Benefits Of Earthworms

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Earthworms help in improving the physical structure of the soil. Earthworms also take nutrients down through the soil profile hence bringing them closer to plant roots. Earthworms tunnel in soil and eat organic matter, which they excrete as castings. Any more benefits?
 

Pat

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Earthworms also add air to the soil and help the water flow thru the soil so that the water can get to the roots of the plants better.
 
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I used to add earthworms to the soil of my plant pots :) They seemed to help greatly with the fertility, and helped to loosen up the soil a bit more. I noticed great improvements in the quality of the soil after one year. Those little fellow do a great job!
 

InvasiveCreeper

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Earthworms
by Clive A. Edwards, The Ohio State University

"Earthworms dramatically alter soil structure, water movement, nutrient dynamics, and plant growth. ...

Stimulate microbial activity. …
Mix and aggregate soil. ...
Increase infiltration. …
Improve water-holding capacity. …
Provide channels for root growth. …
Bury and shred plant residue. …

The lives of earthworms and microbes are closely intertwined. Earthworms derive their nutrition from fungi, bacteria, and possibly protozoa and nematodes, and they promote the activity of these organisms by shredding and increasing the surface area of organic matter and making it more available to small organisms.

Earthworms also influence other soil-inhabiting invertebrates by changing the amount and distribution of organic matter and microbial populations. There is good evidence that earthworm activity affects the spatial distribution of soil microarthropod communities in the soil. ..."

http://extension.illinois.edu/soil/SoilBiology/earthworms.htm


Natural aeration of soil: an important organic principle

"An important component of organic gardening… is to aerate the soil, but not everyone understands the purpose of aeration. There is more to it than simply breaking up compacted soil so that roots can grow. Aeration is the process of introducing more oxygen to the soil. … The best aerators are natural ones, like earthworms and microscopic organisms that live in the soil and feed upon the decaying material. …"

http://www.examiner.com/article/natural-aeration-of-soil-an-important-organic-principle


Using Earthworms to Improve Soil Health and Suppress Diseases

http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/caes/documents/publications/fact_sheets/plant_pathology_and_ecology/using_earthworms_to_improve_soil_health_and_suppress_diseases_01-27-12.pdf
 
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