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?
---------- Henry Cate email@example.com
"Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what
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
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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