The earthworm: essential aid in the garden

The earthworm: essential aid in the garden

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The weight of earthworms in France is said to be twenty times that of the French population.

This astonishing figure lets us guess at the colossal and indispensable work that its shadow workers can accomplish.

An excursion underground to better understand the crucial role of the earthworm in the garden.

Read also :

  • organic tips for soil health
  • Recognize the main birds in the garden to better welcome them

The earthworm

  • They represent 70% of the terrestrial biomass.
  • There are 150 species in France and 5,000 species in the world.
  • It is an invertebrate.
  • He has neither eyes nor ears.
  • The earthworm has five hearts.
  • He is hermaphrodite.

A complex body:

In France, the earthworm measures between 30 and 40 cm. His slender body is more complex that it seems.

  • It is made up of rings covered with hairs that help it move.
  • The holes in his skin allow him to breathe because he has no lungs. This skin is slimy and covered with mucus that prevents it from becoming dehydrated.
  • At each end of his body is a large ring. The thinnest is the head. The biggest is the anus.
  • In the middle of this body, there is a larger, softer, purplish-colored ring. It contains the reproductive organs.

Did you know ?

If you cut an earthworm after the reproductive ring on the anus side, it can live, because all of its vital organs are located from the reproductive ring to the head. Otherwise, he will die.

In no case does an earthworm cut in half grow back as we sometimes hear.

Role and usefulness of the earthworm

Their presence in the garden indicates that the quality of the soil is good, because the earthworm does not likenot in an acidic, sandy, arid, plowed or bare environment.

  • The earthworm is a real digestive tract. Its thinnest ring (equivalent to its head) feeds on organic matter, decaying plants, bacteria, fungi and protozoawithout ever attacking cultures.
  • Its largest ring (anus) rejects this food in the form of a fine earth called


Earthworm droppings help enrich the soil and fertilize plants. They are rich in magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium and potassium. They are observed on lawns in the form of small twists.

  • This fine and rich soil can be used for repotting plants.

A very productive gardener's partner:

There are about two hundred earthworms per m2 at a depth of two to four meters.

  • As they feed, they recycle organic matter.
  • They plow tirelessly, they fertilize and structure the soils, actively participating in the bioturbation
  • By digging galleries, they allow better penetration of rainwater into the soil.

Attract earthworms to the garden

Certain elements are conducive to the presence of earthworms in the garden.

  • Plant debris such as dead leaves.
  • The manure is their delight.
  • Clayey and cool soils.
  • The renewal and change of varieties in the plantations.

The ideal garden for earthwormsmust respect the cycle of the seasons with these periods of rest and a thoughtful maintenance. We must conserve wild areas.


"Earthworms burrow into the ground so they don't fall in love with the stars."

Yvan Audouard


  • Read also: organic tips for soil health

© Christian Dahlhaus

Video: Three easy ways to build a worm farm (May 2022).


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