Newsletter – June 2024 -The role of earthworms in soil health

Newsletter – June 2024 -The role of earthworms in soil health

Lumbricus Wormery

Dear Gardening Enthusiasts,

As we are slowly moving from our beautiful autumn vibrant colours into a few cold winter months ahead, it is the perfect time to reflect on the unseen heroes of our soil – earthworms. Join us this month, as we dive into the fascinating world of earthworms and their vital contributions to soil health.

We are also excited to introduce our natural organic earthworm compost, now available at the nursery! 

The Role of Earthworms in Soil Health

Earthworms are often called “nature’s tillers” and for good reason. These incredible creatures work tirelessly beneath our feet, transforming the soil into a thriving ecosystem. Here’s how earthworms contribute to soil health:

  1. Soil Aeration:
    • As earthworms burrow through the soil, they create tunnels that allow air to circulate. This aeration is crucial for the roots of your plants, ensuring they receive the oxygen they need to grow strong and healthy.
  1. Nutrient Cycling
    • Earthworms play a key role in breaking down organic matter, such as dead leaves and plant debris. As they digest this material, they release essential nutrients back into the soil in the form of castings, which are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other vital minerals.
  1. Improving Soil Structure
    • The movement of earthworms through the soil helps to mix and integrate organic material, enhancing soil structure and creating a more stable environment for plant roots. This improved structure helps with water retention and drainage, making your soil more resilient to heavy rains and drought.
  1. Beneficial Micro organisms
    • Earthworms promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms by breaking down organic matter and increasing soil fertility. These microorganisms play a crucial role in decomposing organic material, fixing nitrogen, and protecting plants from harmful pathogens.
  1. Enhancing Root Growth
    • The tunnels created by earthworms make it easier for plant roots to penetrate the soil. This not only allows roots to grow deeper and stronger but also improves the plant’s access to water and nutrients.
Healthy Soil

Misconceptions about Earthworms and not feeding our soil during winter months

To understand our Earthworm Behaviour During Winter, we need to look at our winter soil temperatures in South Africa.  

Earthworms have specific temperature ranges in which they are most active and others where they become dormant. Understanding these ranges is crucial for the effective use and management of earthworm compost.

Earthworms thrive in temperatures between 15°C and 25°C. In this range, they are most active, consuming organic matter and reproducing at optimal rates.  They become dormant at temperatures below 10°C) and above 30°C. During dormancy, their metabolic rate slows down significantly, and they are less active.  However, they have the magnificent ability to adapt according to their survival instincts.

During the winter months surface temperature fluctuates and can vary greatly, dropping significantly during winter nights. The shallow soil layers may experience temperatures close to or slightly below the air temperature.

Especially in colder regions of South Africa, earthworms burrow deeper into the soil to escape the cold surface temperatures. They can burrow as deep as 1.5 to 2 meters below the surface.

The deep soil temperature is likely to be around the mean annual temperature of the region, so approximately 15°C to 20°C. This provides more favourable, stable, and less affected by surface weather conditions. In general, soil temperature at this depth remains relatively constant throughout the year, reflecting the average annual air temperature of the region rather than the seasonal extremes. Therefore, preventing earthworms from freezing and allowing them to survive.

While earthworms are less active during the cold winter months, they do not entirely cease activity unless the ground is frozen. In South Africa, winters are typically milder, so complete inactivity is rare. However, their activity level will be significantly reduced compared to the warmer months.

By maintaining appropriate environmental conditions and understanding the seasonal behaviours of earthworms, you can ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of your composting operations year-round.

Remember to read our following newsletters to learn more about the procreation of earthworms and that they can multiply and double their numbers within 3 to 5 weeks from introducing our live organic earthworm compost, which is filled with earthworm eggs nested in the moist earthworm castings.

Earth Worm Compost

Introducing Our Natural Organic Earthworm Compost

Registered with the Department of Agriculture

 

To harness the incredible benefits of earthworms for your garden, we are thrilled to offer our Lumbricus natural organic earthworm compost. 

Earthworms
Here’s why you should consider incorporating it into your gardening routine: The organic live earthworm compost in this bag is generated over a period of 6 months, feeding earthworms on horse manure and other nutritious organic content. It has fertile earthworm eggs and may contain a few earthworms. Enriched with pure earthworm castings.  If stored, keep away from direct sunlight and heat.

Special futures of LUMBRICUS earthworm compost

  • Fresh and moist and ready for immediate use.
  • Contains 70 different organic minerals.
  • Aerobic, healthy and ORGANIC.
  • Tested and confirmed through biological analysis to contain beneficial predators and heathy fungi.
  • Approved and certified by PSG Organic and Dept of Agriculture.
  • Used and tested by seasoned organic vegetable farmers.
  • Clean (uncontaminated) horse manure is used as main food source for worms.
  • Known as the “BLACK GOLD” for growing healthy and nutritious vegetables.

What benefits are there in using good earthworm compost.

  • Enhances the general health of soil.
  • Loosens and aerates compacted soil and clay.
  • Efficient for healthy root growth.
  • Efficient for germination of seeds.
  • Improves the health of all plants, trees, and shrubs.
  • Best TLC for struggling plants.
  • Best way to introduce live earthworms to your garden
  Nutrients play a unique role in replenishing our soil. Lumbricus is proud to be sustaining one of the world’s most precious resources – our soil

Conclusion

Follow our next newsletters to learn more about these magnificent creatures and how our Lumbricus Earthworm Compost benefits your garden and vegetables towards your health Understanding the role of earthworms in soil health can transform the way you approach gardening. These tiny creatures are essential for maintaining fertile, productive soil, and our natural organic earthworm compost is the perfect way to harness their power for your garden. Invest in the health of your soil today and enjoy the bounty of a thriving garden. Happy Gardening! For the love of Earthworms and Nature.
Lydia Kristi
Worm Tea
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