Does Fertilizer Attract Earthworms?

Earthworms are the foundation of a healthy, thriving garden. Their feeding and burrowing work to improve various soil properties, including aeration, water infiltration, compaction, and tilth.

What’s more, they promote the growth of bacteria while protecting against diseases and pests that can harm your plants. Earthworms’ castings also improve soil structure and nutrient availability, ultimately improving garden productivity.

does fertilizer attract earthworms

Overall, worms seem to be the best helpers you can attract to your garden, and the best way to attract them is by providing an environment in which they will thrive.

In this regard, does fertilizer attract earthworms? Well, most fertilizers, particularly organic fertilizers, are a source of food for earthworms and stimulate the production of crop residue, creating more food for earthworms. As such, it is safe to say that applying organic fertilizers can attract earthworms to your garden.

This post will comprehensively discuss how fertilizers affect earthworms.

Effects of fertilizers on earthworms

Earthworm activities and waste are highly beneficial to any garden. That’s why gardeners are almost always looking for ways to attract earthworms to their gardens.

Thankfully, many fertilizers support the presence of earthworms, with some tripling or doubling their number. Here is what you need to know about fertilizers and earthworms:

does fertilizer attract earthworms

Does fertilizer attract earthworms

Compost: Mixing compost into soil is a popular way of enriching your garden. The organic matter in the compost attracts earthworms, gives them nutrients, and keeps them healthy. Notably, earthworms will stay at the edges of the compost heap until the compost cools down.

Manure: Manure is usually rich in nitrogen and has high temperatures that create unfavorable conditions for earthworms. To make manure hospitable for earthworms, you should let it age and rot before applying it to your garden.

Mulch: Adding a layer of organic mulch on top of the soil is a great way to attract earthworms. First off, the mulch creates cool, moist conditions, which encourages earthworm activity. In the long-term, the mulch will decompose into the soil forming organic fertilizer known to attract worms.

Chemical fertilizers: Chemical fertilizers (inorganic) create hostile conditions for earthworms and other helpful bugs and insects. Although earthworms tend to self-detoxify when exposed to certain chemicals, they may not thrive when you apply large quantities of ammonia sulfate and anhydrous ammonia-based fertilizers.

Generally, only organic fertilizers attract and support the presence of earthworms. Unless your garden is devoid of organic matter or is dense clay, you already have earthworms. Adding organic fertilizers can improve the soil structure and cause the earthworms to multiply in numbers.

Will worms live in fertilized soils?

does fertilizer attract earthworms

Earthworms survive pretty well in fertilized soils. Organic fertilizers attract and can aid earthworms to multiply, whereas inorganic fertilizers only support the presence of earthworms when applied in moderation.

If you want to attract more earthworms to your garden, consider applying organic fertilizers like rotted compost, animal manure, sewage wastes, potato processing waste, and paper pulp.

Why is it important to attract earthworms to your garden?

Not everyone likes the look and feel of earthworms. Even so, they are extremely important for the health of your garden soil.

If you are a gardener, here are reasons why you need to develop fond affection for earthworms and attract as many to your garden.

They accelerate composting: Earthworms play a key role in improving the overall quality of the soil. As they burrow and tunnel through the soil, they recycle the organic materials deposited on the surface, which speeds up composting. What’s more, the mucus they secret improves the activity of other soil microorganisms.

They improve aeration and increase drainage: Earthworms naturally till your garden. As they burrow, they open up the soil and create channels that allow water, air, and nutrients to reach the deepest points of the root systems.

Worms mix soil: Earthworms move around and close to the surface, feeding on organic materials. The organic matter moves through their digestive system to lower layers inside the soil, which helps mix soil nutrients. Precisely, they work to ensure that the essential nutrients are evenly distributed.

Earthworms fertilize soil: As earthworms burrow, they chew organic matter and leave behind nutrient-rich droppings known as castings. These castings are regarded as a natural, rich fertilizer.

Does fertilizer attract earthworms: Conclusion

Earthworms love organically-rich soil. As such, adding organic fertilizers such as chicken manure to your garden can attract these incredibly beneficial tiny tillers.

Related Article: Feeding Your Grass