Earthworms have been used since ancient times for farming purposes, especially in China. They have many uses including mulching around crops, improving soil structure, increasing the rate at which plants take root, breaking down organic matter in the soil, and suppressing weed growth.
How they work: The earthworm creates a long tunnel through the soil. This tunnels causes soil to compact, thereby preventing weeds from germinating. Once this happens, the roots of the weeds cannot penetrate the soil, therefore making it much easier to pull the weeds.
Benefits of using earthworms:
• Earthworms eat organic waste, thus helping to prevent the buildup of harmful gases that may occur due to decaying organic material
• Worms help aerate the soil, therefore increasing the speed at which water evaporates
• They create channels in the ground, allowing air and moisture to reach lower parts of the soil where the roots of plants are located
• The addition of earthworms helps to improve the quality of soil
• They increase the amount of oxygen in the soil, thereby increasing the number of beneficial bacteria and fungi