Earthworms And Fertilizer

Filed Under: Growing Basics, Planting, Organic Gardening · Keywords: Fertilizer, Kill, My, Soil, Fall, Earthworms · 4768 Views
Will using chemical or natural fertilizer kill earthworms in my soil? If so what would be the potential pitfalls of killing earthworms in my soil? Are they needed? Helpful? Harmful?


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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Absolom-Earthworms are extremely beneficial to your soil by tilling it and by adding the essential nutrients plants need to be their healthiest. As the earthworm eats its way through the soil, it takes in bits of soil and rotting or decaying plants (organic matter). Then, what comes out is the richest food your plants will ever find, yet will not burn your plants.

Certain yard and garden chemicals, such as diazinon and chlorpyrifos (Dursban), and heavy applications of synthetic fertilizers with high nutrient content can kill earthworms and beneficial microorganisms. You’ll rarely, if ever, see earthworms in soil that has been treated heavily with chemical fertilizers.

Without earthworms, the soil suffers from lack of aeration and the elimination of naturally occurring fertilizers.
If you wish to protect earthworms and beneficial microorganisms, apply pesticides only on the areas that are actually infested by pest organisms rather than making blanket applications over the entire area. Using slow-release, urea-based or organic fertilizers, divided into several smaller applications, can also be helpful.

Earthworms can increase the amount of nutrients and minerals in the soil by as much as 10 times the value of the plant debris there. These minerals and nutrients are great for root and foliage growth and it's odor free.

I noted below a link to an article in Gardenality on the benifits of the earthworm and their castings (poop). Just click on the link below to go directly to this article.

http://www.gardenality.com/Articles/902/How-To-Info/Organic-Gardening/About-Earthworm-Castings/default.html

Hope this helps.
John)



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