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« Lawn Care Shop Open 24/7 | Main | Earthworm Poetry »

Killing Earthworms in Lawns

Grassclippings - Worm Cast ControlThere are a lot of internet searches that match our blog title of killing earthworms, and we are sure that the searcher does not really mean to actually kill them.  We hope not!

Gardeners and lawn owners alike will appreciate the work of the humble earthworm in breaking down the organic matter in the soil, a bit like mini cultivators if you have ever seen worms working in a compost wormery.  They really can shift some incredible amounts of soil and quickly turn a bucket of kitchen green waste into some pretty useful friable compost in a very short time.

In the market garden, worm are great for the soil.  Their actions of burrowing create natural air channels in the soil beneficial to plants and without the creation of organic matter, inorganic fertiliser would not be converted to available plant food. 

For lawn owners, worms are great for natural and free lawn aeration but it is their mounds of soil that they place on the surface of the lawn that gets lawn owners frustrated.  These soil mounds, rich in digestive secreations and bacteria turn a once perfect sward into a sticky, muddy, uneven, and wet surface which is hard to use, mow and remain clean between September and April. 

Don't under estimate how many worms your lawn can have per a single square metre as the minimum can be around 45 and the maximum recorded 170!  Actual worm cast numbers of between 45 and 119 per a single square metre have been recorded with the average 45.  That's a lot of sticky soil on the surface of a lawn in amongst the grass plants.

In amenity horticulture, there were many chemical treatment products that actually killed some of the five main species of earthworms and also pretty much other soil organisims.  The last one of these products was withdrawn from use in the early nineties which is a shame as it was really effective at keeping worms at bay for many years following just one treatment. 

Modern worm cast control products do not kill worms but form a barrier in the soil that the worms do not like passing through so they stay deeper in the soil.  One such is a pesticide based on the active ingredient Carbendazim and also Garlic Oil and Sulphur liquid, chips and pellets will deter worms too.

Casting worms are common in most countries around the globe and are becoming a problem for lawn owners and professional turf managers where the pesticide Carbendazim has been withdrawn from use, countries such as France, Ireland and Germany to name a few.

See CastClear for the solution to lawn worm casts.



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