Earth worms or Lumbricus terrestris.
Its assumed that if you have a garden, from a courtyard covered in pots to acres of landscaped estate, that you have worms. Well it may come as a surprise to learn that your earth could be barren.
Worms can leave and often will do if you get the builders in, all that banging, vibrations, pollutants and builders bums soon see these gardeners friends heading for the greener pastures next door.
They are also so sensitive to pollutants that the use of herbicides and pesticides is killing of what should be one of the farmers greatest allies.
Recently I have come across a couple of front gardens that are missing these important components and the soil is obviously suffering as a result.
There are two ways you can re-introduce worms back into your garden one of which is buying them. Yes you can buy worms through online shops or ads in magazines mail order worms are available. You can buy anything from 100 to 2000 or by weight with the recommended dose being around 100 worms for every 10sqm and with prices ranging from £9 and up they can be one of the cheapest products you will ever buy for the garden.
Simply dig them a hole place them in cover with soil and then cover the soil with generous helpings of organic matter and leave them work their magic.
Or why not try your hand at worm husbandry by starting a wormeries, you can buy kits online or make one from a plastic bin feeding them kitchen scraps.
Worms help the garden and are kept in wormeries because of the way they process organic matter. They pull the decomposing matter into the soil, aerating it as they go, where they feed on it and leave worm casts or poo which is high in nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium carbonate and other beneficial nutrients these are easily absorbed by plants.
They also produce a good liquid fertiliser that you can collect from your wormerie the feed you plants.
Avoid using your worms on lawn areas if you are annoyed by worm casts and any that appear just brush away when dry remember that your grass is green and lush because of worms not in spite of them.
When using worms you must start using the non-dig method of gardening it is true to say that if you accidentally cut your worm in half with a spade the half that has the saddle part or fat part will survive but half still dies. The non-dig method helps the worms establish and produce a nice colony.
Good news all round, as Alice Bowe says in The Times (sat 07th Nov) ‘Tunnelling worms are the lazy gardener’s best friend’.