They may not be the most attractive of animals, but when it comes to gardening you really can’t get enough of worms!
Spending most of their lives beneath our feet, worms are important for a number of different reasons; they turn the soil, allow it to breathe, recycle and enrich it.
Helen Bostock, a wildlife advisor at the RHS says: “It’s easy to overlook the humble earthworm but they really are the gardener’s best friend. They play a vital role in creating good soil structure and fertility, essential for healthy plants, and provide food for creatures such as hedgehogs, frogs and blackbirds that help keep unwanted pests at bay.”
So, this year’s ‘Wild About Gardens’ challenge from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts is: Go Wild for Worms! These organisations are asking people to help worms by doing things like creating compost heaps, feeding the soil and reducing hard surfacing like paving.
In the UK there are 29 different worm species and they come in all sorts of colours, including; brown, pink, green, black, grey and even stripy! Worms can eat their own weight in soil in one day, and despite the rumours, if you cut one in half it doesn’t give you two worms (just a dead one).
How to help the worms:
- Reduce waste, recycle veg peelings and create a compost heap
- Feed your garden with compost and organic fertilisers
- Attract hedgehogs, beetles and centipedes to your garden to control pests
- Dig up your paving - let the earth breathe and plants grow
- For more ideas, download a pdf booklet HERE
Ellie Brodie, Senior Policy Manager of The Wildlife Trusts says: “Charles Darwin revered worms and thought few other animals played so important a part in the history of the world. We’re hoping gardeners will choose to create a compost heap or go to one of our events and learn to love worms. Pulling up the paving in your front garden would make a big difference too – and would also help a host of other wildlife to thrive!”
For more information, events and competition details, click HERE to visit the Wild About Gardens website.