It is common to see mounds of soil protruding from the ground, straight from the digestive tract of earthworms. But what do earthworms eat to form these earth sculptures?
Preparing your slurry
Because they have no teeth, earthworms cannot eat dead plants directly: they must first be broken down by other soil organisms such as fungi and bacteria. The worms will therefore bury leaves and plant remains in the upper part of the galleries. These plants will be covered with excrement, thus providing ideal conditions for micro-organisms (bacteria, unicellulars, microscopic fungi, etc.) to start decomposing these plants. The earthworms can then eat the decomposed plant material. Worms eat up to half their weight per day!
When eating decaying organic matter, earthworms also swallow large quantities of mineral soil, which mixes with the micro-organisms living in their intestines. Its excrement, called castings, is rich in nutrients that will be reused by other living organisms in the soil.