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There are many types of garden worms, and each one plays a role in the health of your soil. By knowing the types of  worms in your garden, you can better understand the needs of your soil and provide the right conditions for healthy plant growth.

In this post, we'll introduce you to some of the most common types of garden worms, and tell you what you need to know about them.

Garden worms

Garden worms are small, cylindrical creatures that burrow through the soil, eating organic matter and leaving behind a nutrient-rich casting. Garden worms play an important role in aerating the soil and helping to break down organic matter. They are often used as bait by fishermen, and their castings can be used as a natural fertilizer. Garden worms come in a variety of colors, including red, brown, and green.

Garden worms are generally harmless to plants and humans, although they can occasionally damage young seedlings. Gardeners typically encourage garden worms, as they help to create healthy soil conditions for plants.

Types of Garden worms

1. Epigeic

Epigeic garden worms are a new and relatively rare type of worma that sustain solely on the organic material that falls to the ground and energy from the sun. They can be found living in soils around the world.

These worms use their special digestive system to break down organic matter and extract nutrients. This unique lifestyle has led to the evolution of new techniques for extracting resources from landfills and processing  organic waste.

How they are beneficial for gardens

Epigeic worms are a beneficial invertebrate that help improve soil health in gardens. They consume organic matter, which helps improve soil surface fertility and drainage.

Additionally, they contribute to the aeration and decomposition of organic matter, which improves the nutrient availability for plants. Epigeic native earthworms can also help control weed populations.

2. Endogeic

Endogeic garden worms are a type of earthworms that live within the ground. They are found in many different parts of the world and can be found in both temperate and tropical environments.

Endogeic earthworms are an important part of the soil's surface ecosystem and play a role in nutrient cycling.

How they are beneficial for gardens

Endogeic worms are beneficial for gardens because they help to break down organic matter, add nutrients to the soil, and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. These worms also eat harmful insects and fungus, which can damage plants.

3. Anecic

Anecic worms are a type of earthworm that doesn't produce any fecal material. This is important because it means they can live in environments with high levels of toxins, such as petroleum products. This ability could be useful for cleaning up oil spills and other environmental disasters.

How they are beneficial for gardens

Anecic earthworms are a beneficial member of any garden. They are able to break down organic material and help improve soil fertility. Not only that, but also they consume unwanted plant material, making gardens cleaner. Anecic earthworms are easy to find and can be purchased at most garden stores.

10 Different garden worm species

1) Common garden worm

Common garden worms are small, flatworms that live underground. They eat dirt or rocks and help turn the soil around plants. Earthworms can be found all over the world and play an important role in soil health.

How they are beneficial for gardens

The benefits of having common garden worms in your garden are numerous. These critters eat soil and organic material that would otherwise decompose and release harmful gases into the air.

They also aerate the soil, help to break down organic matter, and improve water retention. In fact, a hectare of land with common earthworms has an increased crop yield by as much as 20%.

2) Green Worm

They are segmented, soft-bodied creatures that can grow to a length of up to three feet. They are voracious eaters and can eat a wide variety of materials, including plants, soil, and other worms.

The name 'green worm' comes from their greenish-white skin and because they often eat leaves, these creatures are sometimes called 'leaf eaters'.

How they are beneficial for gardens

A green worm is beneficial for your plants because they feed on the leaves and flowers of other plants.

They help to break down these materials and reduce the number of harmful bugs that can affect your plants. Worms also help to aerate your soil, making it more fertile and productive.

3) European Nightcrawler

Nightcrawlers are invertebrates that are found throughout North America. These creepy crawlies can be found in gardens, as they feed on insects that live there. Nightcrawlers have a range of colors, including black and brown, and they have a flat body with eight jointed limbs.

They can move quickly and easily through the soil, and their small size makes them difficult to spot.

How they are beneficial for gardens

These creatures feed on insects and other small prey, helping to control pest populations and improve garden health. Nightcrawlers also burrow into the ground, creating an aeration system that helps improve soil fertility.

4) Brandling Worm

Brandling worms, also known as firebrats, are one of the most common types of earthworms. They are found all over the world in many different environments. They are typically small worms but can grow to be up to 12 inches long.

How they are beneficial for gardens

Brandling worms are beneficial for gardens because they eat organic matter, reduce weed growth and provide a natural fertilizer. They can be raised in captivity and released into the garden to control weeds.

5) Giant Gippsland

The Giant Gippsland Earthworm is one of the largest earthworms in the world and can grow up to 2 meters long. They are native to Australia and can be found in moist soils throughout the state.

How they are beneficial for gardens

In the garden, earthworms are often seen as pests because of their ability to eat plant roots. However, giant Gippsland earthworms (Eurycea gigas) are actually beneficial for gardens because they help break down organic matter and improve soil structure.

They are also known to consume large quantities of harmful insects and other small creatures that can damage plants.

6) Manure worm

Manure worms, also known as red wrigglers or brandling worms, are one of the most popular types of garden worms. They are small, reddish-brown in color, and thrive in damp and humid environments. Manure worms are often used in composting because they help to break down organic matter quickly.

How manure worms are beneficial for gardens?

Manure worms are excellent at breaking down manure and other organic matter, making them an ideal choice for those who want to improve their soil fertility. If you are looking for a worm that can help aerate your soil, nightcrawlers are a good option.

7) Louisiana Mud Worm

Louisiana mud worms are a type of earthworms that live in mud. They have a dark brown or black body with white stripes and they can grow up to 6 inches long. Louisiana mud worms are used in scientific research because they are able to survive in extreme conditions.

How they are beneficial for gardens

Louisiana mud worm, or Euproctis subtilis, is a beneficial invertebrate that helps improve garden soil. Mud worms feed on decaying plant material and help to break down organic matter, making the soil more fertile and productive.

This insect is also known as a “decomposer” and helps to recycle nutrients in the soil. Louisiana mud worms can be raised in captivity, making them an easy addition to any garden.

8) Leaf litters

Leaf litter worms, also known as detritivores, are a type of garden worm that feeds on dead leaves and other organic matter. Leaf litter worms help to break down dead matter, which in turn enriches the soil with essential nutrients.

What are the benefits of leaf litter?

Leaf litter worms are beneficial for gardens because they help to break down dead leaves and other organic matter, providing essential nutrients for the soil. 

9) Gray Worm

There are many different types of worms, but the gray worm is a less-known type that lives in the soil. Gray worms can grow up to two feet long and have a dark gray body with light gray stripes. They eat dirt and clay, which helps them to create tunnels underground.

How they are beneficial for gardens

Gray worms, also known as termites, are beneficial insects that aid in the decomposition of organic matter in gardens. By eating decaying plant material and other organic matter, they help to improve the soil quality and increase the fertility of the garden.

They can consume large quantities of food, so they are an important part of a healthy garden ecosystem.

10) Composting Worm

Compost worms are a type of earthworm that helps turn organic matter into compost. They consume food and paper products, turning them into soil amendments that can be used in gardens or landscaping. Compost worms can also help remove harmful pollutants from the environment.

How they are beneficial for gardens

Composting worms are beneficial for gardens because they help break down organic material and turn it into fertile soil. Compost earthworms do this by eating the organic matter and turning it into their own fecal material, which  then spreads around through burrows.

This process helps to improve the soil’s fertility, reduces the need for fertilizers, as well as reduces the amount of waste that is sent to landfills.

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