Join the RHS today and support our charity
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Make a donation
I have forgotten my password
Keep me signed in
Register for free to receive our newsletters, add comments to blogs/articles and to save content.
See what events are on near you and browse your bookmarked pages.
Inspiring days out and so much more
Britain has about eight to ten species of earthworms that are likely to be found in gardens. They vary in size and colour, but all have a role to play in creating good soil structure and fertility.
Earthworms eat decaying plant material and do not damage growing plantsBritain has about 16 species of earthworms likely to be found in gardensEarthworms occur in most soilsEarthworms can be used in wormeries to make compostWorm casts can be a nuisance on lawns
Earthworms are a familiar sight to gardeners and are useful in maintaing healthy garden soils;
Find out more about earthworms and participate in earthworm research at Earthworm Watch and the Earthworm Society of Britain (links to external websites)
Some earthworm species live in accumulations of organic matter, such as compost heaps. One such species is Eisenia fetida (brandling or tiger worm), recognisable by its stripy appearance, another is Dendrobaena veneta. These are the species most commonly used in wormeries, as their feeding activities speed up the composting process.
Worm casts consist of soil and waste excreted by the worms as they feed on organic matter. Worm casts can be a nuisance on lawns and gravel paths.
This year the Wild About Gardens campaign, run jointly by the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts, is gearing gardeners up to go wild for worms. Learn how to encourage earthworms in your garden and download your free earthworm pack from the Wild About Gardens website.
Chafer grubs in lawnsCompostingEarthworm Society of BritainEarthworm Watch citizen science surveyLeatherjackets MillipedesSoil typesSoil cultivationWorm casts in lawnsWorm composting
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
Register for the site or sign in to share your experiences on this topic and seek advice from our community of gardeners.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9