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The Wonder of Worms

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1. Stop Using Chemical Fertilizers.

Chemical fertilizers often contain salt and other compounds that are harmful and/or deadly to worms. If you have enough worms and other organic fertilizers in your soil, there is no need for synthetic fertilizers. Earthworm castings (worm excrement) can contain as much as 10 times the amount of plant-available nutrients as the original soil. This nutrient-rich natural fertilizer is teeming with microorganisms that live in the worm’s gut.

Worm castings have high concentrations of two important components for soil health and plant growth: humic acid and mycorrhizae. Humic acid helps plants develop stronger root systems, increases microbial activity and nutrient availability, promotes the activity of enzymes and natural plant growth regulators, as well as, slowing pathogenic fungi build-up. Mycorrhizae, a beneficial soil fungus, attaches to the root system in a symbiotic relationship that helps the roots to absorb nutrients and increase water intake. Basically, a worm’s gut is filled with good microbes and bacteria that are distributed in the garden as they travel and munch throughout the day.

Image: anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

43 comments

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3:42PM PDT on Jul 18, 2013

Ty

11:20AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Thank you!

9:12PM PST on Feb 24, 2012

Thanks.

9:46AM PST on Feb 24, 2012

thanks

1:15AM PDT on Aug 21, 2011

Love worms!

3:34AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

i used to catch worms and feed them to the chickens as a supplementary diet. we were organic back in the early 70's, chemicals were unheard of although we didn't actually have a garden. it was one of my most memorable times growing up as a kid; digging thru' wet soil that washed in the deep drains after a rain getting those slimy creatures. fun times!

12:30AM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Noted with interest.

3:14PM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

@ Juliet D. It's true that some species of worms can be considered invasive. Another reason I do not recommend buying worms for your garden.

7:31AM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

It is amazing that the most advanced life forms are completely dependent on the humble little earthworms for survival.

3:05PM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

Ever spring after tilling we would throw compost and about 5 pounds of worms in the garden a week before planting. That garden was the best in our area. worms are great!

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