Scientists have discovered that earthworms are actually "seed predators", munching on seeds and seedlings before they sprout above ground.
But before growers go ridding their garden and greenhouse of worms, it may be prudent to point out that the damage is only on a very small scale.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), experts from Germanys Georg-August-University Gottingen found that earthworms chow down on seedlings at both the radicle and cotyledon stages.
RHS head of horticultural advisory services Guy Barter explained that there is no cause for alarm as worms are only responsible for a small proportion of seed deaths.
"Earthworms do far more good than harm, he said. "They are of vanishing unimportance compared to other things that predate seedlings – gardeners really dont need to worry."
In other news, the RHS has given some advice on which plants need watering and which do not during periods of dry, warm weather.