Earthing is meant to provide reliable contact of an electric appliance to earth so that if there's an insulation fault current goes into earth instead of through a person's body. This requires earthing to be made of thick conductors driven deep into earth.
Here's how good earthing was described in one domestic pump manual (I'm pretty sure that it correlates well with local building codes): three steel pipes each at least one inch in diameter and twenty feet (six meters) length must be driven into earth vertically in a triangle pattern with at least two feet distance between each two pipes. The top of each pipe must be at least two feet below the ground surface. A common steel rod must be welded to all three and the equipment being earthed must be connected to that rod. Welding spots must be painted to protect them from corrosion.
Now that's plenty of metal and looks impressive. But how does it guarantee a low resistance path for insulation fault currents? What happens if earth is dry and not conductive enough?