likes you? Everybody hates you? Guess you’ll go eat worms?
Well, if you must eat worms, don’t
eat them from your garden, because they’re doing an important
job there. Actually, several.
As they tunnel through the earth, worms
eat up microbes and decaying vegetation. Their excretions—called
castings—are rich in plant nutrients. In this way, worms
are roving composters, turning unavailable nutrient sources into
In the process, worms reverse soil compaction.
The tunnels they dig aerate soil, allowing needed water and air
to penetrate to the roots of plants, and they also give roots
room to grow.
Other creepy crawlies living in soil—soil
mites, sow bugs, springtails—also contribute to garden
health. They eat up soil bacteria and their excretions provide
additional plant nutrients.