earthworms vs garden tilling

Asked June 2, 2017, 12:08 AM EDT

o i would like to till in some leaf mulch for my garden. i had to remove some thistles first with a spade. There are a bunch of nice sized earthworm, some about nightcrawler size. i know these are good for the soil. If i till with a machine i will destroy some of the worms. Will it matter or do they repopulate easily? When i have turned over some soil and find them on the top i put them back in the cooler dirt and cover them thinking i am helping them survive. Is this the wrong thing to do? Thanks for your worm info! o

Hennepin County Minnesota worms earthworms

1 Response

Tilling will harm the earthworm population, at least temporarily. Information in the following bulletin explains why. Although the bulletin relates to agricultural activity, its content is relevant to your question.
http://extension.psu.edu/plants/crops/soil-management/soil-quality/earthworms

Most likely your efforts to protect the earthworms reduces the negative effects of tilling.