pass through earthworms bodies daily. A new USA study indicates 1½ million worms per acre which move 20 tons of earth each year.
- studies have shown that with good food sources and favorable conditions, a field might have over 100 nightcrawlers per square yard. National Soil Tilth Lab
- One earthworm can digest 36 tons of soil in one year. US Soil Conservation Office
- the tunneling activity of worms helps breakup hardpan and other compacted soils.
- studies have shown that 30% of a fields respiration during cold wet winter-spring months are due to earthworms.
- A study in European orchards found that earthworms could increase the pore space in soil by 75-100% and that earthworm burrows accounted for _ of a soils air-filled pores. Earthworm Ecology and Biogeography in North America, 1995.
What do you do to increase earthworm populations on your land?
Friday, November 29, 2013
posted excellent pictures of the earthworm burrows he found in his Moody Silty Clay Loam while putting in a new water line. That immediately reminded me of Odette Menard's great talks about her earthworm studies in Quebec at the NNTC in January.