On my journey to understand about how to look after the soil in my garden, I found this site on earthworms really interesting a straightforward presentation on the species of earthworm (27 in the UK), what they do for the soil and how the different species work in different ways.  There are also some really useful links to earthworm guides.  This is a comprehensive article which covers types of earthworms and what they do for the soil.  https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/earthworms

Identify your worms with guide which was created for the OPAL soil and earthworm survey.  Earthworm Guide


The Field Study Council have made lots of useful videos.  There are two about earthworms.  This first link is to an hour-long video by Keiron Brown on types of earthworms and where you will find them in your garden.  Exploring Earthworm Ecology.  This is fascinating and worth the time.  The second is Can You Use Earthworms to Indicate Healthy Soil? with Mark Hodson.  This is much more technical and explains how worms clean up the soil.  More focused on science than urban gardens.  The Field Study Council also run courses which are available to the general public.


Adding in more worms – yes you can buy worms to add to your garden, even different kinds of worms.  This company supplies worms for existing gardens and wormeries.  In this blog, they describe the different types of worms and how to use them.  Make sure you provide food – Whether you are trying to improve existing soil or build new soil you will need to provide food for the worms.  https://www.wormsdirectuk.co.uk/blog/

01. To Dig or not to Dig?  There are different reasons, opinions and methods to not dig.  This link goes to Charles Dowding’s website.  Charles has been market gardening for over 35 years.  He has developed a range of courses and made lots of videos about No Dig Gardening with the focus on growing vegetables and having no weeds in borders.  His site is rich with advice, he has a Youtube channel you can subscribe to click here, and he has developed online courses (paid).  He clearly has masses of experience and a really nice style in his videos. 


02. To Dig or not to Dig? A nice account of encounters with wildlife that caused Elaine Aldridge to go to no dig on her allotment  Find out more

03. To Dig or Not to Dig? The Unsung Heroes of our Soil. It’s hard to find much on the internet about why it’s good to dig, you’re more likely to find statements like this “I used to dig, double dig, rotovate and till the garden and allotment but have a confession to make; I don’t till my garden anymore.  I now use no-dig farming methods throughout the garden.  However, some vegetable gardeners dig to break up the soil, aerate it and dig in compost and would say they get a better crop as a result.  The non-diggers would say they get the worms to do the work as they mulch and feed on top, which suppresses the weeds and lets nature pull the compost down into the soil.  You are more likely to find this sort of comment.

Who’s and what is looking after your soil?  The soil association have 5 short videos answering this question.  The unsung heroes of our soil

What kind of soil do you have?  Watch this short video from Gardeners World which will show you how to test what kind of soil you have.  Once you understand this it might help you discover what you need to do to improve your soil.  This might be useful to know even if you are going the no-dig route  

Imagine if your worm casts were this big and also prolific.  Tolhurst Organic is a large market garden farm where they look after their soil using mulch, green manure and wood chipping. They bring in no animal products or chemicals to enhance the soil.  Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of their farm tour and discover how they have created such rich soil and why they celebrate all insects.