Count Your Worms!
As we start thinking about next spring's garden it is the perfect time to start thinking about one of our garden's best allies -- the humble earthworm.
Doing a simple earthworm count can give you a glimpse at overall health of your soil microbiome-- plenty of worms is a good sign! The very best time to count your worms is when the soil is cool and damp. Spring & Fall are optimal times of the year! Check out how here: https://youtu.be/32HwVbtoqPk
But what if you do this test and you find few or no worms? Don't fret! There are some easy steps to take to encourage earthworms to populate your garden soil!
1. Reduce tillage- work your soil as little as possible. Cultivation can kill worms, destroy their burrows and damage eggs.
2. Leave organic matter (plant residues) on the soil surface and add plenty of natural mulch, manure & compost to your garden. This acts as food for the worms.
3. Stop using chemicals in & around your garden- especially sprays that have the active ingredients diazinon, imidacloprid and chlorpyrifos as these are toxic to earthworms. Now get out there and count your worms!