Simply Sustainable Soils: Monitoring earthworms

This week we have launched ‘Simply Sustainable Soils‘ in partnership with Asda, a hands-on guide to help farmers get the most out of their soil, looking at soil texture, structure, drainage, compaction, nutrients and biological health.

Monitoring EarthwormsSoil is a farmers greatest asset and effective management is at the heart of healthy crops and grassland. Our guide offers six simple steps to help farmers improve the long term sustainability of their soil.

Here is a short snippet looking at one aspect of biological health – earthworms. For the full guide click here.

How to monitor earthworms
Carry out a quick visual assessment by looking in your soil pit for earthworms and their burrows. A more detailed test is set out below.

Getting prepared
You will need:

  • Notebook to record results
  • Watering can
  • Mustard powder
  • Sample tray

Mix up a suspension of English mustard powder (50 grams in 10
litres of water) and pour over a 1 m2 area. Count all the worms that
appear from that area in the next 30 minutes. The higher your score
the better quality your soil is. 10 – 15 earthworms is an indication of
good health.

‘Simply Sustainable Soils’ can be found on our website here.

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