Those who take care of gardens are more than used to witnessing other forms of life near house plants. These organisms can be insects, fungi, molluscs (such as slugs and snails) and more. With that in mind, a question ends up being quite raised: are earthworms good for plants ?
As is common knowledge, some bugs are quite harmful to our flowers. A good example are aphids, insects that attack different parts of the species present in our gardens. Other creatures that end up being nuisance are molluscs, such as slugs.
However, not all of these animals are harmful to our plants. This is the case, for example, of pollinating beings such as bees, butterflies and even birds. Certain species end up being great allies of flowers. Could it be, then, that earthworms are important to plants ?
To let you know if this animal can live in your garden or garden, we have prepared this content with the main information on the subject. Thus, you will learn the role of the pet in an ecosystem. Therefore, be sure to read until the end to find out if earthworms are good for plants.
Earthworms: Insects or Molluscs?
Before knowing whether earthworms are good for plants or not, it is important to understand what, in fact, these little animals are. Many people cannot say whether this being is an insect or a mollusk. The simple answer to this is: the earthworm is not part of either of these two groups.
In reality, earthworms are part of the phylum Annlida (Annelids), which includes animals with segmented bodies that live in varied environments, such as wet soil or fresh water. In addition to earthworms, animals such as leeches are part of this group.
Today there are about 4,000 species of earthworms registered. Therefore, they are quite common animals all over the world. Therefore, it is normal to find earthworms in the potted plant , in the garden or in the home garden. It remains to be seen, therefore, whether she is a good companion or not.
The Role of Earthworms
Unlike other animals found in gardens, earthworms can be considered good neighbors for plants. This is because the various actions of small plants in the soil can create even more favorable conditions for the development of plant species .
Many people even acquire worms to purposely place them in their pots or flowerbeds. First, they stir up the soil and help keep the soil homogeneous. This is because they cause deeper layers to rise to the surface.
In addition, the movement of small excavators in the soil creates galleries that are very important for water infiltration and oxygenation of the roots. However, the factor most appreciated by gardeners in earthworms is their waste. That’s right, worm poop is good for plants!
There is a specific name for the excrement produced by these annelids: it is the famous earthworm humus . The presence of this compound helps to contain soil erosion, in addition to being an attraction for beneficial microorganisms for the plants in your garden.
By feeding on the earth, earthworms end up converting soil nutrients into mineral elements assimilable by plants. This process is known as cycling, being fundamental for the development of plant species. Thus, humus is considered a highly fertilizing compost.
When should I be concerned?
You already know the importance of earthworms for plants . Overall, these beings offer much more benefits than harm to your garden or vegetable garden. However, it is important to pay attention to some specific cases.
First, understand this: worms typically feed on dead plant parts and the droppings of other organisms in the garden. In addition, pets can extract many important nutrients from the soil itself.
However, in specific cases, earthworms may develop an appetite for living organic matter. Scientific studies have already observed, for example, that annelids of the species Lumbricus terrestris feed on seeds and seedlings in a state of germination.
Other studies have also shown that, in cases of food scarcity, some worms may resort to leaves as a source of nutrients. In this way, the animals can indeed damage some parts of your garden .
What to do so that worms do not cause problems?
As seen, in specific cases, earthworms can end up being harmful to plants. This is unlikely to happen, for example, in species that need high temperatures to develop. That’s because the soil ends up drying out, and the worms don’t survive long.
In the case of humid land, however, animals can reproduce more easily. Thus, one of the solutions to avoid friction between annelids and their plants is to work on replanting. As a result, earthworm populations are reduced.
Thinking about it, it’s also interesting to keep small beings away from vases. After all, these environments are more limited, and the competition for nutrients between plant and animal species ends up being greater.