Contrary to popular belief, the presence of worm casts in your lawn is a good sign that your lawn is healthy and strong. Find out what makes worm casts appear and what benefits they give your lawn, with advice from Essex turf grower, Paynes Turf.
What are worm casts?
You may have noticed small muddy heaps of soil sitting on the top of your lawn and wondered what on earth they are. Worm casts are the waste products from the guts of earthworms that live in the soil all year round. The casts form wet and muddy piles of soil, which can make a mess if trodden on.
How are worm casts formed?
As the earthworms feed on organic matter present in soil, such as dead plant material, they ingest some of the soil as they eat. Under normal conditions, the worms excrete this waste product underground, however, when the soil underground is very wet, the worms come up to the surface to feed and breathe, and then deposit the excrement above ground. This is how worms casts are formed.
Benefits of earthworms
The presence of worm casts means that earthworms are active in your lawn. The benefits of earthworms far outweighs the nuisance of a few worm casts, as the worms work to improve soil structure and add nutrients to the soil which is essential for the growth of a lush, green, healthy lawn. As they burrow through the soil underneath the grass, they help to aerate the soil, which in turn improves aeration in the lawn, and helps to prevent drainage problems.
How to reduce the amount of worm casts
If your lawn is very wet then you may find that you have an abundance of worm casts which makes walking on the lawn almost impossible without spreading the muddy casts over the lawn. Make sure that you aerate your lawn every year so water drains away easier, and reduce the amount of matter they have to feed on, for example, remove the grass clippings after you have finished mowing, and rake up fallen leaves.
How to remove worm casts
It’s best to allow the worm casts to dry out before you remove them otherwise they will spread mud around the lawn. Once the casts are dry, use a broom to sweep the dry soil into the lawn.