When you hear of worms, probably the first thing that comes into your mind is corn-worms, ear-worms, and hookworms, which all cause destruction. Did you know that there are beneficial worms? As much as you might never want to see worms in your lawn, they can be of great benefit to it.
Worms, specifically earthworms, will improve your lawn’s soil structure, break down organic matter, and release it to the soil. Earthworms burrow into the soil, making it easy for water to penetrate through. Are you having problems with thatch buildup? Having earthworms in your lawn will keep thatch away since that is what they feed on. They don’t feed on your grass or damage it.
How to Attract Worms to Your Lawn
1. Add Compost
Compost attracts worms to your lawn. Earthworms will feed on compost and, in the process, break it down. The breakdown releases minerals to the soil, which contributes to the good growth of the grass. When you apply compost on your lawn, do not till the soil. Instead, let it rest on the lawn.
2. Add Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are also food to worms. They feed on it and incorporate it into the soil at the same time. Coffee grounds also have other benefits in the soil. They have nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen, which are beneficial to grass. You don’t need to add organic fertilizers if you frequently add coffee grounds on the lawn. Its breakdown takes time, which gives the grass more time to absorb them.
When spreading them on the lawn, ensure there are no large pile-ups on the ground. They may block sunlight and water from reaching the grass, which could lead to its death. Use a rake to spread the grounds evenly. A spreader is also an even better option, as it will spread them uniformly.
3. Add Cornmeal
Earthworms love feeding on cornmeal. Apply it on the lawn then water it. After some time, the number of worms in your lawn will increase. Add cornmeal every two weeks to increase its effectiveness.
Cornmeal also contains nitrogen and proteins, which are essential for the proper growth of grass. Do not confuse between corn meal and corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal is a pre-emergent herbicide, and if you spread it on your grass, it will kill it since it’s a non-selective weed killer.
4. Reduce Tilling
Tilling promotes soil compaction, which creates a non-conducive environment for earthworms to thrive in. earthworms thrive in undisturbed soils since they can burrow it with much ease.
How to Deal with Earthworm Castings
After you succeed in attracting earthworms to your lawn, another problem may arise. They may multiple to large numbers and excrete castings that make a lawn aesthetically unappealing. Many people find this inconvenient. Don’t let castings discourage you from having worms in your lawn. Here are some of the things you can do to minimize them in your lawn.
- Use a rake to spread them all over the lawn. They will contribute to the fertility of the lawn.
- Do not overwater the lawn. This encourages the worms to dig deeper in search of moisture, which reduces the number of castings on the surface.
- Do not mow low. Mowing low makes the grass very short and makes the castings very visible. Mowing high means that the grass will be long enough to hide the castings that may have already been excreted.
Benefits of Worm Castings
- They contain humus that extracts disease-causing toxins from the soil.
- They form aggregates that help improve the soil’s moisture retention capacity.
- They increase nitrogen in the soil and make it ready for use by the grass.
Benefits of Worms to The Soil
1. Improves the Soil’s Water Retention Capacity
Earthworms release organic matter to the soil, which improves its water retention capacity. Your grass will not start withering whenever you don’t water it for some time. It also reduces the need to water it frequently.
2. Makes the Soil Porous
Worms dig through the soil and improve its drainage. When it rains, water will not settle on its surface; instead, it will penetrate to the roots, where it is needed more.
3. Promotes Proper Root Growth
Worms burrow into the soil, making it easier for roots to absorb essential minerals. The grass will have a strong root system, which enhances its proper growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Different species of worms will stay in different parts of their soil. Those that stay on the surface feed on the soil and are beneficial in excreting castings. Their burrows may not be very significant.
Some worms burrow deep into the soil. The deep burrows help improve the soil structure and incorporate nutrients into the soil.
After working hard to attract worms into your garden, you might wonder if there will withstand the extreme weather conditions in winter. When the temperatures start freezing., they will dig deeper into the grounds to look for warmer conditions. They get into a hibernation mode as they wait for the weather to get warmer. So, you don’t have to worry about your little lawn friends dying due to cold temperatures.
Earthworms will not do any damage to your lawn. They are purely beneficial. They will not feed on the grass but the soil. In the course of feeding, they mix nutrients to the soil, aerate it, and increase its water holding capacity. They also excrete castings, which also has several benefits to the soil.
Earthworms are considered to be an organic farmer’s friends. They act as proof that the soil is healthy, and also improve its structure and water retention capacity. This leads to a healthy and lush lawn. They do not pose any danger to the grass, as long as they are not excess in numbers.
Earthworms may disappear from your lawn due to various factors. The usage of organic pesticides is one of the main reasons that earthworms are disappearing. They prefer lawns, where no organic substances are used.
As much as earthworms are beneficial to a lawn, too much of them can be disastrous. Their castings can lead to excessive amounts of nutrients, which can burn the lawn. They also leave ugly sites when they build up in large piles. In such a scenario, you can only reduce the number of earthworms to avoid disasters.
Organic fertilizers can lead to a reduction in the soil PH, which will kill the worms. Worms do not like highly acidic soils. Chemical pesticides may kill them or reduce their ability to reproduce.
There are several methods you can use to kill earthworms naturally. You can spread vinegar on some parts of the lawn to minimize them. Don’t spread it on the entire lawn, as you will kill all of them.