Beneficial Soil Invertebrates


Earthworms are the most important of the soil decomposers and greatly improve soil aggregation. Image credit:pfly Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0


Ladybird beetles, or ladybugs, attack a garden slug. Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson Flickr CC BY 2.0

A soil invertebrate is an invertebrate that spends all or much of its life in the soil. Many soil invertebrates improve the health of the soil and therefore plants; however, some soil invertebrates may be detrimental. Harmful fungi and bacteria may feed on roots …

Creating Your Own Worm Farm

Creating your own worm farm can be a fun and rewarding way of getting rid of food scraps and reducing waste going into the landfill.

  Diagram of a worm bin
Image credit: di.wineanddine Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Composting with worms or vermicomposting is the process of adding worms to a bin or other container to speed up the process of organic material decomposition and create a nutrient rich compost.

Redworms or red wriggler worms are a type of earthworm …

Beneficial Soil Microbes

Fertile soil is teeming with beneficial soil microbes. It is estimated that there could be billions of microbes in a gram of soil.

Bacteria, fungi, and protozoa are major players in soil microbial processes. They perform a variety of functions beneficial to soil and the plants growing in that soil. Other soil organisms of importance are nematodes, arthropods, and earthworms.

Image source: Wikipedia public domain license

Benefits of Microbes in Soil

  • Decompose organic matter
  • Foster soil aggregate stability

Benefits of Mycorrhizae

Mycorrhizae are soil fungi that benefit the soil in many ways. A healthy soil is important for a water-wise landscape. Organic matter, drainage, and plant nutrients contribute to the fertility and health of the soil and plants found therein.

Mycorrhizae literally means “fungus root” and describes a mutualistic association between fungus and plant roots that exists in almost all plants. The plant supports the fungus by providing carbohydrates needed for fungal growth, while the fungus helps the plant by increasing …