The presence of worms in the soil is crucial and signifies a lot about the nutrients and health state of a lawn. When you find worm castings in the yard, it indicates that the worms are eating and processing organic debris and detritus, signifying a healthy lawn. Even so, worm holes may be annoying, especially if you have well-maintained turf grass.
Knowing what the worm castings look like is a crucial step in determining how you will deal with them in the yard. Having the basic information about worm castings will help you easily compare the benefits of the worm castings and the dangers it poses to the beauty of your lawn.
However, it is crucial to understand that not all holes in the yard are made by worms. Some holes are due to activities of rodents, insects, and even some reptiles. This article will help you understand the activity of worms in the soil, its importance, and how to clear out worm castings from the yard.
What are worm castings?
Worms are very beneficial to the soil because of their continued activity — they are most of the time busy conditioning the soil. However, during the transition seasons, when the soil is relatively wet and workable, the extreme moisture pushes the worms to get on the ground surface, leaving holes in your yard.
The small piles that appear more like mounds or soil bumps in your yard are worm castings and are nothing other than worm excrement.
This excrement is highly nutritious as it contains the remains of digested soil and plant matter that have passed through the worms. Worm castings are beneficial and essential to the well-being of the entire lawn.
Besides producing castings on a lawn’s surface, worms also help speed decomposition and generate usable nitrogen for the soil. The most obvious benefit of having worms in the soil is enhancing aeration. As the worms move through the soil, they create space where air and water pass through to the deeper roots.
Generally, worms and their castings are very beneficial for a garden or lawn. However, some homeowners with well-maintained turf lawns get agonized by the presence of worm castings on the lawn.
Why do some people dislike worm castings? Are they any bad?
Even though worm castings are considered beneficial to a lawn, too many of such castings can make a lawn appear dirty and unsightly. The small soil mounds form dark spots after some time, and if the worms are too many, then the spots cover a larger portion of your yard, which is very unpresentable. If not addressed on time, the black casting spots can damage the aesthetics of your beautiful lawn.
The condition gets worse if the lawn is thin and mowed very low. These castings make the ground bumpy after some time, and this can make it hard when it comes to mowing. They can either cause scalping or, worse, a tripping hazard.
Too many worm castings on the ground is an indicator that there are numerous worms, and this will, in turn, attract other rodents and secondary pests that affect the lawn.
Dealing With Castings
Handling worm castings and removing them from the lawn can sometimes be necessary. In this regard, there are some practical earth-friendly methods of dealing with worm castings and making your yard regain its beautiful green nature.
- Avoid overwatering: Worms stay at the top of the ground when wet. Continuous watering will keep the soil moist, taking long before the castings end on the ground surface. When you stop watering, they will go down deeper in search of moist soils, thus reducing the deposition of castings on the ground.
- Rake or sweep the castings: You can rake or sweep the castings across the lawn when they dry up. Spreading castings on the turf grass helps break the unsightly lumps and spreads its nutrients all over the yard. In fall, you can power rake the lawn to prevent the development of uneven tuff.
- Press down the castings: Use a roller to press the castings down. However, you will need to repeat this because the bumps will reappear after some time.
- Mow high: When mowing, make sure you mow the lawn high to keep it healthy and hide the castings within the grass.
Worm holes in yard: Conclusion
Keeping a yard, garden, or lawn clean is the dream of most homeowners. However, there are situations when you find natural occurrences like worm activity damaging the appearance of your yard.
If you realize that there are too many castings on the ground and you feel uncomfortable with such castings, you can consider the tips above and control the appearance of your lawn.