When they do so, gardeners sometimes go against the natural order of things by spraying their gardens with a wide variety of pesticides. However, if you want a beautiful garden, it is often best to work with nature rather than against it. If you want to maintain the health of your soil, then using earthworms, microbes, and insects in your garden can be some of your most useful allies. The following are three of your biggest allies when it comes to helping build healthy soil for your plants, whether they be flowers, trees, or veggies.
1. Earthworms: Earthworms are perhaps the most useful of all living creatures when it comes to improving your garden soil. For healthy soil, you want the ground to be turned over to keep it aerated, plus you want fallen leaves and other vegetation to be broken down so that your plants can make use of the nutrients.
The waste products that worms produce are called “casts” and are wonderfully rich in fertilizer and microorganisms. Some people will go out and buy worms, but all you have to do is add humus to your soil and worms will naturally arrive in your garden. If you want to create your compost heap, then placing it on soil is advised so that the worms can work their way into it and help break down the compost contents. You can even buy special “wormeries” in which you will put kitchen waste and simply wait for the worms to convert it to fertilizer.
2. Microorganisms: If you knew just how many microorganisms were in just a small handful of soil, you would fall off your chair. There could be billions of them. Examples of these microorganisms include fungi, lichens, bacteria, molds, actinomycetes, mycorrhizae, and protozoa. They spend their time consuming waste products as well as preying upon each other. They especially love warm and moist organic matter.
3. It is not just earthworms that act as underground gardeners; there are also insects such as tillers that create burrows and holes. As they come back up to the surface, they bring up lots of soil. Then there are larger animals such as gophers and moles, which can be just as beneficial as the smaller insects. Gardeners who want a perfect lawn often use devices to deter moles from their gardens. However, they are doing you a great favor by creating holes in the soil that help aerate it. So what sort of gardener are you? Do you want to work with or against nature?
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