First of all, can we talk about the term “earthworm castings?”
It sounds so civilized, doesn’t it? Almost like it’s cheerful earthworm confetti scattered about your lawn.
But let’s be real. We’re talking about worm poop.
How much of a problem could worm poop be, right? Worms are tiny. And aren’t worms supposed to be good for your lawn?
So, are earthworm castings good or bad for lawns?
Let’s find out.
Earthworm Castings in Your Lawn: What’s the Deal?
As worms hang out in the soil beneath your lawn, wriggling around and trying not to be brunch for robins, they eat.
They chow down on soil, organic matter, microorganisms — not exactly your top picks for lunch, but hey, they’re worms.
Then, those earthy goodies pass through their digestive systems and come out as castings, as fancy people call them.
These castings look like little piles of soil, about the size of a quarter. No big deal, right? But if you have a lot of worms, that’s a lot of earthworm mounds on your lawn.
Are Earthworm Castings Good or Bad for Lawns?
- Their castings are like natural slow-release fertilizer. As the nutrient-packed poop exits the worm, it forms a coating that allows the nutrients to release into the soil slowly. That improves your soil health, which improves the health of your lawn.
- As earthworms dig their tunnels, they’re making more room for your lawn’s roots to grow deeper into the soil. The deeper your lawn’s root system, the healthier and stronger it will be.
- Earthworms offer natural aeration as they wiggle around down there, loosening compact soil and encouraging the movement of water, nutrients, and oxygen. Your lawn will struggle if it can’t drink, eat, or breathe.
- Worms also add nutrients to the soil when they die –– their bodies decompose and add nitrogen to the soil. Thanks, worms!
But if you have lots of earthworm castings in your lawn, things can look pretty lumpy, bumpy, and messy out there.
They can make mowing tricky, too.
And all those castings are like a dinner bell for critters like moles and gophers. It tells them there’s a worm buffet in your yard — all they have to do is dig up your grass to get them.
What to Do About Earthworm Castings in Your Lawn
Earthworms causing a bumpy lawn? Are you frustrated and tempted to put a “No Worms Allowed” sign on your lawn?
Don’t kill the worms.
Remember, worms are great for your lawn’s soil. You don’t want to kill them all off.
Here are a few things you can you do about earthworm castings in your lawn:
- Apply topsoil to even things out.
- Rake or sweep the lumpy castings into an even layer. Or rake them up and use them as great garden fertilizer.
- Mow high so the taller grass will hide the castings. Mowing tall is actually great for your lawn, anyway. When you mow, you’re removing a portion of the leaf surface that creates food through photosynthesis. Take off too much, and you’re starving your grass. Taller grass helps a lawn grow thicker and stay greener.
- Don’t over water. Too much water encourages worms to rise to the surface, where they’ll deposit their poop. Water less often and for longer periods. That’s better for your lawn, anyway. It encourages a deeper root system which leads to a healthier lawn.
- Remove thatch, that layer of dead and living organic matter that accumulates between the soil surface and the grass. Worms love it. It's like M&Ms to them. Get rid of it, and they might go elsewhere to snack.
Trust Your Lawn Care In Eau Claire, WI and Minneapolis to RainMaster
Just when you thought you had this whole lawn care thing sort of figured out, along comes a whole new problem: worm poop.
Lawn care is complicated, with a host of potential problems that are often tricky to treat.
Looking for great lawn care services in Eau Claire, WI and Minneapolis to help you figure it all out?
Let us take a look at your lawn and suggest the right course of action to get things on track.
Want to get to the bottom of your lawn problems and be confident about your choice for lawn care services? Request a quote today! We’ll review your lawn care options together so you can make a great choice. Then, you can finally enjoy your lawn and stop worrying about it.
Image Source: earthworm