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Save money by getting some friends for your houseplants.

Updated on October 13, 2011

Healthy Plants


Save money by raising earthworms

I will try to share with you the value of earthworms to your soil, as this has been the focus of my excitement for a period of time now. There are many different types of earthworms some more aggressive than others.

Earthworms live in and nourish the soil and help keep it a living entity. They tunnel deep in the soil and bring subsoil to the surface mixing it with topsoil. Earthworms secret a slime, that hold the castings together in small piles or aggregates on the top of the soil .The slimy fluid is also very rich in Nitrogen which greatly enhances the plant foliage. Much of our soil these days is being destroyed by the use of many chemicals that give a quick fix but unsustainable in the long term. The earthworms that are present in the soil will keep it fertilized it in a natural method.

Keeping your soil healthy will benefit your earthworms and your plants. Earthworms generally feed on organic matter, with preference for matter with high concentrations of microbial life. Organic matter that has started to decompose is the best source of food for them. Some earthworms even feed on nematodes. Soil microbes have the ability to release Phosphorous,Potassium,Calcium,Magnesium, iron and sodium, as well as trace elements from various soil components. All these of course very essential for healthy plant development. As the earthworms eat to nourish themselves ,the waste or castings that they pass out is of a higher concentration of fertilizer, than that which was present in what was ingested. This change place through its digestion cycle.

If you love gardening and you will want to grow healthy long lasting plants. To help you achieve that goal, you can reproduce your own earthworms, most of the videos that I see about earthworms are about purchasing them for composting purposes. It is also very easy and exciting to reproduce them. The development of your earthworm will be a direct indication as to the quality of your soil.Your soil has to be moist and be at a temperature of about 32 degrees and 86 degrees Fahrenheit for the worms to be happy. The purer the soil in terms of humus nature the better, since the soil will be a source of food to these adorable creatures. Treat them well and they will love you back by keeping your soil well nourished. In addition the tunnels made by the earthworms in the soil help aerate the soil thus allowing for drainage and for the plant roots to spread and access the necessary nutrients.

Before you know you will be falling in love. I am the kind of plant lover who overturns my plants from time to time and check out what is happening. Earthworms are hermaphrodites, that means they have both male and female organs. They mate in order for fertilization to take place. After a short periods eggs will be produced, from which the babies will be hatched. You too can check on your new founds friends, check their progress, eggs, babies, youngsters and then adults. If they are unhappy they will leave your soil or die. Of course you can have separate pots specifically for reproduction and transfer the adults to your flower pots.

Don't underestimate them a nice healthy earthworm can move quite quickly so don't take unnecessary chances with them. Do not expose them to light for too long, they could become paralyzed and eventually dry out.

The soil that I work with is of virgin nature and therefore it is very easy to catch many earthworms. I have so many earthworms that when I dig up the soil it is very difficult not to cut some of them. If they are cut well below the center area the frontal half will actually regenerate. All the same it makes me uncomfortable to hurt them.

Back to earthworm production. Get some fertile soil without chemical fertilizer ( composted matter is best), place it in a flower pot like you would as if you were preparing to put a regular houseplant . Be sure that your pot has good drainage or else the earthworms will drown. Raise your flower pot at least an inch to prevent them from escaping. Add partially decomposed waste vegetable and fruits peelings on the top of your soil this will help create moisture and food for your worms who will rise to the surface to eat. Avoid putting too much at one time. In one day an earthworm can eat about one third of its body weight , some studies say that they can eat up as much as their full body weight. to avoid fruit flies. Grow as many as you like, they can be friends with your plants and keep them looking good.

Save yourselves much money by producing your own natural homemade fertilizer by using the ever faithful earthworms. Bring back life to the soil in your flower pots and gardens. It is always an advantage to understand the make up of the earthworms in order to better appreciate them .

Composted matter is the best bed or home for the earthworms since they would eat that mixed with the surrounding soil and pass it out as castings which has added nutrients form digestion within the earthworm itself. Earthworms are the small fertilizer producers at no cost to you, only benefits, however they are delicate creatures and will die with the application of poisons and aggressive fertilizers. Love your earthworms treat them right and reap the benefits later.



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