Does rototilling kill worms?

    The soil is starting to get pretty good my garden. It use to be basic clay. Over the years I've put in a ton of manure. Now after a couple years I'm seeing a worm or two when I turn over a shovel full.     I rototilled last week and got to wondering. Does rototilling kill worms? A few? Lots? Is there anything I should do next time to keep them around?     Thanks.
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Henry, only my opinion ok and others may wish to argue with it. Their prerogative, nothing I am am interested in though.
I doubt rotovating your earth will kill too many worms, the odd one may get chopped up but their numbers seem to grow quite rapidly in the right environment.
What you risk doing however is destroying their habitat with the result that they move homes. Worms can apparently travel quite a distance to forage for grub for instance. You may find this webpage useful. http://www.gardenscience.co.nz/soil/TGuides/earthworms.htm
Things which discourage worms, and also damage the other life in your soil incidently, include heavy or persistent use of herbicides and pesticides, use of high salt content synthetic fertilisers, tillage of the soil, excessive compaction of the soil.
You may have been steadily working your way toward a good soil structure that encourages worms and other soil beneficials and undone part of that work with rotovating. This is something that time can heal most likely. Obviously if you continue to rotovate, the soil may never have time to recover.
If you now leave the soil to settle down worms will likely come back, if they have gone, if there is food available. You mentioned manure, that is a good enticement. If you put any other organic matter in to the soil they should come after that as well. If it were me, I would stow the rotovator away and continue to add organic matter, till the soil as little as possible and minimise synthetic pesticides/herbicides and high salt fertilisers. Attracting and keeping worms is about having a really good soil network. The worms will aerate the soil, help it retain moisture, build up humus, keep thatch out of lawns and drag surface organic matter down in to the soil.
A bit like a woman I guess, few women stay with guys simply because the sex is good. They want a well rounded life.
Anyhow, my opinion. Some stuff in there you probably already know and I do not claim to be an expert, just someone who has seen the results over a few years of following the rules I outlined above. I have a lot of worms around the garden now.
rob
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wrote:

I'm probably absolutely wrong, but don't worms regenerate from segments? Or is that some particular variety that wouldn't be the common garden type? Sue

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Sue wrote:

I'm not absolutely certain either, but if I were to put a bet down: it'd be that you're correct.
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Steve

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Google can help you here:
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/zoo00/zoo00690.htm
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Warm Regards,

Claire Petersky
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On Thu, 18 May 2006 23:30:29 GMT, "Claire Petersky"

Well, that answers that. Thanks. Sue
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Sue wrote:

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Steve

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no, it seems not, an old wives tail apparently.
"It is an old wives' tale that cutting an earthworm in half will make two earthworms.. one part may survive, but it is much more likely that both parts will die." http://www.gardenscience.co.nz/soil/TGuides/earthworms.htm
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George.com wrote:

An injured worm can regenerate, depending on how much & what portion is lost (usually to a bird)
The concept of cutting one in half is somewhat different.................typically only the part with that smooth girdle section will live.
HS biology
checkout
http://www.nysite.com/nature/fauna/earthworm
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